Dec 02, 2023  
2019-2020 APU Catalog 
2019-2020 APU Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, B.A.

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The Liberal Studies major allows students to combine learning opportunities and courses from multiple disciplines.  Working with an academic advisor, the LS major designs a study plan to explore personal interests and professional aspirations, drawing together skills such as professional and media writing, or topics such as history, literature, cultural studies, the arts, philosophy, religion, and social sciences. This major provides a meaningful way for transfer students to incorporate prior coursework and experiential learning in order to move efficiently to degree completion.

A Liberal Studies degree provides exceptional preparation for careers requiring initiative, critical thinking, organizational management, problem-solving, effective communication, and innovation.  It can also be excellent preparation for graduate school, law school, medical school, or teaching credential programs. 

As a Liberal Studies major, the student chooses an individualized path or follows one of the identified optional concentrations in literature, philosophy, religion studies, writing, or pre-law. 

Study begins with introductory seminars focusing on ways of knowing, humanities, and social sciences.  Courses are then chosen from across the university to develop an individual study plan.  Nearing completion, the student undertakes: a directed study to provide in-depth understanding of a particular topic; and an internship to provide real-world application.  The program culminates in the senior project which combines knowledge gained with the skills to apply that knowledge to real situations.

Learning Outcomes

As a graduate, a student will earn an Bachelor of Arts degree with realized proficiency in APU’s Core Competencies:

  1. Effective Communication [EC]:  Demonstrate the ability to get one’s point across in writing, presentations, and organizations in order to share information, teach others, and foster collaboration
  2. Critical Thinking [CT]:  Demonstrate the ability to compute, analyze, make sense of information or data, and reach reasoned conclusions cognizant of possible bias or fallacies
  3. Cultural & Historical Perspective [CH]:  Demonstrate the ability to effectively consider tradition and heritage in relation to decision-making in a world shaped by diverse cultures and abiding histories
  4. Scientific Inquiry [SI]:  Demonstrate the ability to reach verifiable conclusions based on documented observations, findings, and recognized methods in order to know how things work in our world
  5. Ethical Engagement [EE]:  Demonstrate ability to raise needed questions and apply ethical and effective problem-framing and problem-solving to make things better

Foundational Studies (32-40 credits)

  • EC Written Communication** (WRIT 20100) (4)
  • EC Presentation & Media Literacy (from 10000-20000 level COMM) (3-4)
  • CT Critical Thinking (from 10000-20000 level CRIT) (3-4)
  • CT Computation** (MT 10100, BA 10500, or higher placement) (3-4)
  • CH Intellectual Traditions (various) (4)
  • CH Creative Endeavors (various) (4)
  • CH Intercultural & Spiritual Understandings (various) (3-4)
  • SI Biological/Physical Scientific Inquiry (various) (4)
  • SI Social/Behavioral Scientific Inquiry (various) (3-4)
  • EE Social Responsibility (LS 10200) (2)
  • EE Personal Responsibility (various) (1-2)

     [**  Minimum grade of ‘C’ (defined as C+, C, C-) must be earned]
    (Unless otherwise noted, check for courses which satisfy Foundational Studies categories under ‘Bachelor-level Degree Requirements- Overview’)

Major Studies (56-59 credits)

Self-Determined Studies (varies)

  • Students are encouraged to pursue a minor, double major, Eco League exchange, or other distinguishing study program to add to the Liberal Studies major.

Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 128

LS Concentration Options

Literature Concentration

Literature is at the heart of civilization, and storytelling is the connective tissue of communities.  With the literature concentration, students study storytelling, novels, drama, poetry, and other forms for great literature.  Seminars focus on classic, contemporary, world, and community-based traditions.  Majors develop interpretation skills in order to grow in appreciation of tone, style, and nuance in creative writing.  This concentration can help prepare for graduate work in the humanities, teacher certification programs, or careers in communication.

Major Studies (58-59 credits)

Philosophy Concentration

Philosophy involves the systematic study of how and why we think about things, in the ways that we do.  With the philosophy concentration, students explore approaches to timeless questions, focusing on logic, ethics, reasoning, aesthetics, and inquiries into the human condition.  This concentration is excellent preparation for graduate school, law school, and careers that involve problem-solving, critical thinking, and analysis.

Major Studies (58-59 credits)

Religion Studies Concentration

Religion is one of the major forces that shapes human culture, commitments, and behavior.  With the religion studies concentration, students explore across the humanities, social sciences, and cultural studies to develop critical and analytical skills while learning about religious communities, religious texts, theological discourse, and spirituality.  The concentration allows majors to develop special emphasis on topics such as Biblical studies, the philosophy of religion, and Catholic studies. This concentration provides a broad background for graduate study in religion, ministry, history, as well as international study.

Major Studies (58-59 credits)

Writing Concentration

Writing well, whether for personal satisfaction or professional purposes, is a fundamental ability.  With the writing concentration, students develop a liberal education in writing theory and practice.  Majors choose from writing seminars focused on forms such as poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and drama, as well as courses that develop communication skills for journalism and media.  This concentration develops prized skills:  clarity of communication, understanding of context and message, and creative expression.

Major Studies (58-59 credits)

Pre-Law Concentration

No specific undergraduate major is required for admission in to law schools.  Students who are considering a career in the legal profession will want a rigorous and interdisciplinary study plan with prepartion in the areas of critical thinking, logic, history, and philosophy.  In combination with APU’s Foundational Studies, the pre-law concentration within the Liberal Studies major meets the recommendations of the American Bar Association’s “Preparation for Legal Education.”

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