The Liberal Studies major allows you to combine learning opportunities and courses from multiple disciplines. Working with an academic advisor, you design a study plan to explore personal interests and professional aspirations, drawing together topics such as history, literature, cultural studies, the arts, philosophy, religion, and social sciences. You may choose an individualized path or follow one of the identified concentrations in literature, philosophy, religion studies, writing, or pre-law. This major provides a meaningful way for transfer students to incorporate prior coursework and experiential learning.
In the Liberal Studies major, your study begins with introductory seminars focusing on ways of knowing, humanities, and social sciences. You then choose courses from across the university to develop your individual study plan. Nearing completion, you undertake: a directed study to provide in-depth understanding of a particular topic; and an internship to provide real-world application. Your program culminates in the senior project which combines knowledge gained with the skills to apply that knowledge to real situations. 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, or teaching credential programs.
As a Liberal Studies major, you will earn a bachelor of arts degree and achieve the following competencies:
Critical Thinking (CT): demonstrating knowledge and skills related to analysis, problem-solving, reasoning, and decision-making
Informed Inquiry (II): demonstrating knowledge and skills related to observation, methodology, methods of interpretation, historical perspective, information literacy, and research
Effective Communication (EC): demonstrating knowledge and skills related to written communication, oral presentation, clarity of one’s own expression through various forms, systems, and media, and appreciation for meaning, tone, style, nuance, and context of other’s communications
Creativity (CR): demonstrating knowledge and skills related to innovation, fluency of ideas, flexibility in approach, and elaboration
Self Direction (SD): demonstrating knowledge and skills related to resilience, goal setting, project management, professionalism, reflection, and self-understanding
Social Responsibility (SR): demonstrating knowledge and skills related to advocacy, activism, leadership, service, and regard for one’s own and other’s historical, social, cultural, religious, and ethical backgrounds
General University Requirements
- Introduction to Active Learning (GS 13500 ) (4)
- Written Communication (LL 20100 ) (4)
- Speech Communication (CO 10000 ) (4)
- Quantitative Reasoning (MT 12100 , MT 21000 , MT 22000 , or PH 20300 ) (4)
- Humanities (8)
- Languages (4)
- Laboratory Science (4)
- Social/Behavioral Science (4)
- Ethical and Religious Values (4)
Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 128
* These two requirements must total 28 credits. Directed Study minimum = 4 credits, maximum = 12 credits; Focused Elective Coursework minimum = 16 credits. At least 4 credits of directed study and 16 credits of focused elective coursework must be completed at the 30000-40000 level. At least 4 of the credits of focused coursework must be completed at the 30000-40000 level in Liberal Studies offerings.
Literature is at the heart of civilization, and storytelling is the connective tissue of communities. With the literature concentration, you study storytelling, novels, drama, poetry, and other forms for great literature. You choose from seminars focusing on classic, contemporary, world, and community-based traditions. You develop interpretation skills in order to grow in your appreciation of tone, style, and nuance in creative writing. This concentration can help you prepare for graduate work in the humanities, teacher certification programs, or careers in communication.
Philosophy involves the systematic study of how and why we think about things, in the ways that we do. With the philosophy concentration, you study approaches to timeless questions, focusing on logic, ethics, reasoning, aesthetics, and inquiries into the human condition. This concentration prepares you for graduate school, law school, and careers that involve problem-solving, critical thinking, and analysis.
Religion Studies Concentration
Religion is one of the major forces that shapes human culture, commitments, and behavior. With the religion studies concentration, you study 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 you to develop special emphasis on topics such as Biblical studies, the philosophy of religion, and Catholic studies. This concentration provides you with a broad background for graduate study in religion, ministry, history, as well as international study.
Writing well, whether for personal satisfaction or professional purposes, is a fundamental ability. With the writing concentration, you develop a liberal education in writing theory and practice. You 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 prepares you with prized skills: clarity of communication, understanding of context and message, and creative expression.
No specific undergraduate major is required for admission in to law schools. If you are considering a career in the legal profession, you will want a rigorous and interdisciplinary study plan that prepares you in the areas of critical thinking, logic, history, and philosophy. In combination with APU’s GUR requirements, the pre-law concentration within the Liberal Studies major meets the recommendations of the American Bar Association’s “Preparation for Legal Education.”