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Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies

Learn about your world and develop your passions.

Students build a broad foundation grounded in liberal arts. Whether working with an indigenous community in Chile, getting their feet wet and hands dirty researching aquatic biology, or mentoring local grade-school children, in this degree, students have the chance to explore different fields of inquiry. 

Build your intellectual foundation for a four-year degree

The curriculum is designed to open students' realms of understanding and widen their thinking as they interact with the world and its systems. This degree enables students to explore diverse areas of study and better understand their areas of interests and goals. Upon completion of the Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies, students will be able to:

  • Sustain an ongoing process of self-reflection, self-awareness, and self-advocacy that leads to self-understanding and the successful management of the skills and strategies of a lifelong learner. (Metacognition and Lifelong Learning)
  • Think critically, reason soundly, and develop and apply problem-solving strategies across the academic disciplines. (Critical Thinking) 
  • Recognize when information is needed and have the ability to access, evaluate, and use it effectively and ethically. (Information Literacy, adapted from the ALA)
  • Use a metacognitive approach to access and use information technology effectively (including educational, assistive, and productivity technologies). (Technological Fluency) 
  • Understand the complexities of multiple communities, including educational, cultural, and geographic, and respect different perspectives and diversity. (Diversity)
  • Communicate with clarity, coherence and persuasiveness through written, oral, and other modes of expression.  (Communication)
  • Comprehend and apply the methods of scientific inquiry and engage in quantitative reasoning. (Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning)

The Curriculum

The Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies degree provides a broad learning experience, grounding students in the skills of the liberal arts, helping students to explore new fields, and encouraging a rigorous testing of perspectives. 61 credits total are required for A.A. in Liberal Studies. Its requirements include:

22 credits in the General Education Core:

  • WRT1011 Composition and Rhetoric (3 credits)
  • WRT1012 Research and Analysis (3 credits)
  • EDU1011 Perspectives in Learning (3 credits) OR EDU1001 Foundations in Learning (3 credits)
  • 3 credits of Humanities at the 1000 level
  • 3 credits of Social Sciences at the 1000 level
  • 3 credits of Math at the 1000 level
  • 4 credits of Natural Science at the 1000 level

18 credits of the following:

  • 3 credits in Communications
  • 3 credits in Fine & Performing Arts
  • 12 elective credits at the 1000 level or higher

21 credits at the 2000 level

For more information, contact:


Dan Miller, Chair, Liberal Studies Department



Lynne Shea, Dean, School of Liberal Studies & the Arts

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