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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

To earn the AA-LST, students must complete 61 credits, which includes the 31 credits of the general education core, 12 credits of additional major requirements, and 18 credits of open electives.

General Education Requirements: 31 credits

  • WRT1011 Composition and Rhetoric: 3 credits
  • WRT1012 Research and Analysis: 3 credits
  • EDU1011 Perspectives in Learning or EDU1001 Foundations in Learning or EDU1201 Learning Perspectives I & EDU1100 Learning Perspectives II: 3 credits
  • COM1011 Introduction to Communication: 3 credits
  • Mathematics MAT1311 Mathematical Ideas, MAT1321 Statistics, or MAT1641 College Algebra or higher (MAT1541 Intermediate Algebra cannot be used to satisfy any requirement): 3 credits
  • Humanities: 3 credits
  • Natural Science with lab: 4 credits
  • Social Sciences: 3 credits
  • Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credits
  • Interpersonal Communication/Creative Expression: 3 credits

Major Requirements: 12 credits

  • Arts Distribution: 3 credits
  • Humanities: Must be 2000 level LIT: 3 credits
  • Natural Science: 3 credits
  • Social Science 2000 level: 3 credits

Open Electives: 18 credits

18 credits at any level, no more than 6 one-credit courses

For more information, contact:

Photo of Dan Miller

Dan Miller, Chair, Liberal Studies Department

Photo of Lynne Shea

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


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