Jul 19, 2024  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, BA

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Sven Arvidson, PhD, Director


Liberal Studies is the interdisciplinary study of the arts and sciences, and it links reflective cognition and community engagement in a way that cultivates humanity.

The integrative study of the humanities, social sciences, and sciences has long been recognized as the finest preparation for a challenging world. The Liberal Studies program is designed for students with initiative, thoughtfulness, and curiosity who want to use their skills and knowledge to make a contribution to society.

Students work closely with an advisor, focusing their plan of study through project-centered work on complex, real-world problems. Coursework is an exciting intellectual and social experience, anchored in strategic major courses and mentoring relationships with professors. Each major establishes an electronic portfolio project within a project-centered curricular design, and the Program houses the Seattle University Consortium of Interdisciplinary Scholars, representing all schools and colleges on campus, to mentor student projects. Majors can take advantage of leadership seminars, youth tutoring, and K-8 teaching preparation courses taught in a local elementary school.

Businesses and communities need creative problem-solvers, leaders and integrative thinkers. Marketable knowledge and skills come from being trained as an interdisciplinarian: project-management, effective communication, teamwork, leadership, strategic thinking, creativity and enterprise. Every major gains work experience in the community through the Seattle University Center for Service and Community Engagement. Recent graduates are pursuing M.A.’s and Ph.D.’s, teaching K-8 in the U.S. and Europe, working in medical fields, law enforcement, non-profits, business management, major tech companies, communications and other professions.

The Liberal Studies program is also recommended for students who plan to teach at the elementary level. Specific courses are recommended by the College of Education, and students planning to become teachers should inform the College of Education as soon as possible. See the Liberal Studies Program website and the statement on Education Advising.


In order to earn the bachelor of arts degree with a major in liberal studies, students must complete a minimum of 180 credits with a cumulative and major/program grade point average of 2.00, including the following:

I. Core Curriculum Requirements

II. College of Arts and Sciences Requirements

  • Modern Language 115, 125, 135, or equivalent (15)


All students with a major in the College of Arts and Sciences must demonstrate competency through the level of 135 in a language other than English. This competency is ordinarily achieved by successful completion of the three-course sequence: 115, 125, and 135. Because these courses are a college requirement, no courses in the sequence may be taken on a pass/fail, correspondence, or audit basis. Placement into other than the beginning course of the sequence is achieved by acceptable performance on the Modern Language Competency Examination. See the Modern Languages Department  for details on the examinations. Courses used to satisfy the College of Arts and Sciences modern language requirement may not be used to fulfill liberal studies major requirements.

III. Major Requirements

60 credits in liberal studies, including:


  1. 40 credits must be taken at 300–400-level (see course descriptions ); 25 of these must be taken at Seattle University.
  2. Courses used to satisfy major or college requirements may not simultaneously fulfill core requirements.
  3. No more than 15 credits from this major will be counted towards any minor.

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