ACADEMICS

  • Liberal Studies

    The liberal studies major provides students a flexible, customized alternative to existing programs of study while fostering academic excellence in interdisciplinary learning. Liberal studies majors may earn either the bachelor of arts or the bachelor of science degree.

    As an individualized program, the liberal studies major prepares students for life after college through a broad-based liberal arts education and the fulfillment of these overarching learning outcomes: interdisciplinary learning; career development; entrepreneurship and self-advocacy; and engaged citizenship.

    The liberal studies major serves:

    • Incoming first-year students who have a clear sense of their academic goals and want to craft their own major of study
    • Transfer students who want to maximize the use of previously earned credits by designing their own major
    • Students who have not selected a major of study or who decide not to complete their initial intended major
    • Adult students who may already be working in their desired field but seek a degree completion program

    Admission requirements: Students interested in the liberal studies major must meet the standard admissions criteria for Worcester State University. Incoming first-year and transfer students must meet with the director of liberal studies once they are admitted to WSU to discuss a program of study. These students will be required to enroll in LS 190 Introduction to Liberal Studies. During this course they will submit a written plan of study to the director with a rationale for the selection of the areas of study. Once approved, this plan of study becomes the student's degree audit.

    Current Worcester State students who want to change from undeclared status or from other majors must also meet with the director of liberal studies before changing majors. Those who want to pursue a liberal studies major will be required to enroll in LS 190 Introduction to Liberal Studies. During this course they will submit a written plan of study to the director with a rationale for the selection of the areas of study.

    This development of a program of study and review process allow for important conversations about a student’s academic and professional goals, the best use of transfer credits, and the selection of the two primary areas of study.

    Standards for Minimum Academic Performance in the Liberal Studies Major
    Liberal studies majors must meet the requirements for graduation as specified in the Undergraduate Catalog. These include the completion of a minimum of 120 credits with a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and a minimum 2.0 grade point average in the 2 areas of study.

    Requirements for the Liberal Studies Major
    In addition to meeting the Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum (LASC) requirements for all undergraduates, which is 40 credits, the liberal studies major will complete a minimum of 39 credits from 2 areas of study.

    The first area (18-24 credits) must be completed at Worcester State University in one of the University’s established minors.

    The second area (15 or more credits) may be either another of the University’s established minors, a concentration, or a self-designed cluster of classes. A maximum of 18 credits may be transferred in to this second area of the major. At least 15 credits in the liberal studies student’s 2 areas must be at the 300-level or above. The program of study plan must reflect that at least 51 percent of the major credits are taken at WSU. To receive a baccalaureate degree from WSU, a student must complete 30 of the last 40 credits at WSU.

    In addition, all liberal studies students must take:

    • LS 190: Special Topic—Introduction to Liberal Studies (3-4 credits)
    • LS 490: Liberal Studies Capstone (3 credits)

    Two optional courses are designed to allow for flexibility in the major and to provide a deeper understanding of an interdisciplinary education:

    • LS 290: Special Topic—Intermediate Liberal Studies (3-4 credits)
    • LS 390: Special Topic—Advanced Liberal Studies (3-4 credits)

    Each liberal studies major will be required to maintain an e-portfolio of work produced in the student’s various courses, beginning in LS 190 and culminating in LS 490.

    Evening students:
    Those wishing to declare a liberal studies major may, depending on the chosen areas of study, complete the required courses in the evening or during the summer.

    Honors program: Liberal studies majors with a 3.3 GPA or higher who wish to graduate with honors may add a 3-credit research project, creative work/portfolio, or thesis to the individualized plan of study.

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    Barbara Zang

    Program Director
    Learning Resource Center
    Office LRC-305A
    508-929-8015
    bzang@worcester.edu