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, and 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. Once admitted, incoming first-year and transfer students must meet with an academic advisor in the Academic Success Center to discuss a program of study. These students will then take LS-190, during which they will submit a written plan of study to the Chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department with a rationale for the selection of the areas of study. Once approved, this plan of study is reflected in the student's Degree Audit.

Current Worcester State students who want to change from undeclared status or from other majors must also meet with an academic advisor in the Academic Success Center before changing majors. Those who want to pursue a Liberal Studies major will be required to enroll in LS-190. During this course, they will submit a written program 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 allows 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 each of the two areas of study.

Minors Available at Worcester State University

Requirements for the Liberal Studies major

In addition to meeting the 40-credit Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum (LASC) requirements for all undergraduates, Liberal Studies majors complete a minimum of 39 credits from two areas of study.

The first area (18-27 credits) must be completed in an established minor at Worcester State University.

The second area (15 or more credits) may be 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 9 credits in the Liberal Studies student’s two 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 Worcester State University. To receive a baccalaureate degree from Worcester State University, a student must complete 30 of the last 40 credits at Worcester State University.

In addition, all Liberal Studies students must take:

LS-190St: Introduction to Liberal Studies3-4
LS-490Capstone/Senior Research in Liberal Studies 13
Two optional courses are designed to allow for flexibility in the major and to provide a deeper understanding of an interdisciplinary education:
LS-290St: Intermediate Liberal Studies3-4
LS-390St: Advanced Liberal Studies3-4

1  Students who have completed 30 credits between areas one and two of their program of study may enroll in the capstone. 

Each Liberal Studies major is required to maintain an e-portfolio of work produced in the student’s various courses, beginning in LS-190 and culminating inLS-490.

Evening students: Students 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.

Students are required to meet with their academic advisor to review their courses for the upcoming semester. A minimum of 120 credits is required for graduation.  First-year and transfer students with 45 or fewer credits at the time of admission shall complete two academic programs (a major/major or major/minor) to qualify for graduation.  For more information, please view the MajorPlus section of this catalog.

LS-190 St: Introduction to Liberal Studies

A special topics course that introduces students to interdisciplinary scholarship and learning as well as student-initiated/directed learning.

Every year. 3-4 Credits

LS-290 St: Intermediate Liberal Studies

This course focuses on a particular area of study that requires students to show mastery of the topic and a critical understanding of interdisciplinary learning and research methods.

3-4 Credits

LS-390 St: Advanced Liberal Studies

This course is organized around a particular subject area or research methodology problem. Students engage in joint or individual scholarship related to the course topic.

3-4 Credits

LS-401 Liberal Studies Honors Thesis

The honors thesis represents an advanced research project culminating in a written liberal arts thesis that extends a student's Liberal Studies course of study.

3 Credits

LS-402 Liberal Studies Honors Research

The honors scientific or social scientific research project includes a written paper reporting on the project's results and extends to an advanced level a student's Liberal Studies course of study.

3 Credits

LS-403 Liberal Studies Creative Honors Project/ Portfolio

The honors creative work/portfolio extends to an advanced level a student's Liberal Studies course of study in the areas of the visual arts, theater, music, dance, literature, filmmaking, or another area of creative expression.

3 Credits

LS-408 Directed Study: Liberal Studies

Fall and Spring. 1-3 Credits

LS-480 Liberal Studies Intership

Prerequisites: LS-190 Student must be a declared Liberal Studies major.

This is an internship in Liberal Studies. It is appropriate for an internship experience that is part of a student's Liberal Studies course of study but that does not fit in an existing discipline with an internship course at WSU.

Other or on demand. 1-6 Credits

LS-490 Capstone/Senior Research in Liberal Studies

LASC Categories: CAP, WAC

Prerequisites: LS-190 and at least 30 credits toward the Liberal Studies major.

This course provides an opportunity for students to compile evidence and reflect on the courses and independent work comprising their Liberal Studies major. Students will be expected to develop a cohesive narrative of their course of study.

3 Credits