Students who major in liberal studies may receive either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. The B.A. degree requires third-semester proficiency in a foreign language. The B.S. degree requires the following cognate sequence: STA 215, US 300, and PHI 103.

1.  Core courses (18 credits). All majors are required to take the following courses:

  •   LIB 100 Introduction to Liberal Education
  •   PHI 102 Ethics or PHI 325 Professional Ethics
  •   LIB 311 Meaning or LIB 312 Dialogue, Integration and Action
  •   LIB 400 Visionary Thinkers or LIB 401 Visionary Thinkers in the American Mosaic
  •   LIB 201 Diversity in the United States
  •   LIB 301 Interdisciplinary Research Methods (also serves as B.S. cognate course - formerly US 300)

2.  Liberal Studies Integrative Electives. All majors are required to select a body of at least three elective courses (9cr). Students may select their electives from across the entire Grand Valley curriculum. The liberal studies committee recommends that students in the lower levels of study consider structuring their electives as a career component of their study plan, including areas such as business, computer science, and international study.

3.  Emphasis (18 credits, at least 15 of which must be upper-division courses). In preparing the study plan, students will select courses organized around an academic discipline, an area of professional preparation, or a problem, issue, or theme in human experience. Examples of emphasis areas include:

  • American Studies
  • Environmental Studies , Sustainability
  • Business and Economics
  • Religious Studies
  • The Self and Its Commitments
  • Childhood Development and Literature
  • Writing in a Variety of Disciplines
  • Oppression and Human Rights
  • Cultural Studies
  • Social Relations
  • Business and Society
  • Scientific Culture and the Humanities
  • Technical and Scientific Communications
  • Peace Studies
  • Humanities
  • Community Studies
  • Pre-law and premed could also be merged into a Lib major

4. Application and Synthesis (five credits or more)

  • LIB 490 Internship - A supervised work experience through which students can relate liberal studies principles, academic work, and practice. Student, faculty, and advisors agree on the scope of the study, its components, and methods of evaluation. Prerequisite: Senior standing and a 3.0 GPA in the major. Variable credit. Offered every semester.


  • LIB 491 Practicum - Two or more credit hours during which the student's emphasis area is considered in a public or community setting. This might take the form of an internship, a case study, field involvement, or attendance at a conference, and should result in a statement evaluating the theory and practice of the liberal arts in this context. Variable credits.


  • LIB 495 Senior Seminar - Research and investigation from an interdisciplinary perspective, conducted in a seminar format. This will result in an integrative paper on the subject of the student's liberal studies emphasis. Three credits.


Page last modified July 22, 2014