About the Program

The Liberal Studies Department at Grand Valley State University is home to four different academic programs: the Liberal Studies Major (B.A. and B.S.), the Religious Studies Major and Minor (B.A. and B.S.), the Intercultural Training Certificate, and a graduate program, the Professional Master of Arts in Social Innovation.

Liberal Studies students design study plans that suit their specific interests, talents, and career aspirations utilizing courses throughout the university. The program begins with a core of required courses. Then, with the help of a faculty advisor, students develop a major area of study based on a specific theme, issue, problem, or career interest.

Students interested in exploring the liberal studies option might begin by taking one of the core courses in conjunction with the Grand Valley State University general education requirement or one of the integrative or interdisciplinary electives. Students may also wish to make an advising appointment with any one of the faculty from the liberal studies department.


Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in perspective-taking
  • Integrate knowledge and modes of thinking drawn from two or more disciplines
  • Produce an interdisciplinary understanding of a complex problem or intellectual question
  • Demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills at levels required for effective performance in professional and other social or cultural contexts
  • Demonstrate the application of classroom knowledge to real-world problems, questions, and applications
  • Demonstrate social responsibility through campus and/or local civic engagement examining how local action connects to regional, national, and international conditions
  • Demonstrate intercultural understanding: identify, articulate, and apply intercultural competency in terms of multiple world views, experiences, and power structures

Quotes from Alumni:

My eyes were opened to a whole new way of learning

Liberal Studies provided me the freedom to pursue what I am passionate about,
to frame a course of study that encompassed what I looked to accomplish

My degree in LIB provided me an opportunity to develop my career skills and follow my passion.
    – EVA PEÑA

I learned about myself. I learned about the world. I learned how to interact with others and the world. 
I learned my strengths and weaknesses, and I learned to make decisions. I learned to think.
What else is there to an education?    


Movie showing March 27th 4pm

March 27, 2019 4:00 PM

GVSU's Center for Adult and Continuing Studies (ACS) is sponsoring the screening of "Unlikely" a feature length documentary that investigates the college dropout crisis and the systemic...

Oral Histories of the B'Nai Israel Congregation

April 3, 2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

LIB 100/201 Approved GVSU's Dr. Marilyn Preston will discuss the histories of congregants at the B'nai Israel Synagogue in Muskegon, MI. Against the backdrop of rising anti-Semitism and...

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LIB and REL faculty and students attend vigil to remember victims of New Zealand shootings

March 22, 2019

About 100 students, faculty and community members gathered at the Cook Carillon Tower March 21 to honor the victims of the terrorist attack at two New Zealand mosques.

Liberal Studies Major Speaks at Youth Climate Strike

March 22, 2019

Ellen Lavigne, a senior Liberal Studies major at GVSU, helped to organize a local action in Grand Rapids as part of the worldwide Climate Strike.

New Book Published by LIB Faculty Member

February 27, 2019

Dr. Kimberly McKee, assistant professor of Liberal Studies, has published a new book.

Accelerated Leadership Program To Receive National Award

February 27, 2019

The Liberal Studies' Accelerated Leadership Program will be given the Outstanding Adult Learner Program Award by NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education at their annual meeting in March.

Liberal Studies Major Rachael Ocampo speaks out on distracted driving

February 11, 2019

Rachael Ocampo was among the GVSU students who reflected on the impact of zero tolerance policies and distracted driving, following the passage of Battle Creek's recent phone ban.

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Page last modified February 27, 2019