Oct 28, 2021  
2013-2014 General Catalog (Spring 2014) 
2013-2014 General Catalog (Spring 2014) [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

Liberal Arts - BA

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Program Director: Charlie Huenemann
Location: Main 338B
Phone: (435) 797-0254
FAX: (435) 797-1092
E-mail: charlie.huenemann@usu.edu

Advisor:  Susan Parkinson
Location: Student Center 302
Phone: (435) 797-3883
FAX: (435) 797-2096
E-mail: susie.parkinson@usu.edu

Degree Offered: Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Liberal Arts

The Liberal Arts Major offers a broad and challenging course of study in the humanities, sciences, arts, and social sciences. Emphasizing a multidisciplinary approach to learning, the program encourages the student to seek a full, creative and satisfying expression of his or her individual talents and abilities. By challenging the student’s intellectual curiosity, scholarly habits and attitudes for lifelong education and discovery are developed. 

Through close work with a Liberal Arts advisor, each student develops an individualized program of study. The program offers the opportunity for coursework to prepare for employment or further professional training. Students should define their learning goals early in the program, to make course choices easier. Promoting a synthesis of knowledge between and among disciplines, the student can integrate an understanding of social, cultural, scientific, and political bases of world cultures. To increase knowledge and understanding, the Liberal Arts major requires a demonstration of competence in five major areas:

1. Communication Skills. The ability to speak and write effectively enhances educational and employment opportunities. In addition to courses in writing and interpersonal communication, a student needs two years of a foreign language. This sharpens English language skills and provides abilities for international business opportunities.

2. Civic and Social Skills. Students in the Liberal Arts major are expected to increase their social concerns, participate in political processes, and demonstrate leadership in civic decision-making processes. As such, students are encouraged to broaden their understanding of history, sociology, political science, and philosophy.

3. Analytical Skills. Found in science, mathematics, and many social sciences and humanities classes, analytical skills enable students to analyze problems, develop solutions, and come to understand the physical world around them.

4. Human Relations Skills. Liberal Arts students tend to be people-oriented. Studies in psychology, communication, sociology, and even biological sciences develop an increased understanding and appreciation of the needs of others and of oneself.

5. Personal Competencies. Students are encouraged to establish personal goals and enroll in courses related to professional aspirations or future employment.

Through a multi-disciplinary but coherent approach to learning, the program meets the needs of students majoring in professional fields, as well as those desiring a general background for adaptability and mobility in employment. The Liberal Arts Major offers USU students the training required to be competitive and to contribute effectively in the organizations, professions, and communities of the twenty-first century. 

Although the emphasis of this major is in the humanities and social sciences, the student is encouraged to seek out other educational interests as part of an academic program. The following credit distribution will be typical of most students:

University Studies (30 credits)

The University Studies Program (which is required for all students seeking a bachelor’s degree) consists of two sets of requirements: General Education Requirements and Depth Education Requirements. Included in the General Education Requirements are Competency Requirements, including Communications Literacy and Quantitative Literacy. General Education also includes Breadth Requirements in the areas of American Institutions, Creative Arts, Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences. To complete the Depth Education Requirements, students must complete two Communications Intensive courses, one Quantitative Intensive course, and two Depth courses. For more information about the University Studies Program, as well as lists of courses approved for meeting University Studies Requirements  in this catalog. Students should consult with the program advisor to determine which University Studies courses will best meet their learning goals.

 Focus of Study

The guiding philosophy for the Liberal Arts major is to promote a broadly-based liberal education, providing the student with an understanding and appreciation of history and historical processes, for social and cultural development, for expanded capacities for critical thought, and understandings of the legal and ethical foundations of society.

“The chief ends of a liberal education are a better understanding of the world, a mind disciplined to think accurately and fairly, and discrimination about values.” —Professor Brand Blanchard, from The Uses of a Liberal Education

Program Requirements

Admission GPA: 2.3 USU cumulative, 2.3 minimum career total

Major Requirements:

Minimum Grade: C- in major courses

Minimum Graduation GPA: 2.5 in major courses, 2.0 USU cumulative

Number of Required Credits: 36, 18 must be in upper-division courses

Other Requirements for Major: Must complete the University’s Bachelor of Arts requirements

The focus of study for the Liberal Arts major is to help students gain a basic understanding of the development of civilization, including historical and cultural traditions, political institutions and processes, an appreciation of arts and literature, and expanded capacities for critical thought. Students will work with an academic advisor to develop a program of interdisciplinary courses which will provide this base of knowledge. Although the student’s program should be outlined and approved by the academic advisor, the student will be able to choose from a number of courses and disciplines in defining his or her program of study. The program requirements are as listed:

  •  Four goals for learning have been identified, and courses are selected to fulfill these goals.
  •  Students must choose 9 credits of coursework from each goal for a total of 36 credits.
  •  Students must complete courses from a minimum of two different departments listed under each goal.
  •  Of the 36 total credits, students must earn 18 credits in courses numbered 3000 or higher.
  •  All credits counting in the 36-credit minimum must have a letter grade of C- or better and cannot be taken pass/fail.
  •  At least 18 credits used in the goal areas must be completed at USU.
  •  At least 18 credits used in the goal areas must be no older than 10 years.


The Liberal Arts Goal areas as structured as follows:

Goal 1— Historical and Cultural Traditions

Purpose: To acquire an understanding of the historical and cultural traditions of Western and/or other civilizations.

(9 credits minimum)

Students must choose courses from at least two of the following areas:

• Any History Courses

• Any Anthropology Courses

• Any Folklore Courses

• Any Religious Studies Courses

• World/Regional Geography Courses

• Upper-division Language Courses dealing with culture or civilization (Does not include grammar or conversation courses.)

• Selected Linguistics Courses dealing with culture or civilization


Goal 2— Social and Legal Institutions

Purpose: To develop an understanding of social and legal institutions.

(9 credits minimum)

Students must choose courses from at least two of the following areas:

• Any Sociology Courses

• Any Political Science Courses

• Any Family, Consumer, and Human Development Courses

• Any Economics Courses (except orientation courses)

• Any Psychology Courses (except for study skills or career exploration courses)

• Any Management Courses (except orientation courses or leadership courses)


Goal 3— Arts and Literature

Purpose: To develop and strengthen an appreciation of the arts and literature.

(9 credits minimum)

Courses selected must be theory or history based, not skill based.

Students must choose courses from at least two of the following areas:

• Art

• Theatre Arts

• Music

• Literature (English or Upper-division Foreign Language Courses)

• Selected Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning Courses

• Selected Interior Design Courses


Goal 4— Critical Thinking, Reasoning and Ethical Inquiry

Purpose: To promote habits of critical, reasonable, and ethical inquiry, providing logic and intellectual integrity in seeking truths.

(9 credits minimum)

Students must choose courses from at least two of the following areas:

• Any Philosophy Courses

• Any departmental Ethics Courses

• Upper-division Speech Courses dealing with persuasion, debate, influence, and argumentation.

• Other courses from other areas may be approved in the goals by consultation with the academic advisor.

 ”Methods Course” Requirement: A Statistics or methods course must be taken as part of the 9-credit minimum for Goal 4 if not taken as a part of the University Studies Quantitative Literacy requirement.



Foreign Language Requirement

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree signifies proficiency in one or more foreign languages or American Sign Language. Specifically, the BA requirement may be completed in one of the following ways:

  1. Demonstration of proficiency in one foreign language by successful completion of one course at the 2020-level or higher (or its equivalent).
  2. Demonstration of proficiency in American Sign Language by successful completion of American Sign Language IV (COMD 4920 ) and Socio-Cultural Aspects of Deafness (COMD 4780 ), and by passing an exit interview.
  3. Demonstration of proficiency in two foreign languages by successful completion of the 1020 course level in one language and the 2010 course level in the second language (or its equivalent).
  4. Completion of an upper-division (3000-level or higher) foreign language grammar or literature course requiring the 2020 course level (or its equivalent) as a prerequisite. Conversation courses cannot be considered for satisfying this requirement.

For nonnative English-speaking students only, the following options are available:

  1. Successful completion of the Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) program for international students.
  2. TOEFL, Michigan, or IELI placement scores high enough to meet the University admission criteria. 

Second Majors/Minors/Area Studies Certificates 

Students in the Liberal Arts major are strongly encouraged, but not required, to seek out second majors, strong minors, or area studies certificates, which provide knowledge and prerequisite skills for further professional education or to improve opportunities for employment in the public or private sectors. Students may not use coursework from the Liberal Arts major to fulfill requirements for either their minor(s) or dual major.  

Pre-professional and Elective Credits

Depending on a student’s career objectives, a student may take courses leading to further study in medicine, law, business, or other graduate programs, or continue to study in a number of different disciplines.

Sample Four-year Plan for Liberal Arts Major

A sample semester-by-semester four-year plan for students working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts is available in the CHaSS Advising Center.

Students should consult with their advisor to develop a plan of study tailored to their individual needs and interests.

Additional Information

Details of requirements for the Liberal Arts major, as well as a worksheet for students to record their progress, can be found on the major requirement sheet, available from the College of HaSS Advising Center.

Minimum University Requirements

Total Credits


Grade Point Average (most majors require higher GPA)

2.00 GPA

Credits of C- or better


Credits of upper-division courses (#3000 or above)


USU Credits (30 USU credits, 20 of which must be upper-division courses, 10 of which must be courses required for student’s major)

30 USU credits

Completion of approved major program of study

See college advisor

Credits in minor (if required)


Credits in American Institutions (ECN 1500 ;HIST 1700 , HIST 2700  or HIST 2710 ; HONR 1300 POLS 1100 ; or USU 1300 )


General Education Requirements  and University Studies Depth Requirements 




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