Liberal Studies
    An Interdisciplinary Program

    Liberal Studies at Seattle University is the interdisciplinary study of the arts and sciences, and it links metacognition and community engagement in a way that cultivates humanity. It is for students who have decided to gain a wide-ranging education rather than be narrowly focused.

    The Liberal Studies major affords the flexibility to structure your own program while providing you with solid preparation for a rewarding career or graduate school.

    Students work closely with an advisor, focusing their plan of study through project-centered work on complex, real-world problems. Coursework is an exciting intellectual and social experience, anchored in strategic major courses and mentoring relationships with professors.

    Why pursue a Liberal Studies degree?

    Because businesses and communities need creative problem-solvers, leaders and integrative thinkers. Because it is no longer enough to be narrowly trained in one discipline. Majors obtain broad intellectual experience and specialized skills.

    • Career opportunities for Liberal Studies majors are boundless. Recent graduates are pursuing M.A.'s and Ph.D.'s, teaching K-8 in the U.S. and Europe, working in medical fields, law enforcement, non-profits, business management, start-ups and major tech companies, communications and more.
    • Marketable knowledge and skills come from being trained as an interdisciplinarian: project-management, effective communication, teamwork, leadership, strategic thinking, creativity and enterprise.
    • Every major gains work experience in the community through SU Center for Service and Community Engagement.

    Degree Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

    Major: Students can major (60 credits) in Liberal Studies and easily coordinate their Liberal Studies major with a second major in another discipline or with a minor.

      Strategic Core (25 credits): Majors develop interdisciplinary scholarship, community engagement, and metacognition (reflective thinking) through five strategic courses.

      • LBST 230 - Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Liberal Studies
      • LBST 300 - Leadership for Community Engagement
      • LBST 301 - Methods of Interdisciplinary Research
      • LBST 302 - Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Project
      • LBST 490 - Senior Synthesis

      Areas of Knowledge (35 credits): Majors work closely with professors and advisors to choose from scores of courses in four areas of knowledge.

      • Humanities (300–400-level) (15 cr)
        Choose from English, fine arts, language, history, liberal studies, film studies, philosophy, and religious studies, including five credits in composition/writing
      • Social Sciences (300–400-level) (10 cr)
        Choose from Anthropology, Asian studies, communications, criminal justice, economics, nonprofit leadership, international studies, political science, psychology, public affairs, sociology, social work, women and gender studies
      • Natural Science Elective (any level) (5 cr)
      • Math, Statistics, Computer Graphics, or Computer Science Elective (any level) (5 cr)

    Unique to Liberal Studies

    • The Electronic Portfolio is established by majors in their first course and maintained through graduation (a first at SU). As majors progress, they gather accomplishments, reflect on them, and can invite friends, family, and prospective employers to view accomplishments.
    • Project-Centered Coursework is an innovative curricular design in which majors tackle real-world problems. Majors engage in complex tasks that include planning, design, problem-solving, creating artifacts, and communicating results. Rather than supervisors, faculty become mentors to engaged and self-motivated students.
    • The Consortium of Interdisciplinary Scholars is housed in Liberal Studies - 100 esteemed professors from every school on campus, Business, Law, Education, etc., willing to mentor our students.
    • Leadership Seminars and Youth Development are uniquely offered in Liberal Studies, in association with Seattle University Youth Initiative and the Center for Service and Community Engagement. Majors secure real world experience working with school children, non-profits, and the community.
    • K-8 Teacher preparation courses, a specialty possible within the major, are held at Bailey Gatzert Elementary, blocks away from SU. Interested majors work tutoring children as part of the course and then attend class on site.

    "Liberal Studies Majors, for me, are the most remarkable students on campus. They seek more than narrow disciplinary work, and instead pursue broader understanding of complex real-world problems by integrating insights drawn from these disciplines. In other words, they work and think at the most challenging, academic level possible - interdisciplinary scholarship." ~ Sven Arvidson, Ph.D., Program Director

  • What can I do with a
    Liberal Studies Degree?

    -Kayce Callen,  pursuing M.Ed in Teaching, SU
    -Emily Cohen  non-profit coordinator
    -Chris Holway,   tech accounts director
    -Rhiannon Cadelinia,   3rd grade teacher
    -Carlee Norquist,   pursuing M.A., Sports Admin, SU
    -Sara Stockett,  marketing and sales
    -Bryan Dalton,   juvenile counselor
      See more jobs here.

    Declaring a Major in
    Liberal Studies

    It’s simple! Come to the Liberal Studies Program (Casey 4th Floor) and complete a form declaring your major in Liberal Studies. You will be assigned a faculty advisor right away. And you will be encouraged to meet Dr. Sven Arvidson, Director of Liberal Studies.

    Student Leadership Council 2013-14

     Taylor Barkee '15,
     Justine Devers '14,
     Ali Fragoso '14
     Katherine Granath '14
     Allason Leitz '14
     Tyler Russell '14