About the Department
Do any of these statements describe you?
“I just graduated from my community college and I am exploring bachelor degree programs.”
“I am a student who is interested in a multi-disciplinary degree.”
“I am pursuing a different UIS major and I discovered that the major isn’t really for me.”
“I started college right after high school, but then I got a job and had a family and didn’t finish my degree.”
If you answered “yes” to any of these, then Liberal Studies could be the exact degree you are looking for. Liberal Studies is a nontraditional program. To better understand this idea, you might start by considering what is “traditional” in higher education.
A Traditional Approach
Traditional degrees, like English, Biology, Business Administration, etc., are perfect for students who are passionate about a specific academic discipline. To provide a strong foundation in the discipline, traditional degrees determine what courses students must take and, in some cases, the order in which they must take them. There is nothing wrong with this approach, but it may mean you end up taking courses you’d rather not take or, if you get out of sequence, that you have a hard time getting the courses you need each semester. And, by the time you complete the requirements, you may have very little room left to take electives to explore your goals and interests.
The Liberal Studies Non-Traditional Approach
Our non-traditional approach is for students who are more passionate about ideas than they are a traditional academic discipline. For example, you may be passionate about environmental issues. For some students, a traditional degree in environmental studies might serve this passion. But, if you are more intrigued by the idea of environmental issues than you are the discipline, you could explore your interest by taking courses in environmental studies, history, philosophy, anthropology, etc.
To make this possible, Liberal Studies students take only two required courses which gives them the freedom to explore their interests using our Boyer model as a guide.
This freedom is why Liberal Studies is an attractive option for many types of students.
- Recent community college graduate: our program was literally designed for you in 1970. We’ll let you bring as many as 72 community college hours into the program and give you the chance to broaden your knowledge and skills with a variety of advanced courses.
- Interested in a multidisciplinary degree: this is what our Boyer model is all about. Not only can you pursue your interests in many fields; you will develop an understanding of how your varied experiences result in unified degree that serves your life goals.
- Discovered that your current major isn’t for you: you can use the freedom of choosing from many electives to avoid starting back at square one when you change your major. You’ll start by considering how your completed courses fit within our Boyer model and then fill in the gaps with future courses.
- Rebooting a degree that you left unfinished: you do need to complete current requirements but with proper planning and a little advice, you may be able to simply continue where you left off.