Liberal Studies
  • 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 2300 - Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Liberal Studies
      • LBST 3000 - Leadership for Community Engagement
      • LBST 3200 - Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Project
      • LBST 3300 - Methods of Interdisciplinary Research
      • LBST 4900 - 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 (3000–4000-level) (15 cr)
        Choose from English, film studies, fine arts, language, history, liberal studies, philosophy, religious studies, women and gender studies, some Asian studies, and UCOR Humanities and Global Challenges, including five credits in composition/writing
      • Social Sciences (3000–4000-level) (10 cr)
        Choose from anthropology, communications, criminal justice, economics, international studies, nonprofit leadership, political science, psychology, public affairs, sociology, social work, some Asian studies, some addiction studies and UCOR Social Sciences and Global Challenges
      • 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 - 120 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

  • News

    Student Profile: Katy Granath
    Whether focusing on Somali women's health or pornography, Katy Granath took on challenging research assignments. Her efforts were rewarded when she flew to Kentucky to present her findings at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. More here.

    Alumni Profile: Emily Cohen '10
    Social justice, faith, leadership. These values are packed into the DNA of Emily Cohen who in a short time is making a difference in the lives of women, children, and people of faith throughout the country as she works to end sexual abuse and domestic violence. More here.

  • What can I do with a
    Liberal Studies Degree?

    Emily Cohen, HARVARD Divinity School; Nathan Wheeler, 4th grade TEACHER; Chris Holway, YAHOO!; Anna Roberds, MIT at STANFORD; Anneke Meulblok, NON-PROFIT; Bryan Dalton, WA State 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