College of Liberal ArtsBachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

Program Overview

The main goal of the Liberal Studies curriculum is to assist students in developing their analytical, critical thinking, reading, writing and research skills, as they progress through a challenging curriculum that is primarily of their own design. The curriculum is a broad-based liberal arts degree, primarily focused on upper division coursework selected by the student in keeping with his/her professional and academic goals. This program is designed to the meet the needs of working adults and offers flexible course scheduling, credits for work experience, and the opportunity to apply transfer credits. All students in the Liberal Studies major will begin their studies with Liberal Arts 2096, Introduction to Liberal Studies and later in the program, all students will take American Studies 2098, Reading Culture. Each student will choose either the Humanities or Social Science track and will then choose a “concentration” within a CLA department.

Curriculum and Courses

All students in the Liberal Studies major begin their studies in Liberal Arts 2096, Introduction to Liberal Studies. This writing intensive, interdisciplinary course brings students together and (re)introduces the idea of academic research, writing, and participation in the academic enterprise. Instructors will select a topic of their choice and examine it from a variety of perspectives and viewpoints in the various disciplines of the liberal arts. This is a new course in the undergraduate curriculum, its graduate counterpart in the Masters of Liberal Arts curriculum is specially designed for the adult learner returning to college after some absence.

Later in their program of study, all Liberal Studies majors will take American Studies 2098, Reading Culture, to complete the second required writing intensive course for the General Education Curriculum. This course will focus on a specific period of American culture and examine various kinds of cultural icons, practices, behaviors and art to determine how the political context influenced the lives of Americans during this period. This course is already offered on a regular basis and is offered by several faculty members in history, English, and American Studies.

Students must select a track, either Humanities or Social Sciences and follow the requirements of that track. Critical Thinking (either Philosophy 1055 for Humanities students or Psychology 1004 for Social Science majors) is the foundations-level course for this major.

Students select a “concentration” of five courses all taken in a single department in their chosen track, all of which are numbered 2000-4999. If a particular course requires a lower-level prerequisite, this prerequisite is taken in addition to the required upper level courses of their program. Four “breadth” courses selected from other departments within their chosen track. In lieu of the CLA Distribution requirement, students in the Bachelor of Liberal Studies major will take four courses numbered 2000-4999 in the “other” track (Humanities or Social Sciences).


Example Curricula

Social Science Track with Anthropology Concentration

  • LA 2096 Approaches to Liberal Studies
  • PSY 1004 (and 1001) Critical Thinking
  • AMST 2098 Reading Culture
  • ANTH 2000-4999 (5 courses)
  • 4 courses in other Social Science departments (including Interdisciplinary programs)
  • 4 courses in Humanities departments

Humanities Track with a Greek and Roman Classics Concentration

  • LA 2096 Approaches to Liberal Studies
  • PSY 1004 (and 1001) Critical Thinking
  • AMST 2098 Reading Culture
  • GRC 2000-4999 (5 courses)
  • 4 courses in other Humanities  departments
  • 4 courses in Social Science departments (including Interdisciplinary programs)


Resources/Helpful Links

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How will a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies help me in my current job?

    A Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies focuses on the development of critical thinking, research and communication – these skills can greatly assist you in any job, particularly if you aspire to move up in your profession. In addition, by receiving a bachelor’s degree, you will have access to a vast alumni network as well as ongoing support from Temple’s Career Services Office.

  • What sort of new career opportunities will be available to me with this degree?

    In addition to the possibility of a promotion in your current profession, a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies could also open new doors of opportunity for graduate school and further professional development. You also have the option to pursue internship opportunities to experience different professional fields.

  • How much will this degree cost me? And how does it compare to other regional universities and colleges?

    Comparatively, Temple has one of the least expensive per credit rate in the Philadelphia region. For details, please visit the Bursar’s tuition calculator.

  • Within Liberal Studies, what are my options when choosing a track?  Can I design my own track of study?

    Within the Liberal Studies program, you will have the option to choose either the Social Science or Humanities track. You can design your course of study by choosing to concentrate in one particular program/department. You can also select electives in Social Sciences or Humanities that support your professional and personal goals.

  • How do I earn credits for work experience?

    You will have the opportunity to earn up to 6 elective credits by preparing a portfolio detailing your work experience.

  • Does this program include the opportunity for an internship?

    Yes, like many CLA programs, you will have an opportunity to work in a desired field and location for internship credits.

  • What makes this different than other undergraduate CLA degrees?

    The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies has been created for those who never got the chance to finish their degree. This degree gives you the opportunity to have a say in your higher educational plan, work at your own pace, and expand your skills for current and future employment. In addition, this degree not only gives you the opportunity to transfer credits for course work you have already completed, but receive up to six credit for portfolio of work experience.