Liberal Studies - Online Degree Programs

Liberal Studies 

A Liberal Studies degree allows students to combine coursework from a variety of academic subjects to help them develop a broad base of skills necessary for becoming a leader in the workplace.

The Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree combines coursework in a number of disciplines, focusing on improving critical thinking and communication skills. This degree makes an excellent choice for students who are looking to build upon previous college coursework or are interested in exploring ideas and subjects from different academic areas. Liberal Studies is also excellent preparation for many graduate programs!

Earn your Degree in About Two Years

For full time students who already have earned an AAS degree, the online Liberal Studies program can be completed in as little as two years. Depending on your educational background and preferred schedule, it may take more time.

Browse the Courses

The Liberal Studies program consists of general education courses, required core courses, and elective courses.

 Download the Liberal Studies course worksheet.

Previous credits and prior work experience may count for some requirements. Contact an advisor for a credit transfer estimate!

University Studies Program Requirements

  • Quest I, II and III (for students who transfer 0–15 credits)
  • Transition Year Experience (for students who transfer 16–59 credits)
  • Quest Writing (3 credits)
  • Quest Speaking (3 credits)
  • Math (3 credits)
  • Laboratory Science (8 credits)
  • Culture Electives (9 credits)
  • Society Electives (9 credits)
  • Ethnic Studies Elective (3 credits)
  • Advanced Writing (3 credits)

Core Courses and Program Electives

Communication 216: Online Interpersonal Communication (3 cr)

Examination and explanation of the components of interpersonal speech communication. Lectures, discussions, observations, and controlled experiences will enable the student to learn and apply relevant concepts and variables of human interaction in dyadic, face-to-face communication situations. Intercultural Communication focused. .

Communication 384: Online Business & Professional Speaking (3 cr)

An examination of the unique communication problems and practices in business and industry. Through investigation, case study and practical exercises students should understand and be able to participate effectively in a variety of communication experiences faced by managers in business and the professions.

Liberal Studies 208: The Ecology of Occupation (3 cr)

Examines the relationship between occupation (both work and discretionary) and values, identity and health/wellness in contemporary society. Focuses on the complex variables (economic, psychological, sociological, genetic) which affect occupational choice, and hence our freedom (or lack thereof) to engage in meaningful, rewarding occupation.

Liberal Studies 209: Critical Thinking & Writing (3 cr)

Introduces the concepts related to self-directed, life-long learning with a focus on various types of thinking and writing skills through exposure to a broad range of academic subjects. Students will be introduced to the principles and processes involved in developing a learning portfolio, which will be required in their Capstone course.

Liberal Studies 230: Introduction to Leadership (3 cr)

This course will introduce students to a variety of theories and issues involved with leadership, including power and influence; vision, values and ethics; effecting change through teams and coalition; and the importance of embracing diversity. Examples will be drawn from a broad range of contexts, including organizations, education, politics, and communities.

Liberal Studies 301: 
Contemporary Global Issues and Problems (3 cr)

This course explores the ethical and religious dimensions of several global challenges in contemporary international society: (1) the expanding role of religion as a motivation for violence as well as a force for justice and peace; (2) the increasing deterioration of the global environment; (3) international efforts to protect human rights in countries where there is systematic oppression or genocide; and (4) the chronic gap in wealth between rich and poor nations.

Liberal Studies 302
: Contemporary Technology and Trends (3 cr)

Examines the history, operation, economics, and applications of computer technology and its significance in contemporary life. Consideration is given to a careful description of present technology and what some of the main decisions are that must be made if humanity is to utilize and control this technology.

Liberal Studies 305
: Religious and Ethical Values in American Society (3 cr)

This course examines the role of religion in American public life historically and in recent times. It provides a perspective on the meaning of the separation of church and state as understood by the Founding Fathers, as interpreted by Supreme Court over time, and in current political debates. The course also analyzes a variety of ethical and religious perspectives that underline contemporary cultural conflicts over the proper direction of some of our most important social institutions-the family, schools, and the legal system. Finally the course explores the moral and religious arguments surrounding four critical issues-abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and affirmative action-and what public policies should result from these positions.

Liberal Studies 309: 
Development of Scientific Ideas (3 cr)

Encourage analysis and understanding of the ideas that have effected scientific developments over the last two thousand years. Examines the growing ability of scientists to understand the phenomenon of nature; specifically, it peruses seminal ideas in astronomy, biology, physics and other sciences. Addresses broad scientific ideas and notes their practical significance for man. Prerequisites: concurrent or prior enrollment Liberal Studies 209 or department consent.

Liberal Studies 335: Transformative Leadership (3 cr)

Transformative leadership is a creative, passionate, and authentic expression of service inspired by the leadership wisdom of Bennis, Drucker, Greanleaf, Hesselbein, Hooks, and Quinn. In this course, learners will have the opportunity to identify and develop individually unique and effective leadership styles and approaches. Through a combination of inventories, reflection, and experiential activities, learners will explore their passion and what constrains their leadership as well as how they impact and influence others. Learners also will observe and analyze the leadership styles of leaders with whom they associate.

Liberal Studies 336: Collaborative Leadership Dynamics (3 cr)

This course is designed to introduce a theoretical framework for collaborative leadership and the elements of group dynamics that support and maintain its success. Opportunities to integrate theory and practice will be provided to assist learners in understanding how groups function and how they as leaders, impact the ability/behaviors of the group for solving personal, interpersonal, group and organizational problems.

Liberal Studies 337: Conflict Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration (3 cr)

Designed to introduce learners to the study of ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution, this course explores the resolution of conflict through negotiation, mediation and arbitration. A variety of approaches for resolving conflict are examined, from the adjudicative (arbitration, private or special judging, neutral fact-finding), to the evaluative (peer, lay, judicial, and expert evaluation) to the meditative. Emphasis is given to the meditative process and its usefulness in a wide range of venues. Learners will be given multiple opportunities to integrate theory and practice in the development of conflict resolution skills.

Liberal Studies 338: Mentoring and Development (3 cr)

This course will examine the principles and techniques of effective mentoring, the mentor as a change agent within the organizational entity and the impact mentoring programs have in organizational settings overall. Students will examine and critically analyze their own mentoring experiences as well as the content of existing programs, and propose recommendations on how to develop or enhance a mentoring culture in a given organization.

Liberal Studies 410: Capstone Seminar (3 cr)

Designed as a culminating or “capstone” learning experience, this course focuses on the integration of concepts and ideas from previous Liberal Studies courses.

Liberal Studies 411: Senior Research Seminar (3 cr)

The Senior Research Seminar provides an overview of approaches to research and the assumption that underline each. Particular emphasis is given to the correspondence between research methods and epistemological orientation. Students develop a research question and perform a preliminary literature review around a topic of their choice. This course is the prerequisite companion course to Liberal Studies 412, the Senior Research Project.

Liberal Studies 436: Senior Project (3 cr) (14 weeks)

This course is designed as a culminating or “capstone” learning experience for adults nearing the completion of the baccalaureate degree through Online and Continuing Education. The fundamental aim of the course is to equip participants with the learning capacities and competencies necessary for continued personal, civic and career growth. This course is an individually planned learning project that combines the concepts and ideas mastered through coursework with actual workplace environments. The student, the instructor and a workplace mentor will agree on an applied learning project. Goals, objectives, and a preliminary plan will be approved in writing by all three parties before the project is begun. The project will be supervised by the University instructor and the workplace mentor and will include a literature review and commentary, original work and a final report and presentation.

100 Percent Online and Accelerated

The Liberal Studies program is offered completely online! Most courses are delivered in an accelerated, 7-week session, which offers additional flexibility for students working full time.

Courses are delivered through Desire 2 Learn (D2L). Students interact with their professors and classmates through online discussion, class lectures, and a drop box for assignments. There are no required scheduled meeting times, but there are deadlines and due dates for projects, assignments and discussions.

Transfer up to 90 Credits

Most students in the online Liberal Studies program who already have an AAS degree transfer in about 60 credits, but we can accept up to 90 credits of previous college-level coursework.

One of our advisors will be happy to review your previous coursework and prepare a personalized planner that will help you understand how your associate degree or other credits will transfer and what coursework you will need to complete to earn your Liberal Studies degree. Complete our prospective student form, and an advisor will contact you to assess your transfer credits.

Affordable and Flexible

Our tuition—$360 per credit for *Liberal Studies coures—makes budgeting for your degree easy. Financial aid is available for students who qualify, and we also welcome Veteran’s benefits and employer reimbursement. For more information on financial aid options, please contact the Office of Financial Aid.

*Please note that courses taken outside of your degree requirements may have additional fees*

Admissions Requirements

The online Liberal Studies program is a major within the Bachelor of Liberal Studies(BLS). Students in the BLS program are not required to have any previous college credits; however, many students transfer credits from other institutions.

Students who apply to the online degree programs do not need to take the ACT, SAT or placement exams. Visit our “how to apply” page for step-by-step instructions on applying to the University.

 Visit our Admissions page for more information on how to apply to the University.

Get a free transfer credit evaluation!

If you have an associate degree or previous college credits, you can find out how your credits transfer before you apply!

Contact a Leadership Development advisor to see how your credits transfer. You can fill out our prospective student form or contact Laurie Ahrens directly at (920) 424-4474 or

A Supportive Community

From small classes to dedicated advisors, online Liberal Studies students have a strong support network from day one. Excellent campus resources—like the writing center, library, and academic advising—are all available to serve online students.

Contact a pre-advisor today for an individualized evaluation.

Learning Outcomes

Liberal Studies graduates work in a variety of fields and in different levels of leadership. Therefore the learning objectives for this program are broad enough that students can apply lessons learned in their workplace as well as improve their career potential, no matter what discipline within which they work.

Learning outcomes are supported by the curriculum and course instruction.

The seven learning outcomes for the online Liberal Studies program are: 

  • Be able to apply theoretical and conceptual knowledge to lived experience in community, career, and personal contexts.
  • Be able to express one’s ideas clearly and effectively to a variety of audiences, both orally and in writing.
  • Be able to synthesize knowledge from multiple disciplines to assess and develop decision-making ability.
  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of contemporary national and global issues.
  • Be able to demonstrate competence in capacities for self-directed lifelong learning.
  • Be able to interact effectively with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.
  • Be able to identify and articulate one’s own values and make decisions consistent with them.

A Wide Variety of Career and Post-Graduation Options

Liberal Studies is a degree that prepares students to understand the interplay between academic disciplines, to refine their communication skills, and to be strong critical thinkers. The skills learned and practiced in this degree are relevant to many careers, especially those that involve problem solving and the ability to communicate effectively. A degree in Liberal Studies also makes a strong foundation for graduate-level study.


Online Degree Programs

Lincoln Hall, Second Floor
608 Algoma Blvd.
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.









Phone: (920) 424-0234