Explore your academic interests across multiple disciplines with a major in liberal arts and studies at Dean College.

In today’s ever-changing world, the ability to synthesize information and solve complex problems is in great demand. With a major in liberal arts and studies from Dean College, you’ll have the flexible mindset and broad perspective that employers prize. 

Program Overview

Take charge of your education, and design your own course of study. With a major in liberal arts and studies, you can customize your experience by choosing courses across the disciplines. 

Working closely with a faculty mentor, you’ll focus your coursework around a multidisciplinary or theme-based area of study. Examples include: American Studies; Women’s Studies; Race and Society; Arts and Social Change; and Family Studies.

Throughout your studies, you’ll draw on multiple disciplines and perspectives to develop a nuanced understanding of the world. You’ll develop a flexible mindset along with the power to think critically, solve problems, synthesize information and make decisions. And you’ll prepare to succeed, no matter what your future holds. 

Fields of Study

In the Liberal Arts and Studies program, you will work with a faculty mentor and your success and career advisor to design your own track/area of specialization, focusing on a multidisciplinary and/or theme-based perspective and incorporating courses in the Dean College curriculum. Areas of specialization (tracks) include:

Family and Childhood Studies

The Family & Childhood Studies track emphasizes the study of the family. You will have the opportunity to learn about family development, relationships, dynamics, functioning, and health from multiple perspectives.You will examine the many cultural, community, and socioeconomic contexts in which families operate and study interventions used to support families. This track will prepare you for a career working with youth and families in various settings.  

Global Studies

Our world has become deeply interconnected, and global awareness is now essential to a wide array of careers including those in politics, business, tourism, education, and non-governmental organizations. The Global Studies track within the Liberal Arts and Studies major will prepare you for a career or graduate study with a global focus. 

Drawing upon a variety of disciplines, Global Studies encourages you to think through and compare the unique and universal aspects of world societies. You will have the opportunity to study the ongoing process of globalization, as well as its origins, development, and current impact.

Emphasizing hands-on experience, the program requires you to get to know at least one non-U.S. culture through a semester abroad, overseas study travel courses, or foreign language study.

Health and Society 

The Health and Society track will provides you with the opportunity to explore multiple perspectives from both the natural and social sciences on health, health care, and related systems and policies. You will build a foundation of knowledge in how the human body functions and the behaviors that impact health. You will also engage in a critical analysis of the social determinants of health and health behaviors of diverse populations, the distribution of health care, and the formulation of health-related policy. 

Human Services

The Human Services track explores the profession of human services practice from multiple perspectives across diverse sites with various service populations. It will introduce you to the basic skills and duties of human service practitioners. You will also have the opportunity to explore the lived experiences of social problems, and the history and development of human services fields. Additional focus will be placed on the ethical and evidence-based delivery of services to clients and consumers in a range of professional settings. 

Interdisciplinary / Individually Designed 

The Interdisciplinary option is designed for students who want to develop an individual program of study based on Dean College’s curriculum, with the flexibility of enrolling in courses across academic disciplines. It is an appropriate major for those who are interested in exploring a variety of academic disciplines and/or would like to take courses from a major without having to commit to completing all courses for the major.


According to the American Bar Association (ABA) no particular major is necessary to prepare for law school, but it’s essential to gain specific skills, knowledge, and experience. The Pre-Law track within the Liberal Arts and Studies major is designed to allow students to focus their studies on the ABA’s recommended “Core Skills, Values, Knowledge, and Experience”which include:

  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Reading
  • Writing and Editing 
  • Oral Communication and Listening
  • Research 
  • Organization and Management
  • Public Service and Promotion of Justice
  • Relationship-building and Collaboration
  • Background Knowledge in History, Politics, and Society 
  • Exposure to the Law 

As a student in the Pre-Law track, you will take foundational courses in U.S. History, American Government, and Criminal Procedure. You will build knowledge through further study in these or related disciplines. At the upper-division, you will gain exposure to legal studies through at least two applied law courses in business, sport management, arts management, or media law. You will also refine their critical reading, writing, editing, research, and problem solving skills by taking two upper-division English or History electives.  

Beyond the Classroom

At Dean College, some of the most important learning experiences happen outside the classroom. 

As a liberal arts and studies major, you’ll complete at least one comprehensive internship with an employer such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Campaign for Youth Justice, The Washington Center or an office on campus. 

When you graduate, you’ll be well prepared to enter graduate or professional school or launch a rewarding career in any field. Our graduates go on to careers in business, communications, criminal justice, education, health care, human resources and many more. 

Uniquely Dean

What makes our Liberal Arts and Studies program best of breed? 

  • Practice your skills in a real-world environment
  • Learn from working professionals who visit campus to share their experiences and offer advice and counsel 

Degree Offerings

  • Bachelor's Degree*
    • Concentrations/Specializations:
      • Family and Childhood Studies
      • Global Studies
      • Health and Society
      • Human Services
      • Individually Designed 
      • Pre-Law

*The course listing below is based on the Bachelor's Degree program.

Liberal Arts & Studies Courses

Course Number Course Title Credits
LAS 111 Introduction to the Liberal Arts 3
100 - 200 Level Elective Lower-Division Liberal Arts Elective 3
DCA 200 Internship Connections: Creating Your Plan 1
DCA 300 The Internship Experience 2
LAS 415 Critical Theory 3
LAS 450 Senior Seminar 3
LAS 495 Senior Capstone 3
100 - 200 Level Courses Individually Designed Specialization 18
300 - 400 Level Courses Individually Designed Specialization 12
Total Credits 48

Course Number Course Title Credits
ENG 111 Composition I 3
ENG 112 Composition II 3
SPC 101 Communication Fundamentals 3
MATH ELECTIVE Core Mathematics Elective 3
LAB SCIENCE ELECTIVE Core Lab Science Elective 4
ARTS ELECTIVE Core Distribution Arts Elective 3
HUMANITIES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Humanities Elective 3
NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATH ELECTIVE Core Distribution Natural Sciences and Mathematics Elective 3
SOCIAL SCIENCES ELECTIVE Core Distribution Social Sciences Elective 3
ENG 320 Advanced Essay Writing 3
COM 327 Applied Professional Communication 3
ELE Upper-Division Liberal Arts Electives 9
Total Credits 43

Course Number Course Title Credits
ELE Open Electives 30
Total Credits 30

* Subject to change
** Based on the Dean College Academic Catalog 2018-19