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Academics

Choose Liberal Studies when you want a BA that lets you show what you know

Your bachelor’s of arts degree in Liberal Studies from Alaska Pacific University identifies you as a developing professional ready to transfer classroom learning to the real world.

As Peace Corps volunteer and Liberal Studies grad Katie McCraw discovered, careers the world over value critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, project management and social responsibility – competencies that Katie credits to her Liberal Studies curriculum.

Your Liberal Studies degree is a three-stage process that emphasizes active learning every step of the way.

  • Discover ways that people have thought about our world over the ages. What does it mean to think like a social scientist? a visual artist? a writer or poet? Project-based learning in your Ways of Knowing seminar connects theory and practice to life beyond the classroom.
  • Identify how cultural expression helps shape the way we understand our world. What can drama, music, literature and art tell us about meeting today’s challenges and opportunities? Experience the elements of culture in your Introduction to Humanities seminar as you study with faculty and peers to investigate answers of your own.
  • Apply your research skills for insight into what constitutes evidence-based proof in the social sciences. How do historians, anthropologists or linguists gather facts? What kinds of data qualify as proof in psychology or communications? Apply what you’ve learned about ways of knowing and cultural expression to choose a discipline for in-depth study in your Introduction to Social Sciences seminar.

By putting an “I” in front of each step – I discover, I identify, I apply – you get “IDIA,” our three-stage approach to leading to your academic concentration for focused study.

You’ll consult with your Liberal Studies academic adviser throughout your years at APU, and especially as you work together to develop a study plan, including your capstone senior project. Your customized plan may include travel courses, seminar topics and directed studies. For pre-professional training that lets you test your skills in the real world, take advantage of Liberal Studies practicum experiences, internships or study abroad.

Your study plan will be a Liberal Studies Individualized Track or one of our optional academic concentrations:

  • Designed for students eager to read widely and critically, the Literature Concentration teaches you to reflect meaningfully about your purpose in life and the world around us. The Literature Concentration prepares you for graduate work, adds to self knowledge, and readies you for professions that value creative expression.
  • The Philosophy Concentration attracts independent learners ready to think systematically about how and why we think about things as we do. The Philosophy Concentration offers practice in critical thinking and analysis – abilities you’ll apply throughout college and life.
  • The combination of courses in your Pre-law Concentration adheres to preparations for legal education recommended by the American Bar Association. The Pre-law Concentration offers a wide range of coursework and opportunity for enriched life experience for an academic background sought by many law schools.
  • Religion Studies integrates humanities, social sciences and cultural studies for an academic concentration that examines religion as a force throughout the ages. The Religion Studies Concentration, led by APU’s Cardinal Newman Chair, helps develop critical thinking and analytical skills as you gain insight into methods and materials used by religion scholars.
  • Theory, practice and an emphasis on publication are foundations of the Writing Concentration. Whether you choose the Writing Concentration for personal or professional advancement – or both – this academic track is well suited to individualized coursework and collaborative learning with faculty mentors.
  • The Pre-med Concentration is a group of courses designed to prepare you for application to graduate programs in medical and allied health professions. The Pre-med Concentration responds to increased interest in applicants from non-traditional backgrounds compatible with patient- and community-centered approaches to health care. The Pre-med Concentration is designed to meet standard pre-requisites for medical school admission.
  • The Individualized Track rewards students whose life experience, initiative and professional goals prompt a desire for personalized undergraduate coursework. The Individualized Track also attracts degree-completion students seeking a cohesive framework for transfer credits from previous schools.