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Frequently Asked Questions about Liberal Studies

  • Frequently asked questions about Liberal Studies

    Why do I have to take Liberal Studies courses when all I want to be is a _________?

    Part of any educational system is to provide opportunities for students to gain breadth and depth. Breadth of knowledge and skills is achieved through the Liberal Studies program. Depth of knowledge is attained through specialization in a particular major. True education and growth helps us to live together in community where we can talk to each other about local, national, and global issues. Well-educated people have a breadth of vision and understanding which enables them to enjoy full, rich, integrated lives. The Liberal Studies part of your undergraduate education is a freeing, liberating experience which allows us to escape our biases and narrow interests. We all wish to integrate the many aspects of our lives into the whole individual.

    Talk with people who have graduated from any university: they might well say, my major got me my first job, but it was my liberal studies courses which helped me keep that job and find another.

    How much of my graduation requirements are Liberal Studies courses?

    Comparison of percentages with other universities indicate the following: IUP has about the same percentage of Liberal Studies requirements as other universities in the State System of Higher Education in Pennsylvania. Moreover, IUP has about the same percentage of Liberal Studies requirements as other Doctoral l institutions of similar size. About 45 percent of your graduation requirements are Liberal Studies courses.

    Do I take mainly Liberal Studies courses in my first two years?

    No, you will take Liberal Studies courses throughout your four years at IUP. The program has been deliberately structured to extend the Liberal Studies program throughout four years of study. One of the aims of the Liberal Studies program is to foster lifelong learning.

    May I major in Liberal Studies?

    No, there is no major program in Liberal Studies at IUP.

    Where do I find out which courses are Liberal Studies courses?

    Check the undergraduate catalog for a list of courses which are approved as Liberal Studies courses. You may also check the Liberal Studies Requirements web page.

    When it is time to register, how do I know which Liberal Studies courses are open?

    You must check the listing of courses via computer using URSA to find out which Liberal Studies courses (or any other courses) are open and are available to you. Do not call the Liberal Studies Office.

    I want to add a Liberal Studies course which is closed. How do I do this?

    In most cases, you would need to obtain permission from the instructor of the department that is offering that particular Liberal Studies course before going to the department chair. The chair may give you permission to enroll in a closed section.

    Do I have to take one writing-intensive course in my major and one outside?

    You must complete at least two writing-intensive courses. One of these MUST be in your major. The other may be in your major, outside your major, a free elective, or a Liberal Studies course.

    Where’s the best place to get advice about Liberal Studies requirements?

    See your major adviser first. If you have further questions, see the director of Liberal Studies, 103 Stabley Library, phone 357-5715.