Liberal Studies


Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Liberal Studies
College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)


Linda Sartorelli




The liberal studies major challenges students to understand and evaluate human values, cultures and ideas as they are expressed in the various humanities disciplines. In addition, the major invites students to make connections across academic disciplines, historical periods, and diverse cultures. Our faculty believe that the ability to make these connections and to understand from different perspectives is the mark of a truly educated person.

Major Description

Do you like to read and write?  Are you looking forward to taking courses in history and English' and are you curious about philosophy?  Liberal Studies is a multidisciplinary major in the humanities - history (including history of art & history of music), philosophy, literature, political science, religion, and the languages. It is designed for students who are interested in more than one discipline or in some broad topic or theme. Students majoring in liberal studies have primary responsibility for designing their own college education. They investigate ideas through the process of discovery, and discovery is best begun at the point of their own interests and goals. In the absence of restrictive course requirements, but in close concert with a faculty advisor, liberal studies students plan their own broad-based program. During the third and fourth years, the focus turns towards creating a cohesive cluster of courses dealing with a theme, culture, or period. Students may concentrate, for instance, on humanistic views of science and take courses such as science and religion, literature of the sea, and bioethics. There are many possibilities in this flexible major.

The bachelor of arts in liberal studies prepares the graduate for a broad spectrum of career choices in teaching, communications, publishing, government, sales, advertising, public affairs, research, and information management. Moreover it is sound training for law school and graduate work in the humanities. The liberal studies major provides truly practical preparation for a rapidly changing world by developing independence of mind, self-direction, critical thinking and analytic skills, and a continuing desire to learn.

All UNE students take the University Core Curriculum. In addition to the Core requirements, liberal studies candidates in consultation with their advisors will take a minimum of 33 credits in the humanities (history, philosophy, literature, political science, religion, and languages.) At least five courses should be numbered 300 or above. All students will take at least one methodology course in the humanities such as ENG 206 Literary Theory and Criticism, ENG 207 Introduction to Cultural Studies, or HIS 290 History Hands On and are encouraged to take at least one  Humanities Seminar.  In addition, students will enroll in LIL 420 and complete a capstone senior thesis or project,.  Working closely with a faculty member students will write or develop a project on a topic of their own choosing..   All students may also develop an Internship and enroll in LIL 495. 

Depending upon their career interests, students may elect to take courses in other UNE disciplines such as business, creative arts, science, social science, women and gender studies.  Because of the flexibility of the curriculum many liberal studies major double major or minor in other disciplines   A double major in Liberal Studies and Elementary Education is an excellent choice.

Curricular Requirements



CAS Core Requirements




Program Required Courses* 33
LIL 420 - Senior Thesis/Project 3
LIL 495 - Internship in Liberal Studies (Optional) 3-9
Individually selected courses (as needed to reach 120 credits) variable
Minimum Required Total Credits 120

*Students design their own curriculum in consultation with their advisors. At least five courses at 300 or 400 level, one methodology course in the Humanities and senior thesis or project are required.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to identify and define a problem or issue which can be addressed from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
  2. Students will be able to apply and integrate methods, materials, and/or insights from different disciplines to the solution of a problem, the analysis of an issue or the completion of a project.  This will reflect coursework as well as independent reading and research.  
  3. Students will be able to find and evaluate different views from within a discipline.
  4. Students will be able to conduct primary and secondary research in order to develop well documented, supported, reasoned, and informed conclusions to problems and issues.  
  5. Students will be able to find, use, and evaluate a variety of sources of information.
  6. Students will be able to communicate ideas clearly.
  7. Students will be able to complete an interdisciplinary capstone thesis or project informed by their previous work in different disciplines.
  8. Students will demonstrate a working knowledge of content from at least two disciplines.

Honors Program

We offer qualified students the option of participating in our Honors Program and graduating with Honors. This includes significant research, scholarship or creative activity under the direction of a faculty member.

Transfer Credit


Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2015-2016 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication April 30, 2015.  *Addendum published January 29, 2016.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.