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MAJOR IN LIBERAL STUDIES
Liberal Studies is an integrative, self-designed major. Students in the program choose courses to build an area of expertise (minimum of 27 credit hours), called a focus. All students in the program also select another 21 credit hours of courses that must be distributed across the various disciplines of the arts and sciences: this is what makes the program "liberal."
The programmatic goal is to allow students to put together different content areas or disciplines as they design a focus that emphasizes technical or practical skills and that allows them to obtain, in addition to the degree, a certificate, or a minor in a particular program of study. These foci are often the means to obtain a degree that is not offered at Frostburg or that is offered only as a preparatory program. Other students want to “think outside the box” in a highly creative way. Students are encouraged to consult with many different faculty mentors in order to select the appropriate courses that compose their unique degree program.
Some students discover the program of Liberal Studies early in their career. Others come to Liberal Studies after having discovered as juniors or seniors that their current major does not effectively, or efficiently, lead to the career path in which they are interested. Since the program encourages thinking pragmatically about post-graduate activities, other students use Liberal Studies as a way to increase success in a graduate program of study. Transfer students often find Liberal Studies an attractive degree program because it can allow them to continue working on coursework towards a major for which they may have transferred as much as 50% of the credits.
Some suggestions for focus areas include:
When a student is interested in Liberal Studies, he or she should first visit Mrs. Maureen Lauder in Hitchins 213 (email@example.com). She will reconcile your degree progress report (and/or transfer credit report) with the requirements of LBST. Once a draft plan is completed, you will be directed to make an appointment with either the Program Coordinator, Dr. Randall Rhodes (firstname.lastname@example.org), or a faculty advisor in the content area in which you are most interested.
You will then formalize your Plan of Study and write a “Self-Statement” that narrates your educational goals. This self-statement may be revised each semester as your interests may continually evolve during your academic career. You will continually meet with your advisor to provide updates on your progress and discuss course selections during registration periods.
In your last semester, you will register for LBST 450: Senior Self-Assessment. In this portfolio course, you will revise your Self-Statement, assess your program of study and the courses you have taken, and share with other LBST students your experiences. The goal is that students, after graduation, will be able to concisely and professionally articulate the undergraduate experience to prospective employers and/or graduate program directors.
For more information, please contact:
Gary Austin (Hagerstown)