Dr. Jason Davis
Chair, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
A-114A Faculty Hall
Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
A 114 Faculty Hall
The Liberal Studies program allows students to create an individualized curriculum composed of courses and experiences which meet their individual career needs. This approach is different from many traditional, discipline-based baccalaureate programs which are designed in part to prepare students for advanced work in a specific academic discipline -- a major in history or biology, for example. This flexibility enables students to develop academic plans that meet the ever-changing requirements of the world of work, but it also requires careful planning. Students should clarify their career or learning goals as they begin designing the components of their program. The bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies can also be an appropriate preparation for students planning to attend graduate school in certain disciplines and professions. Students may earn either a baccalaureate degree by completing a planned program of 120 semester credit hours or an associate's degree with a major in Liberal Studies upon the completion of Areas A-F of the Core Curriculum.
While this degree program is open to all qualified students, it has been designed principally to meet the higher education needs of the following two specific groups of students:
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The program allows students the opportunity to bring together -- or integrate -- courses from a wide variety of academic areas or disciplines to support their individual career goals. In addition to the courses available at Clayton State, students may elect to take courses on the campuses of the Atlanta Regional Consortium like Emory, Georgia State, or Agnes Scott, or they can take advantage of distance learning courses offered by those institutions or others. The program also integrates on-campus with community-based, experiential methods of learning. Workforce skills today require new competencies such as effective collaboration and teamwork which may not be available through classroom instruction alone; these skills must be learned, developed, and advanced in real work environments. For these reasons, internship placements which support this component are arranged for all students in the program.
Since this program was developed to allow students to design individualized curriculum plans, the first step in the application process is the identification and clarification of career goals. These goals will shape the outcomes of individual programs -- what students need to know and be able to do in order to be successful in the occupational or professional area chosen. This step is primarily the responsibility of students seeking admission to the program and will require considerable investigation and reflection prior to completion of the application process. Only if students have clear goals statements can faculty advisors effectively assist them in designing programs which are appropriate and which maximize the resources available.
Admission to the Program: Before enrolling in BALS 3901 (Liberal Studies Internship/Practicum), students must have:
Individualized Curriculum: Students work closely with an assigned Liberal Studies advisor to develop a curriculum plan which takes advantage of the wide range of learning resources available. Courses may be drawn from any discipline, but all courses must apply toward the baccalaureate degrees at Clayton State. Courses from a career associate degree program (AAS) generally do not count toward baccalaureate degrees. Completing a degree in Liberal Studies requires completion of 120 semester hours as follows:
Completing a degree in Integrative studies requires completion of 120 semester hours as follows:
Academic Standing: A grade of C or better is required in the BALS 3901 course. Students must maintain a 2.0 overall grade point average to remain in good standing as defined by University System policy. In addition, no more than 6 semester hours of D grades can be counted in the courses that are chosen to fulfill the upper division requirements of the program.
Residency Requirement: The normal University residency requirement of 30 hours applies, with the following exceptions: (1) all BALS 3901 courses must be taken in residence at Clayton State University; and (2) 9 hours of coursework taken from schools participating in the Atlanta Regional Council for Higher Education (ARCHE) may be counted as “in residence,” provided the courses are approved in advance as part of the student’s Liberal Studies program of study. Note: Of the 30 hours required for residency, 21 semester hours must be 3000-4000 level courses credited toward your degree.
Liberal Studies Internship: The Liberal Studies Practicum/Internship (BALS 3901) is the principal "experiential learning" component of the program, though students may also earn additional credit via other internships or cooperative education. This seminar will normally be taken during the first term of the senior year, and the placement site will be in a professional work environment related to the interests/career goals of the individual student. Placement may be with for-profit, not-for-profit, or governmental entities as appropriate. Collaborating businesses/agencies must agree to create and supervise meaningful experiences that will allow students to observe and participate in real world projects and activities that bear directly on the challenges of the contemporary workplace. Students are permitted to complete a practicum or internship in the company where they are already employed. Students are encouraged to seek experiential opportunities outside the USA.
The Liberal Studies program provides the opportunity for a student to work with an advisor to design a curriculum that meets the student’s career and educational needs. This flexibility enables students to develop academic programs that meet the ever-changing requirements of the world of work. A bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies can also be designed to prepare students for graduate school in certain disciplines and professions.
Before beginning upper-division study in Liberal Studies, applicants must have:
Core Curriculum (Areas A - E) 42 hours
All Liberal Studies Core Curriculum requirements are shown in the suggested degree program.
Lower Division Core Requirements (Core Curriculum Area F) 18 hours
Humanities 3-9 hours
Any of the following 1000- or 2000-level courses: AFAM, WST, ART, CMS, COMM, THEA, ENGL, FREN, MUSC, PHIL, and SPAN
Social Sciences 3-9 hours
Any of the following 1000- or 2000-level courses: AFAM, WST, ECON, EDUC, HIST, POLS, PSYC, SOCI
Natural Sciences and Mathematics 0-6 hours
Any 1000- or 2000-level MATH courses numbered 1113 or higher not already applied to Areas A or D and/or any 1000- or 2000-level ASTR, BIOL, CHEM, or PHYS, or other science courses not already applied to Area D.
Area Major Courses 0-12 hours
Courses from Area F of any major that have not been used to satisfy other Core Curriculum category requirements.
Upper Division Required Courses 3 hours
BALS 3901, Liberal Studies Practicum/Internship 3 hours
Students may take up to 9 hours of BALS 3901, but students may only register for 1 semester of BALS 3901 per semester. Additional terms of BALS 3901 will be applied in the upper division.
Upper Division Area Major Courses 57 hours
The Liberal Studies Major requires students to complete a CSU minor program in Arts & Sciences (African-American Studies, History, English (Literature), English (Writing), Women’s Studies, Communication & Media Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science, Chemistry, etc.).
Fulfilling the requirements for a minor in an area of expertise enables students to move toward achieving career and academic goals. Additional courses may be drawn from any field, but must be in the student’s advised program of study. No more than 18 lower division hours may be applied to this category.
Total Degree Requirements 120 hours
In order to be admitted to the upper division level of the Integrative Studies program, students must have and institutional grade point average of at least 2.0 and must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to progress to graduation.
For general Clayton State University admission information
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BALS Curriculum Worksheet Fall 2015
BALS Graduation Application 2015
BALS Graduation Application 2011