Liberal Arts

Program Description


The Liberal Arts major is designed for students who want to pursue several areas of interest in a course of study that is both flexible and practical.

This interdisciplinary program helps you develop your ability to do the following:

  • communicate effectively
  • read and think analytically
  • evaluate problems from diverse points of view
  • relate to different cultures with understanding and empathy
  • respond to social challenges with innovative, ethical solutions

These skills and abilities are essential for success in graduate and professional programs and in today’s rapidly changing job market. They’ll give you the flexibility to pursue careers in a wide range of fields, from law and education to communications, management, and public service. Recent Liberal Arts graduates have earned law degrees and have found meaningful employment in business, communications, education, and the non-profit sector.

Course of Study
The Liberal Arts major builds on Cottey’s Core Curriculum, which provides a holistic education by exposing you to many fields, from wellness and creative arts to math, science, and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Foundations. At the heart of the Liberal Arts major are courses in the arts and sciences and in the humanities, including history, languages, literature, philosophy, and religion—fields that explore what it means to be human. Through their appeal to reason, imagination, and emotion these disciplines expose you to the many ways that people in the past and in the present have sought answers to some of life’s greatest challenges. Courses in these subjects also hone your skills as an analytical reader, a responsible researcher, a problem-solver, and a clear communicator. In addition, you’ll develop proficiency at the intermediate level in a foreign language, a requirement that fosters cross-cultural understanding and gives you an added advantage in today’s global economy.

Concentrations. Complementing your breadth of learning is concentrated course work in anthropology, history, philosophy, and religion.

Connections. You’ll also take three seminars that further develop your communication, research, and problem-solving skills and that help you integrate your learning across many disciplines. The third and final seminar—the senior capstone—gives you the opportunity to design and complete your own research project on a topic of interest to you. One recent Liberal Arts graduate developed a curriculum and resource guide for legal residents to attain citizenship, while another analyzed the political and cultural significance of wearing hijab in Indonesia. Still others investigated the messaging in animated environmental films, developed a marketing plan for a local non-profit organization, and examined the consequences of privatizing foster care. The possibilities are wide open!


Liberal Arts Major Requirements
*all courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted

Foundations (30-39 credit hours)

Study of Humanity & History (12 hours)
ANT 101 General Anthropology 

Choose one sequence of two courses
HIS 101, 102 Western Civilization OR
HIS 131, 132 World Civilizations

Any Literature course (ENG, FRE, SPA)

Human Inquiry & Expression (12-13 hours)
PHI 101 Philosophical Quests

Choose one:
PHI 112 Introduction to Logic OR
MAT elective above MAT 110

Choose one:
Second Fine Arts Course OR
Three semesters of a performance or technique class in same discipline (or lessons on same instrument for MUS). Designated ART/DAN/MUS/THE

Second science with or without a lab (with lab is 4 credits)

Foreign Language (6-14 hours)
Native English speakers take two years of one foreign language
FRE or SPA 101, 102 (4 credit hours each)
FRE or SPA 201, 202

Non-native English speakers choose one course
SPE 101 Fundamentals of Speech OR
SPE 121 Interpersonal Communication
AND one semester of a third language course

CONCENTRATIONS (24 credit hours)
Choose 24 credit hours in at least two of these disciplines: ANT, HIS, PHI, REL. At least 12 credit hours must be at the 300-level.

ANT/WGS 201 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
ANT/IDS 291 Language and Culture
ANT/WGS 304 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
ANT/ENV 391 Food and Culture
ANT/IDS 392 Anthropology of Music/Dance 

HIS 111 United States History to 1877
HIS 112 United States History Since 1877
HIS 121 Native American History
HIS 125 Asian Civilizations
HIS 133 World Since 1945
HIS 150 Intro to Historical Methods
HIS 202 Twentieth-Century Europe
HIS/WGS 211 History of Women in America
HIS 212 Hamilton’s America
HIS 220 Women Celebrities
HIS 255 Renaissance & Reformation Europe
HIS/ENV 320 American Environmental History
HIS/WGS 330 Women’s Suffrage Movement
HIS 340 Genocide in History 

Philosophy & Religion
PHI 205 Ethics
PHI 210 Human Nature & Society
PHI 325 Social & Political Philosophy
PHI 340 Philosophy of Religion
REL 105 World Religions 1
REL 106 World Religions 2 

CONNECTIONS (10 credit hours)
Integrative Seminars   
IDS 205 Introduction to Liberal Arts
IDS 312 Qualitative Research Methods (4 credit hours)
IDS 490 Capstone Research Project

    Liberal Arts Major

    Sample Four Year Plan

    For Concentrations in Global Studies (GS) and Social Justice and Responsibility (SJ)

    FWS 101 First Year Writing Seminar3WRI 102  College Writing3
    FRE/SPA 101  Foreign Language4FRE/SPA 102  Foreign Language4
    MAT 110  College Algebra3Science with Lab4
    Wellness Activity1Wellness Activity1
    PHI 101 Philosophical Quests3Fine  Arts3
     Total:14 Total:15
    Science with or without Lab3-4PHI 112 Logic or MAT elective above 1103
    FRE/SPA 201  Foreign Language3FRE/SPA 202 Foreign Language3
    HIS 101 Western Civilization to 15003HIS 102 Western Civilization Since 15003
    ANT 101 General Anthropology3Social Science3
    WGS course3Elective or minor3
    Step Into the World (trip preparation)1
    IDS 205 Intro to Liberal Arts3Fine Arts3
    **ANT/HIS/PHI/REL 300-level3ANT/HIS/PHI/REL 300-level3
    Literature course3Elective or minor3
    Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
    IDS 312 Qualitative Research Methods4IDS 490 Capstone Research Project3
    ANT/HIS/PHI/REL 300-level3ANT/HIS/PHI/REL 300-level3
    Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
    Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
    TOTAL HOURS 121-122

    Liberal arts majors must choose 24 hours in at least two of the following disciplines: ANT, HIS, PHI, REL.
    At least 12 of those hours must be at the 300-level.

    Sandra Chaney, PhD
    Professor of History
    218 Grantham Hall
    (417) 667-8181, ext. 2176

    Angela Firkus, PhD
    Professor of History
    216 Grantham Hall
    (417) 667-8181, ext. 2201

    Sarah Quick, PhD
    Associate Professor of Anthropology
    124 Grantham Hall
    (417) 667-8181, ext. 2269

    Kevin Rouintree, PhD
    Professor of Philosophy
    103 Grantham Hall
    (417) 667-8181, ext. 2218

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