Liberal Arts

Program Description

The Liberal Arts major is designed for students who want to pursue several different areas of interest in a course of study that is both meaningful and practical. With a degree in Liberal Arts you’ll possess skills and knowledge not only to make a living, but also to make a life that makes a difference.

This interdisciplinary program helps you develop the 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 solutions

All of these skills and qualities are essential for success in graduate and professional programs and in today’s rapidly changing job market. With these abilities, you’ll have the flexibility to pursue careers in a wide range of fields, from law, education and public service to communications, management, and human resources. In recent years Liberal Arts graduates have earned law degrees and have found meaningful employment in communications, administration, and the non-profit sector.

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

Foundations. At the heart of the Liberal Arts major are courses in the arts (art, dance, music, theater) and humanities (history, languages, literature, philosophy, religion, and gender studies)—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 critical thinker, 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 broad-based coursework in the humanities are interdisciplinary concentrations. As a Liberal Arts major you’ll choose two of the following three concentrations through which you pursue more in-depth study: Global Studies; Social Justice and Responsibility; and Women, Gender & Sexuality. To meet the requirements for these concentrations you have a lot of choice in the courses you take. Most of the approved classes fall under the humanities and the social sciences (anthropology, business, environmental studies, international relations, political science, and psychology).

  • The Global Studies concentration deepens your knowledge of the world in a comparative way and fosters cross-cultural understanding.
  • The Social Justice and Responsibility concentration gives you a critical awareness of social and environmental injustices and their complex causes and helps you to develop your potential as an agent of change.
  • The Women, Gender, and Sexuality concentration deepens critical understanding of how gender structures our social world. It allows you to explore the social and cultural meanings of gender and sexuality and relates them to class, ethnicity, race, religion and nationality.

Capstone. In your senior year, you’ll design and complete your own Capstone Research project on an issue that matters most to you and that integrates knowledge gained in your two concentrations. One recent Liberal Arts graduate used her research on immigration to develop her own curriculum and resource guide for legal residents to attain citizenship. She also tutored local residents as they prepared for the citizenship exam. Another graduate focused on job readiness by developing a complete professional portfolio that spotlighted her liberal arts skills and volunteer and leadership experiences and included shadowing a social worker. The possibilities are endless!

Liberal Arts Major Requirements

Foundations in the Arts & Humanities (32 credit hours)
*all courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted

  • IDS 205 Intro to the Liberal Arts Major
  • IDS 490 Capstone Research Project

Foreign Language—Choose 1 Language (14 credit hours)

  • FRE 101, 102 (4 credits each), 201, 202 (3 credits each)
  • SPA 101, 102 (4 credits each), 201, 202 (3 credits each)

Arts–Choose 1 (3 credit hours):

  • ART 101 Art Appreciation
  • DAN 107 Dance Appreciation
  • MUS 101 Music Appreciation
  • THE 101 Intro to Theater

Literature–Choose 1 (3 credit hours):

  • ENG 201 English Lit 1
  • ENG 202 English Lit 2
  • ENG 205 American Lit 1
  • ENG 206 American Lit 2

History–Choose 1 (3 credit hours):

  • HIS 101 Western Civ to 1500
  • HIS 102 Western Civ Since 1500
  • HIS 111 US History to 1877
  • HIS 112 US History Since 1877
  • HIS 131 World Civ to 1500
  • HIS 132 World Civ Since 1500
  • HIS 133 World Since 1945

Philosophy (3 credit hours):

  • PHI 101 Philosophical Quests

Students also take Logic or Statistics (3 credits) and a second science, with or without lab (3-4 hours)

Concentrations in Global Studies, Social Justice, or Women, Gender and Sexuality (36 credit hours)
*all courses are 3 credit hours unless otherwise noted

  • Students choose two concentrations and complete 18 credit hours in each of them.
  • Within each concentration students complete a minimum of 6 upper level (300 or 400) credits.
  • Within each concentration students complete 3 writing intensive (WI) credits.
  • A student may not count one course toward both concentrations.

Global Studies Concentration (18 credit hours)

  • Required: ENV 125 World Regional Geography

Choose 5 courses from the following list; 2 must be upper level and 1 must be WI

  • ANT/WGS 151 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANT/WGS 204 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANT/IDS 291 Language and Culture
  • ANT/ENV 391 Food and Culture (WI)
  • ANT 392 Anthropology of Music and Dance (WI)
  • ENG 230 Studies in Ethnic Literature
  • ENV/IDS 331 Sustainable Tourism
  • ENV 350 Environmental Conditions and Global Economic Development
  • HIS 125 Asian Civilizations
  • IDS 130 Intro to African Studies
  • IDS 312 Qualitative Research Methods
  • IDS/INR 365 International Environmental Policy
  • INR 151 International Relations
  • INR 216 Women, Power, and Global Politics
  • INR 310 International Organizations
  • INR 335 Middle Eastern Politics: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  • INR 340 International Law
  • INR 345 Power, Politics, and Religion
  • INR 350 International Political Economy
  • INR 355 Terrorism
  • INR 360 US Foreign Policy
  • POL 201 Comparative Politics
  • POL 225 Asian Politics
  • PSY 307 Lifespan Psychology Across Cultures
  • PSY 351 Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • REL 105 World Religions 1
  • REL 106 World Religions 2

Social Justice and Responsibility (18 credit hours)

  • Required: OLS 205 Social Justice and Civic Engagement

Choose 2 courses from the following list

  • ART/ENV 271 Intro to Digital Art
  • CSC 140 Intro to Web Design
  • SPE 101 Fundamentals of Speech
  • SPE 121 Interpersonal Communication
  • THE 122 Performance of Literature

Choose 3 courses from the following list; 2 must be upper level and 1 must be WI

  • ANT 391 Food and Culture (WI)
  • CHE 130/131 Intro to Environmental Chemistry
  • ENV 225 Environmental Awareness and Ethics
  • ENV/IDS 331 Sustainable Tourism
  • ENV 350 Environmental Conditions and Global Economic Development
  • ENV 365 Environmental Justice
  • HIS 121 Native American History
  • HIS 320 American Environmental History (WI)
  • HIS 330 Women’s Suffrage Movement
  • IDS 312 Qualitative Research Methods (4 credit hours)
  • INB/WGS 250 Women and Economic Development
  • INR/SOC 330 Poverty and Inequality
  • OLS 320 The Leader Within
  • OLS 332 Leadership for Social Change
  • OLS 350 Team Leadership and Group Dynamics
  • PHI 205 Ethics
  • PHI 210 Human Nature and Society
  • PHI 305 Social and Political Philosophy
  • POL 101 United States Government
  • POL 121 Intro to Political Science
  • POL 131 Public Administration
  • POL 141 Public Policy
  • PSY 430 Conflict Resolution
  • SOC/WGS 235 Race, Class, and Gender
  • WGS 360 Ecofeminism (WI)

Women, Gender and Sexuality Concentration (18 credit hours)
Required: WGS 105 Intro to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Choose 5 courses from the following list; 2 must be upper level and 1 must be WI

  • ANT/WGS 204 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ENG/WGS 220 American Women Writers
  • ENG/WGS 222 British Women Writers
  • ENG/WGS 321 18C British Women Writers (WI)
  • ENG/WGS 333 “Her Kind”: 20C American Women Poets (WI)
  • ENG/WGS 364 Women and Literary Modernism (WI)
  • ENG/WGS 371 Jane Austen (WI)
  • ENG/WGS 372 Toni Morrison (WI)
  • ENG/WGS 253 Women and Cinema
  • HIS/WGS 211 History of Women in the US
  • HIS 330 Women’s Suffrage Movement
  • IDS 312 Qualitative Research Methods
  • INB/WGS 250 Women and Economic Development
  • INR/WGS 216 Women, Power, and Global Politics
  • MUS 291 Women in Music
  • OLS 320 The Leader Within
  • PSY/WGS 321 Human Sexuality
  • PSY/WGS 331 Psychology of Women and Gender
  • SOC/WGS 203 Family and Society
  • SPE/WGS 205 Gender and Communication
  • WGS 200 Intro to LGBT Studies
  • WGS 240 Transnational Feminism
  • WGS 300 Women’s Health
  • WGS 350 Feminist Theories
  • WGS 360 Ecofeminism (WI)

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
Social Science3SPE 101  Fundamentals of Speech  (SJ)3
 Total:14 Total:15
MAT 112 Statistics or PHI 112 Logic (Spring)3Science with or without Lab3-4
FRE/SPA 201  Foreign Language3FRE/SPA 202 Foreign Language3
Fine Arts3ENV 125 World Regional Geography (GS)3
PHI 101 Philosophical Quests3Literature: English or American3
WGS 205 Social Justice & Civic Engagement3Elective or minor3
Step Into the World (trip preparation)1
IDS 205 Intro to Liberal Arts Major3Fine Arts3
Global Studies (GS) (300- 400 level)3Global Studies (GS) (WI 300- 400 level)3
Social Justice (SJ)3Social Justice (SJ) (300-400 level)3
History: World, Western, or US3Humanities: English/Hist/Phil/WGS3
Elective or minor3Elective or minor3
Social Justice(SJ) (300-400 level, WI)3IDS 490 Capstone Research Project3
 (GS) Global Studies Class3(GS) Global Studies Class3
 (GS) Global Studies Class3Elective or minor3
ART 271/SPE 121/or THE 122 (Alt Spr) (SJ)3Elective or minor3
 Elective or minor3Elective or minor3


Sandra Chaney, PhD
Associate Professor of History
157 Rogers Fine Arts Building
(417) 667-8181, ext. 2176

Brenda Ross, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry, B.S., University of Nebraska at Lincoln; Ph.D., Yale University
220G Rubie Burton Academic Center
(417) 667-8181, ext. 2215

Trisha Stubblefield, Ph.D.
Professor of English
B.M., B.A., Converse College, South Carolina; M.A., Ph.D., University of South Carolina
131A Rubie Burton Academic Center
(417) 667-8181, ext. 2274

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