May 30, 2024  
University Catalog 2021-2022 
University Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, Urban Studies Concentration, BA

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BA in Liberal Studies: Urban Community and Environment
AU Los Angeles
Credits for Degree: 180 quarter credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Classroom
Standard time to completion: 36 months

Program Overview

The BA in Liberal Studies Program uses an interdisciplinary approach toward learning and emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem-solving, awareness of multiple perspectives, social and intercultural awareness, civic and community engagement, and an ability to connect learning to one’s lived experience. The Liberal Studies program is particularly structured to give students flexibility while designing their path to a meaningful degree. For this degree program, students can transfer in units from across a wide range of general education subjects without needing to follow a specific pattern of prerequisites. The core curriculum is recommended, rather than required, so that students can easily individualize their learning experience.

Although all students in the BA in Liberal Studies Program graduate with the same degree, students can choose an area of concentration to focus their studies. Students select a Major Area of Concentration from the following:

  • Addiction Studies
  • Business and Management Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Liberal Studies
  • Psychology
  • Urban Studies

Students can also choose a Minor Area of Concentration in any of the above specialized areas, as well as the following:

  • Child Studies
  • Queer Studies

Areas of Concentration

Students must complete a minimum of 40 units and a maximum of 80 units in a Major Area of Concentration. The BA in Liberal Studies Program currently offers six Major Areas of Concentration with a wide variety of core courses, electives, internships, and independent study opportunities for each.

Note that units counted toward an Area of Concentration cannot be used to meet the domains of knowledge requirements and vice versa.

Students may also opt for a Minor Area of Concentration in any of the above-listed specialized Major Areas of Concentration, except for Liberal Studies. To earn a Minor Area of Concentration, a student must accrue at least 20 units in the concentration.

Students are encouraged to work closely with their faculty advisors as they develop degree plans appropriate to their educational and career goals. The faculty strongly recommends that at least half of the units in the student’s chosen Major or Minor Area of Concentration be upper division. Students who are not able to accrue 20 upper-division units in one of the specialized Major Areas of Concentration should opt for Liberal Studies as their Major Area of Concentration. Students are also strongly advised to take as many of the core courses in the specialized Major Area of Concentration, as listed in this catalog and as identified on the quarterly course schedule. Students who take the recommended core courses acquire a strong foundation in their chosen discipline.

The student should choose and declare the Major Area of Concentration in the first two quarters of enrollment and work closely with his or her advisor to identify internship opportunities and independent studies that will reinforce the learning in the chosen discipline. If a student has not completed 40 credits in a specialized Major Area of Concentration by the time of candidacy review, the Major Area of Concentration will be designated as Liberal Studies.

Urban Studies: Major or Minor Area of Concentration

The Urban Studies concentration at Antioch University Los Angeles prepares our students for careers as courageous and thoughtful practitioners and activists, in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors, in education, and for graduate study in multiple fields. In the program, students explore urban dynamics through a framework of human rights, and a focus on the powers of action, community organizing, place-making, social change, and radical economic innovations.

Our practice and theory-based philosophy of education equips students with the skills and understandings necessary to become effective leaders within organizations and networks. All students participate in field study and internships, building their capacity and resumés while working as youth organizers, community gardeners, event coordinators, fundraisers, communications and social media practitioners, and as researchers in social justice campaigns throughout the region. Urban Studies faculty, staff and guest lecturers are social justice change-makers, contributing to and shaping the current public, intellectual, cultural and sustainability discourse.

This innovative program exists in the recognition of the need to support and train effective change-makers who can envision a socially, economically, racially, and ecologically just future, and who will participate in the diverse coalitions and alliances necessary to inspire and make that future a reality. Unique among most academic programs, the Urban Studies curriculum incorporates the study and practice of social, political, historic, cultural, ecological, legislative and economic analysis, media, and the arts.

The Urban Studies concentration embodies our Antioch University mission to advance justice and to inspire lifelong learning.

Current Tuition and Fees

University Tuition and Fees  

Core Curriculum

The Urban Studies concentration core courses fall into the three broad categories listed below, with courses offered in regular rotation. Urban Studies students are advised to build these courses into their program of study to establish a strong foundation in history, theory, and methodology to be supplemented by a range of elective courses and workshops.


In Addition

In addition, students select elective courses that span the four conceptual anchors of the Urban Studies concentration to study the dynamics of oppression and liberation in our city’s people, systems, arts, and environment.

A BA student may elect to become a fast-track candidate for the Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability (USMA), enroll in MA program courses and have them count toward completion of both the BA degree and the USMA degree or certificate. See below under the heading “Preparation for Graduate Study” for further information about the Fast Track into the USMA Program.

Non-Classroom Learning

The Urban Studies concentration offers community-based workshops, which are site-based learning activities conducted partially or completely by personnel at community venues. Student learning is evaluated either by a core faculty member working with the community organization or the community organizer conducting the workshop. Workshops are scheduled to coincide with and take advantage of cultural events taking place in the city. Most workshops are one-day events and are offered for one unit.

Students in the Urban Studies concentration are strongly encouraged to select internship placements that connect them with community organizations. Internship opportunities for Urban Studies students include urban and environmental organizations working on such issues as poverty and homelessness, economic justice, immigrant rights, and the greening of Los Angeles. Teaching assistant internships in Antioch’s Bridge Program count as Urban Studies internships. In consultation with their faculty advisors, students can also develop independent, advanced learning opportunities to examine one or more aspects of urban and environmental studies in greater detail. Urban Studies students often propose independent studies that enhance their understanding and effectiveness in their off-campus activist or non-profit work.

If students have relevant experience in the community that qualifies as college-level learning, they can earn prior learning credit and apply such credit to their required Urban Studies units. Prior learning activities include working with community organizations, developing new policies, and administering existing programs.

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