May 18, 2024  
University Catalog 2023-2024 
University Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies Bachelor of Arts, General Overview

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BA in Liberal Studies, with academic Concentrations
AU Seattle
Credits for Degree: 180 quarter credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Classroom
Standard time to completion: 36 months

Program Overview

In line with the mission of Antioch University, the BA in Liberal Studies degree completion program is a 180-quarter-credit program built on principles of rigorous liberal arts education, lifelong learning and social responsibility. Guided by these principles, the curriculum places the student at the center of their learning process. Antioch offers a bachelor’s degree completion opportunity for self-directed learners ready to steer their own educational pathways.

Students come to AUS with backgrounds ranging from recent community college experience to students with up to 30 or more years of work and life experiences. Students in the BA in Liberal Studies Program may have accumulated college credits from other accredited institutions, from recognized testing processes, from military service, and/or from prior learning experience. From these diverse backgrounds, BA Liberal Studies students, with faculty guidance, design their own plans of study to round out liberal arts learning outcomes and focus on an area of personal and career interest.

The BA degree completion program is designed to meet learners where they are personally, professionally and academically. Antioch’s BA in Liberal Studies program is meant for the learner who is planning, among other things, to:

  • Change career directions
  • Get a promotion
  • Pursue a new job opportunity
  • Attend graduate school
  • Become a community or environmental activist
  • Launch one’s life dream/project
  • Experience the personal fulfillment of completing a bachelor’s degree

Many Antioch BA students are currently employed and have clear personal and professional goals. They are managers, artists, small business owners, social service workers, parents, community activists, military veterans, independent scholars and recent (or not-so-recent) graduates of community and technical colleges. Others are at early stages of their careers and want to explore ways to match their ideals with their studies and future work, especially with regard to social change and social justice.

All these students share:

  • A desire to shape their education to fit professional and personal goals
  • Interest in self-directed learning
  • Drive for a personally meaningful education
  • Strong motivation to enhance their professional and personal lives
  • Appreciation of the value of collaboration
  • Strong desire to make a significant contribution to society and create social change

The BA Liberal Studies degree requires a minimum of 45 residency credits, and must include a minimum of 60 upper division credits.

Customization is Key

In the BA program, each study plan is based on the student’s past experience, current needs and interests, and future goals. Students work in close collaboration with faculty advisors, instructors and other students to shape their studies. Students build on earlier college work and on competencies learned at home, at work, through independent reading and volunteer activities.

Shared Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the BA Liberal Studies Program can expect to evidence the Shared Learning Outcomes common to all AU undergraduate programs:

  • Engage in critical inquiry that employs relevant sources and methods
  • Consider diverse perspectives including opposing points of view and marginalized voices
  • Connect learning with theories and experience through reflective practice
  • Analyze power, oppression, and resistance in pursuit of social, racial, economic and environmental justice
  • Communicate effectively in oral, written, and visual forms
  • Examine issues in both local and global contexts

General Education Requirements & Liberal Arts Core Competency Demonstration

To meet the general education requirements each student must transfer in or take a minimum of 6 quarter credits in each of Communication, Arts & Humanities, Science & Qualitative Reasoning, and the Social Sciences. In addition, each student presents evidence by graduation of competency in the breadth and depth of a liberal arts degree through a portfolio of best work. 
Students have access to a wide variety of courses from which to fulfill General Education and Liberal Arts core competency requirements. These range from Arts & Literature (e.g. Socially Engaged Art, Collage & Transformation, Literature of Protest, Crafting Short Fiction); to Media & Communications (Media for Social Change, Documentary Film, Surveillance); Global & Social Justice (Movements of the Marginalized, LGBTQIA Voices, Confronting Inequality); Leadership & Sustainable Business (Intersectional Coaching, Far-From-Equilibrium: Systems Perspectives on Change, Triple Bottom Line Accounting); Spiritual Studies (Buddhism’s Myths, Magic and Mystics, Wisdom of the Psyche: Depth Psychology Perspectives, Eco-Spirituality); Urban Ecology (Environmental Racism/ Environmental Justice, Urban Agriculture, Sacred Botany); and interdisciplinary seminars (When a Community Weeps, Sexualities, Genders & Identities, Birds in the Human Imagination and in the Field).

Core Liberal Arts Curriculum

A core curriculum in liberal studies supports students to design and successfully complete their bachelor’s degree. Students begin with a liberal studies seminar in which they explore the liberal arts in relation to their own interests, goals and contemporary world needs. All degree students also take a seminar addressing issues of power, privilege and oppression, and a series of writing classes to deepen their ‘voice’ and writing fluency. Throughout their time at Antioch, students work collaboratively with other students, sharing the results of their own studies and expressing their creativity in peer group settings. All students engage learning in their communities during their time at Antioch, and finish with a capstone project that brings various elements of their learning together into a coherent synthesis.

Areas of Academic Concentration

In consultation with their academic advisors, students create a concentration that is in many ways like a traditional academic major. The significant difference is that students help design the combination of courses that make up their area of concentration, creating a unique mix of lower and upper division, and interdisciplinary coursework. In this way, students develop an area of concentration around their intellectual interests and career goals, drawing on past or current passions to shape concentrations that prepare them for graduate study or future career changes.

Concentrations require a minimum 40 quarter credits of coursework, comprised of transfer courses, prior learning, Antioch courses, independent studies, service learning, internships, and other learning activities. Concentrations must include a minimum 3 credits of community-based learning, and a final, capstone/senior synthesis project.

Students choose concentrations in one of two ways: 1) Individualized Concentrations are created through a degree committee structure, where the student, an academic advisor and two community advisors guide the student to design learning activities to form a coherent plan of disciplinary or interdisciplinary study, named by the student. Or, 2) Students choose one of the several areas of concentration established by the BA faculty drawing from a curriculum designed specifically to support these fields of study. In either instance, the student develops a learning plan with advisor approval to fulfill the area of concentration requirement.

Students may choose from the following concentrations:

Optional Emphasis Areas (12 quarter credits minimum)

Students may elect an ‘emphasis’ of in-depth study within their area of concentration. These emphasis areas provide students with a specialized area of knowledge and skills. Emphasis areas are framed by the student, approved by the academic advisor, and must comprise at least 12 quarter credits that cohere around a central topic.

Translating Prior Learning into College Credit

All Antioch Seattle Undergraduate programs honor the achievements and knowledge that adult learners have gained in the real world. Therefore, students have an option to earn academic credit for college-level knowledge and skills acquired outside the classroom prior to enrollment. For example, adults who have studied art, learned management skills working in an office or investigated theories of child development while raising their own children can receive college credit for the competencies gained from these activities. Students can earn up to 45 credits for Prior Learning within the BA in Liberal Studies Program.

MA/Graduate Pathway (12 overlapping credits)

The MA pathway provides an accelerated route for qualified students in the BA in Liberal Studies Program to transition into a graduate program at Antioch University while completing their undergraduate coursework. The Pathway requires acceptance into an Antioch Master’s degree program, of which there are many options in Psychology, Education, Leadership & Management, Environmental Studies and the Fine Arts. Students apply to the MA program when they are within approximately 3-4 quarters of finishing their BA. If accepted into an MA program, the student launches into the first 12 credits of their graduate program while completing the BA in Liberal Studies degree.

Current Tuition and Fees

University Tuition and Fees  

Area of Concentration Coursework

The area of academic concentration requires a minimum of 40 credits. It is comprised of electives, plus a minimum of 3 credits of community-based learning (such as an internship or service learning), a senior/capstone project, and an optional emphasis area.

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