Liberal Arts Major (LIBA)
The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (Liberal B.A. or LIBA) is an option for students whose educational or career goals or academic interests are not met by any of Stockton’s existing degree programs.
The Liberal B.A. permits students to design a complete 128-credit interdisciplinary program suited to their individual needs and plans. This program thus provides extraordinary opportunities for creativity in educational planning and allows students to take advantage of a wide range of Stockton’s faculty and other resources. To become a LIBA major, a student must prepare a carefully conceived proposal for multidisciplinary study and must have that proposal approved by a committee composed of the dean of general studies and two or three faculty members.
Like any Stockton degree program, a Liberal B.A. program should show coherence, breadth
of education and depth of study in a particular area. Like any Stockton Bachelor of
Arts program, it should also reflect the University’s commitment to the liberal arts
in the general education of students. Liberal Studies majors are not exempt from the
General Studies requirements. Although proposals resembling an existing degree program
may be approved, the LIBA major is not a means by which established programs can be
diluted. Students pursuing a specific career or graduate study are advised to solicit
and consider the advice of faculty in similar or related disciplines and programs.
The Liberal B.A. program is not intended to be a default option for students in other
Planning a Liberal B.A. takes time and commitment; considerable thought and discussion are required, since the student proposing a Liberal B.A. is, in effect, proposing that the University support an individually-tailored degree program. Planning a Liberal B.A. also requires that the student assume a large portion of the responsibility for his or her educational choices.
The organization of a Liberal B.A. course of study may take several forms depending on the particular interests and needs of the student. The course of study, and the proposal describing it, must reflect a central unifying purpose or theme.
In recent years, students have pursued the following interests through the LIBA Program:
- Thematic/topical — interdisciplinary exploration of a particular theme or topic (e.g., “Freedom and Constraint” and “The World, Its People, and Their Art”);
- Expanded study in a topical program, such as gerontology, Women’s Studies, African-American studies or humanities
- Pre-professional — interdisciplinary study intended to prepare the student either to enter a particular career field (e.g., wildlife illustration or fine arts management), or to attend graduate or professional school in a variety of areas.
- The basic requirements for a student undertaking a Liberal B.A. are planning and thinking.
Not all proposals are accepted and most require revision. The student should develop
a coherent set of classroom courses, independent study projects and (if appropriate)
off-campus experiences, all of which are intended to meet the particular objectives
of his/her program. The student should also plan a senior project that will provide
a capstone for the program and an opportunity to demonstrate what he/she has learned.
- Planning for a LIBA should normally be started before a student reaches junior status.
Therefore, transfer students with junior standing must act particularly quickly if
they wish to pursue the LIBA option.
- Final approval must be obtained prior to achievement of senior status (i.e., before
the 96th credit is completed) and is normally obtained prior to the completion of
80 credits. A proposal will be considered only if it calls for a least a full year
of additional course work (32 credits) subsequent to its approval.
- Students interested in pursuing the Liberal B.A. should discuss their ideas with staff
in the Center for Academic Advising (CC242) as early as possible and consult regularly
while developing their plans. They should also obtain advice from at least two faculty
members who will serve as sponsors for their programs. As LIBA programs are usually
interdisciplinary, these faculty members should represent different disciplines.
- The most important requirement for entering the Liberal B.A. program is the preparation
of a written proposal. Detailed instructions for preparing a proposal are available
from the Center for Academic Advising (CC242).
The Intra-School LIBA provides loose guidelines for LIBA degree opportunities for
students who might have difficulty mapping out his/her curricula. These prompts are
comprised of courses taken across Programs in a particular School (Intra-School LIBA)
and those that include courses in General Studies’ minors. These prompts offer examples
only; individual students should craft a curriculum that suits his/her academic, professional,
and personal goals.