The Liberal Arts (Interdisciplinary) Major
The Liberal Arts (Interdisciplinary) major combines coursework from the many disciplines within the College of Liberal Arts. There are no concentrations. Students create their own unique plan of study, drawing from several different fields.
About the Major
Checksheet for the Liberal Arts Major
Are you committed to a life of learning and a broad-based education? Are you interested in exploring past and contemporary cultures? Would you crave exposure to a diversity of worldviews? Are you an independent thinker? Do you wish to develop superior writing, speaking, critical thinking, and problem solving abilities?
The Liberal Arts (Interdisciplinary) major focuses on the traditions and concepts of the liberal arts: understanding past and contemporary cultures; liberating individuals from uninformed and arbitrary views of the world; enhancing writing, speaking, critical thinking, and problem solving abilities; strengthening the basis for responsible and creative participation in society.
In your Liberal Arts classes, you develop and refine these dynamic skills in the following ways:
- analyze and interpret a diverse array of issues, behaviors, and perspectives from a global viewpoint
- study history of conflictive and harmonious societies to understand how they have functioned successfully and unsuccessfully
- study various analytical and research methods from several disciplines to deepen critical thinking and interpretive skills
- engage in much reading, writing, and research to enhance invention abilities, self-expression, and understanding of the needs and expectations of diverse audiences
- study diverse perspectives and cultures to understand alternative methods and ideas for living and problem solving
These skills are, for the most part, intertwined; as one of them builds, so do the others. Through our multi-disciplinary approach, students develop ideas and opinions that are well-informed, thoughtful, and objective. The broad focus allows students to engage with diversity in all its forms: intellectual, political, social, ethnic, communicative, etc. Promoting a creative spirit and a hunger to explore, the program cultivates articulate self-expression across a diversity of disciplines and audiences, an adaptive and empathetic mindset well-prepared for a changing world, and intelligent, inventive conflict resolution abilities. Liberal Arts graduates are independent, ambitious thinkers and well-versed, agile communicators eager to apply their passions in the workforce.
The major includes coursework in Art, American Studies, Dance, English, Foreign Language, Music, Philosophy, Communication Studies, Theatre, and Women's Studies, as well as courses in Anthropology, Economics, Ethnic Studies, Geography, History, Journalism, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.
To further increase depth and focus, and to enhance expertise, Liberal Arts (Interdisciplinary) students complete a minor in a specific field from the College of Liberal Arts.
Advisor for the Liberal Arts (Interdisciplinary) Major:
College of Liberal Arts Advising Center
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
For appointments, please contact the main office at (970) 491-3117.
What should a college major prepare you for? A single, narrowly-focused job opportunity? We think not. Our students acquire a well-rounded education and develop the skills that employers commonly cite as highly desirable in prospective employees, including problem solving, writing, creativity, adaptability, analytical skills, and communication skills.
Graduates of the Liberal Arts (Interdisciplinary) program apply their education in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. Others enter graduate and professional schools for more specialized study. Liberal Arts majors have established careers in just about everything!
Participation in volunteer work, internships, and cooperative education opportunities is recommended to hone your skills, enhance your resume, and establish networking opportunities. Also, getting involved in student organizations and campus initiatives can allow you to develop and demonstrate your skills.
The skills listed in the chart below represent many of the most common abilities employers seek along with how a Liberal Arts education helps develop them. Also included are ways in which we encourage students to enhance and demonstrate their skill sets during their college careers.
|Relevant Skills of Liberal Arts Majors||How the Liberal Arts help develop them||Activities that enhance and apply these skills|
Do you get along with a diverse array of people? Are you an organized, clear, and tactful speaker? Do you enjoy participating in class and small-group discussions? Do you excel in collaborative projects?
|You will enhance your ability to articulate yourself clearly and to recognize and meet the expectations of diverse audiences through a broad-based education in diverse cultures and perspectives, as well as a wide scope of written projects, discussions, and presentations. Your understanding of diverse cultures and points of view will allow you to relate well to a broad range of people.||Student organizations that require much public contact or contact with faculty, students, and administration. Also, those that emphasize teamwork and collaboration.
Internships and volunteer work that put you in a high-profile position in which you are building relationships and frequently communicating with a diverse array of clients, co-workers, etc.: public relations, fund raising, event planning, human resources, customer service, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, etc.
Do you have a gift for the written word? Are you inventive? Do you often make clear points in fewer words than others? Do you have good research skills? Do you organize your thoughts well on paper?
|Strong writers are strong creative and analytical thinkers; these skills all strengthen together. Your Liberal Arts education will allow you to develop your writing skills through a diverse array of writing projects across disciplines, as well as developing a deepened awareness of audience expectations across our wide range of disciplines.||Student organizations that communicate to their audiences through written documents such as newsletters or websites and those that require frequent written documentation of events, gatherings, etc.
Internships and volunteer work in writing, editing, tutoring for writing students, publishing, PR through written materials, advertising, etc.
Are you an independent thinker and learner? Do you often question conventional methods? Do you tend to seek alternative or "new" ways to solve problems?
|You will develop your creative thinking through the study of diverse perspectives and cultures to understand alternative methods and ideas for living and problem solving, as well as creating a diverse array of research and writing projects. You will learn to apply your creativity in different disciplines for different audiences and purposes.||Student organizations that allow unique opportunities to brainstorm, plan, and execute new initiatives; think tanks; those that strive to be different.
Internships and volunteer work that promote creativity and originality; the arts, event planning, writing, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, PR, advertising, etc.
Do you love to think strategically? Are you a great planner/organizer? Do you like to imagine different ways of doing things? Do you like to break down how things work and observe the individual components?
|Our interdisciplinary approach will help you develop as a multi-dimensional thinker. Among other practices, you will analyze and interpret a broad range of issues, behaviors, and perspectives from a global viewpoint and study various analytical and research methods from several disciplines to deepen your critical thinking and interpretive skills.||Student organizations that emphasize active promotion and reaching out to target audiences; active in problem solving on campus and in the community.
Internships and volunteer work that allow unique opportunities to organize and plan activities; non-profit organizations, event planning, think tanks, tutoring, mentoring, teaching aides, advertising, marketing, management, etc.
Are you accepting of diverse ideas and perspectives? Do you handle change well? Are you one who can "go with the flow?" Do you tend to focus on solving conflict as opposed to participating in it?
|In the Liberal Arts, you will learn to adapt well to adversity and change. You will study diverse perspectives and cultures to understand alternative methods and ideas for living and problem solving, in addition to analyzing and interpreting a diverse array of issues, behaviors, and perspectives from a global viewpoint.||Student organizations that emphasize change and diversity and that are active in promoting and participating such things.
Internships and volunteer work that will allow you to work with a diverse array of people on a diverse array of projects; event planning, PR, gov't work, non-profits, HR, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, the arts, customer service, etc.
Do you stay focused on the issue at hand while others are distracted? Do you evaluate issues from various angles before making decisions? Do you think problems through rather than reacting on emotion?
|Your classes will present many diverse instances of conflict and resolution requiring complex analysis and discussion on your part. You will engage in the history of conflictive and harmonious societies to understand how they have functioned and why some have failed. You will also study diverse perspectives and cultures to understand alternative methods and ideas for living and problem solving.||Student organizations focused on change and betterment and that allow opportunities for you to lead.
Internships and volunteer work that also allow unique opportunities for you to lead others or participate in problem-solving initiatives and procedures; non-profits, event planning, customer service, PR, management, etc.
Do you enjoy challenges and taking initiative? Do you possess excellent communication, organization, and problem solving skills? Are you a confident teacher/coach who inspires others? Do you hold yourself accountable for own decisions, achievements, and failures? Do you recognize the needs of diverse populations?
|Many aspects of a Liberal Arts education will help you build strong leadership skills, including reading, writing, and research to enhance invention abilities, self-expression, and understanding of the needs and expectations of diverse audiences. You will also study diverse perspectives and cultures to understand alternative methods and ideas for living and problem solving.||Student organizations active in the community and on campus and that allow you the opportunity to lead others as well as your own initiatives.
Internships and volunteer work that allow unique opportunities for you to take the lead on your own projects and initiatives and to lead others; non-profits, event planning, customer service, PR, management, think tanks, teaching, tutoring, mentoring, etc.
Using your education as an opportunity to enhance your skills will pay dividends on the job market. Many employers appreciate Liberal Arts majors for their multiple skills and their ability to adapt to a variety of tasks and diverse work environments. Depending on your interests and focus, a wide variety of careers can be found in the following areas, among many others:
public relations, artistic production, mass media, engineering, law, city planning, event planning, human resources, information systems, international business, non-profit organizations, journalism, publishing, education, business management and administration, government and politics, communications, entertainment, foreign service, sales and marketing, technical writing.
For more information on career opportunities, contact the College of Liberal Arts Career Liaison at (970) 491-5707 and check out our Career Center:
Room 26 Lory Student Center (lower level)
116 Lory Student Center
(next to Sweet Sinsations)
For more information on student organizations, contact our Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office:
Student Leadership, Involvement, & Community Engagement (SLiCE)
113 Lory Student Center