Majors and Minors

Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies is the most flexible of majors. It is for students who want a wide ranging education that expresses their personal academic interests. The major has broad distribution requirements within which no specific courses are required. The student gets to pick what is most valuable.

Course work is to be spread across the three main core areas of liberal education:
(1) The humanities and fine arts
(2) The social sciences
(3) The natural sciences and mathematics and electives, drawn from among all three.

Liberal Studies is a department within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. The other core college of the program is the College of Sciences and Health Professions.


By combining the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with one or more minors in traditional disciplines, graduates have achieved a depth of experience without sacrificing breadth. Others created their own academic concentrations or worked for a formal certificate. And some graduates have used the program as preparation for further study such as in a professional or graduate school. Still others have used it to prepare for launching a business, combining academic work in Business Administration to learn how to run the business side of their plan with academic work in the core colleges to learn more about their future product.

The Liberal Studies perspective is that in a rapidly changing world, if your education is very narrow, within a few years of graduation, your skills will no longer be up to date. Employers need people who are well trained but they also need people who can adapt to the constant of change. Among the best career preparations is an education that is broad but with a job specific component such as a couple of marketing or technical courses. Another kind of empowering education replaces the job components with pre-professional coursework.

Liberal Studies graduates go on to an amazing variety of careers from banking to manufacturing, from professional story telling to interpreting for the deaf, and from graduate school to medical school.

But Liberal Studies is also for those whose focus is not on a career, instead exploring educational experiences for their inherent value and satisfaction.


Click here to see the current academic year's Undergraduate Catalog requirements for the Liberal Studies major .

NOTE: For official requirements, determine your catalog rights, and go to the undergraduate catalog that matches those rights. (The following requirements are ONLY for students whose FIRST semester at CSU is Fall 2011 or Spring 2012. For students who started BEFORE the 2011-2012 school year AND who have been enrolled during at least one of the past three semesters, including summer, please see your undergraduate catalog).

A full-time student should be able to finish a degree in liberal studies in four years. Students attending part-time should plan for a longer course of study, and will find that required courses are offered on a regular basis.

Students must apply for admission into the program. Typically, this is done in the Junior year. Students should contact the program directly for details regarding the application process.

Because of the wide latitude granted Liberal Studies students, an intensive advising service is administered by the Director.

All degree seeking students are required to complete a specific number of General Education (GenEd) courses. Among the courses taken are nine credits in Humanities or Fine Arts; nine credits in Social Sciences; six credits in Mathematics or Logic; and eight credits in Natural Sciences. These 32 hours may overlap with other requirements where appropriate. A comprehensive description of Cleveland State University's General Education Requirements for undergraduate students is available online at

For more information, contact:
Liberal Studies Program
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, RT 1927
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Phone: 216-687-3920