Jul 14, 2024  
2021-2022 Rivier University Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Rivier University Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (Day)

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The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies is designed to provide a broad educational background in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Such a program of study is widely recognized as valuable not only in producing a well-rounded, truly educated person, but also in providing a desirable foundation for any number of careers in a rapidly changing world. The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies is also an excellent preparation for law school and for many programs of graduate study within the humanities, the sciences, and business administration or management.

The Bachelor of Arts program offers students the opportunity to supplement their general background in the liberal arts with specialized courses to satisfy their own interests and develop specific skills. The program includes a significant concentration in a humanities discipline, selected according to the student’s particular interests, from the fields of art history, history, language, literature, philosophy, or religious studies. In addition, there are enough general electives to allow the option of a minor in any of the liberal arts disciplines or in some other field of interest such as business or computer science. Internship: The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies offers the option of an internship to qualified students. The internship provides an opportunity for practical application of one of the student’s areas of concentration in a supervised work experience. Only seniors who have maintained a B (3.0) average throughout their program of study are eligible for an internship. All arrangements, including number of credits earned, must be approved by the program director.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the degree in Liberal Studies should be able to:

  • Develop a capacity for independent thought; the ability to express oneself clearly and coherently both orally and in writing;
  • Demonstrate foundational concepts, methodology, and the content of a wide range of disciplines in the arts and humanities as well as in the natural and social sciences;
  • Read, understand, and interpret classic and current literature across disciplines; a sense of history, including the history of ideas, as a backdrop for an understanding of contemporary life and society;
  • Demonstrate a broad basis for lifelong learning along the various dimensions constituting our shared humanity- intellectual, spiritual, moral, and aesthetic;
  •  Extrapolate learning to practice and to issues of contemporary concern preparing the graduate to be an informed participant in the life of society and adaptable to changing circumstances of life and occupation.


There are no courses designated as Liberal Studies courses. Because individual courses taken toward the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies are taught in different departments, procedures and performance objectives may vary from department to department. Course competencies are generally assessed by one or more of the following instruments: examinations, research papers, student portfolios, student presentations, and interactive student activities.

Major Requirements (42 credits)

Humanities Focus:

Six courses, or 18 credits, in one discipline (History, Language, Literature, Philosophy, Religious Studies)

  • Humanities  - Two electives
  • Natural Science  - Three electives
  • Social Sciences - Three electives
  • Internships  - Optional, by arrangement

General Education Requirements (42-45 credits)

Associated with General Core

Who is My Neighbor?  Students explore this question in their second and third years.(6 credits)

  • HUM200 Literature, Art, and the Human Credits: 3
    Students take one -200 level interdisciplinary course that addresses a basic human question from the perspectives of the literary, visual, and musical arts.
  • HIS203 Interactions: The West in the World I Credits: 3 or
  • HIS204 Interactions: The West in the World II Credits: 3

How Shall We Live? Students explore this question in their junior and senior years. (6 credits)

  • Religion: Faith, Religion, and Social Justice Credits: 3
    Students take one Religion course developed with this theme at its center.
  • Philosophy: Ethics, Values, and Moral Choices Credits: 3
    Students take one Philosophy course developed with this theme at its center.

What, then, Shall We Do?  Students explore this question in their junior or senior year. (3 credits)

  • Capstone: Justice and Global Responsibility Credits: 3
    Students take one of a number of offerings under Justice and Global Responsibility. This seminar serves as the culmination of the Common Core. Informed by problem-solving pedagogy, this seminar enhances the student’s connection with the Catholic vision of the University by focusing on justice and global responsibility.

Area Distribution Courses: The Core Complement
Humanities and Social Sciences (6 credits)

  • One course from: English, History, Modern Language, Philosophy, Religious Studies Credits: 3
  • One course from: Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, or Sociology Credits: 3

Mathematics and Natural Sciences (6 credits)

  • One course in Mathematics:  MA112 College Algebra or above Credits: 3
  • One course from: Computer Science, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, or Physical Science Credits: 3-4

Culture through Language (6 credits)
Students must demonstrate university-level introductory competency in a language other than English.

General Electives (36 credits)

Degree Requirements (120 credits)

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