Liberal Studies, Comprehensive Major

Liberal Arts (Code 370-001)

University Requirements

Credit Requirements
Minimum total for graduation 1120
Upper division credits (courses numbered 300 and higher)39
Liberal Education Core36
Academic Concentrations
Grade Point Requirements 2
Total2.00 average
Resident2.00 average
Major2.00 average
Minor2.00 average
Certificate2.00 average
University Residency Requirements
Minimum total30
Senior year23
Major, Standard, upper division in residence12
Major, Comprehensive, upper division in residence21
Certificate25 percent of credits
Procedures Required for Graduation
Obtain admission to the degree program and/or the College offering it.
Apply for graduation on CampS.

Certain programs exceed this minimum.


See special requirements in each College.

Applicability of Credits Toward Graduation

Junior College or Two-Year College Credits. A maximum of 72 semester credits earned in a junior college or two-year college will be accepted as degree credits at UW-Eau Claire.

Extension Credits. Credits earned in credit outreach courses offered by UW-Eau Claire are treated as resident credits. Credits earned in extension courses offered by other units of the University of Wisconsin System are treated as transfer credits. All other (non-UW) extension and correspondence credits are normally limited to one-fourth of the total required for graduation from any curriculum.

WTCS Credits. A maximum of 72 semester credits earned in college parallel programs at Madison Area Technical College, Milwaukee Area Technical College, Nicolet Area Technical College, or Chippewa Valley Technical College may be accepted as degree credits at UW-Eau Claire. A set number of general education courses will be accepted from other technical schools. Occupational and technical courses may also be considered for transfer if the quality and content of the course work from the technical college is judged to be comparable to course work at UW-Eau Claire. Refer to the Transfer Credit Wizard or contact the UW-Eau Claire Admissions Office for information about the current transfer policy.

USAFI Credit. UW-Eau Claire will accept up to 32 semester credits for work done through the United States Armed Forces Institute, under the provision for non-UW correspondence credit (see Extension Credits above).

Activity Credit (band, chorus, drama, KINS 100-184 courses) Students may count toward graduation no more than one credit of KINS 110-184 courses. Students may count toward graduation no more than four credits earned in any single activity course and no more than 12 credits resulting from any combination of activity courses (excluding KINS 110-184 courses). 

Other Restricted Credits. For other University restrictions, see the following: Cooperative Education; Credit by Examination; Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Registration; Transfer of Credits. College or departmental restrictions may also be placed on Independent Study (399-499 courses), Directed Study (395-495), and other types of credits.

Total degree creditmaximum 12
Major, Standardmaximum 1 course
Major, Comprehensivemaximum 2 courses
Minormaximum 1 course
Credit by Examination
Total degree creditmaximum ¼ of total
Major or minormaximum ½ of total
Two-Year College Credits
Total degree creditmaximum 72 credits
Activity credit (band, chorus, drama, KINS 100-184)
Total KINS 100-184maximum 1 credit
Total Band, chorus, dramamaximum 12 credits
Single course band, chorus, dramamaximum 4 credits
Extension credits
UW-Systemno maximum
Other extension/correspondencemaximum ¼ of total
USAFImaximum 32 credits

Liberal Education Core

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire measures learning outcomes to ensure that its graduates have achieved a liberal education and prepared themselves to contribute to a complex society. Upon graduation, each undergraduate will have met the five learning goals of our liberal education core and the 12 learning outcomes they comprise. 

Knowledge Goal
Knowledge Outcome 1 (K1): Natural SciencesTwo (2) learning experiences
One experience in laboratory science must be selected from either K1 or K2.
Knowledge Outcome 2 (K2): Social SciencesTwo (2) learning experiences
One experience in laboratory science must be selected from either K1 or K2.
Knowledge Outcome 3 (K3): HumanitiesTwo (2) learning experiences
Knowledge Outcome 4 (K4): Fine ArtsOne (1) learning experience
Skills Goal
Skills Outcome 1 (S1): Written and Oral CommunicationTwo (2) learning experiences
Skills Outcome 2 (S2): MathematicsOne (1) learning experience
Skills Outcome 3 (S3): CreativityOne (1) learning experience
Responsibility Goal
Responsibility Outcome 1 (R1): Equity, Diversity, and InclusivityTwo (2) learning experiences
Responsibility Outcome 2 (R2): Global PerspectivesOne (1) learning experience
Responsibility Outcome 3 (R3): Civic and Environmental IssuesOne (1) learning experience
Integration Goal
Integration Outcome 1 (I1): IntegrationTwo (2) learning experiences
Service-Learning Goal
Service-Learning30 hours

College Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Liberal Studies

University Graduation Requirements. All candidates for degrees must fulfill the requirements for credits, curriculum, GPA, and University residency as specified in the section of this catalog titled University Graduation Requirements.

College Graduation Requirements: Grade Point Averages. All candidates for degrees in the College of Arts and Sciences must earn minimum resident and total GPAs of 2.00 in the major, the minor, and the certificate. The resident and total GPAs for the major are computed using all attempted credits applicable to the major including those offered by departments other than the major department. The resident and total GPAs for the minor and certificate are computed similarly.

Major-Minor and Major-Certificate Requirements. A standard major (a minimum of 36 credits) must be supplemented by a minor (a minimum of 24 credits) or by a certificate (12 to 18 credits) to meet graduation requirements for completing a first and second degree program. No minor or certificate is required with a Comprehensive Major (60 or more credits) or with two majors of 36 or more credits each.

Certain degree programs, which include Comprehensive Majors, may require more than the minimum of 120 credits for graduation.

Acceptable academic program combinations are determined at the college level. A major and a minor or a major and certificate or two majors (if available) may not be elected in the same department or program, except in the approved combinations listed here.

College Credits. Earn at least 90 credits in courses offered by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Liberal Studies Degree in the College of Arts and Sciences (B.L.S.)

Fulfillment of all University Graduation Requirements (which includes the Liberal Education Core); all College-level degree requirements (major and minor/certificate emphases, GPAs, earning at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences course work).

Major Requirements

Liberal Arts (Code 370-001)

For advising, contact D. Tschida, Director of Liberal Studies, Department of Communication and Journalism.

The Liberal Studies Comprehensive Major (LSCM) is an alternative way to complete a major not offered at UW-Eau Claire. Students majoring in Liberal Studies develop their own individualized program of study or set of courses including the primary academic theme/major; three interdisciplinary areas of concentration exploring the theme/major, each built from courses selected primarily from multiple departments within the College of Arts and Sciences; and the three required Liberal Studies core courses (LS 201, LS 301, and LS 480). Courses in the LSCM may also satisfy UW-Eau Claire's Liberal Education requirements. 

Through this structure, the Liberal Studies major offers students an opportunity to connect several areas of academic interest that are not located in any single discipline or major. Students in Liberal Studies have a unique opportunity to benefit from coursework in departments across the university and to build an educational experience that is highly relevant to their professional and personal goals. Liberal Studies majors are required to take advantage of UW-Eau Claire’s strong tradition in student-faculty collaborative research by developing and implementing a capstone project especially related to integrating the three concentrations of their LSCM primary academic theme.  

An important first step for each Liberal Studies major is to develop and formally propose their individualized program of study in consultation with a faculty advisor familiar with one or more of the interdisciplinary concentrations in that program of study. The Director of Liberal Studies will assist in this process. In the second step, students will work with the Director of Liberal Studies to submit their completed plans to the Liberal Studies Steering Committee (LSSC) for review and approval. This committee consists of faculty and professional advisers that have worked with Liberal Studies majors in different settings. 

In order to graduate with a LSCM, students must complete the requirements specified for the Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) (see degree program requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences). The BLS degree is designed to help students develop the breadth of knowledge and skills that represent the core of liberal education, including knowledge of human cultures and the natural world; communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills; and teamwork and collaborative abilities. The BLS degree also explores differences, commonalities, and interconnections among academic disciplines, including methods of inquiry and problem solving that are favored in these disciplines. Skills in written and oral communication, critical analysis, teamwork, and application of academic findings to professional contexts are also emphasized in the Liberal Studies program.  

Admission to Major Requirement: Completion of LS 201 and approval of a program of study. 

Major Requirements
A minimum of 60 credits, including:
LS 201Introductory Liberal Studies Seminar3
LS 301Liberal Studies Research Seminar3
LS 480Liberal Studies Capstone Seminar3
Three Theme- or Discipline-Based Concentrations (minimum 17 credits each and at least 51 credits total)51
Each individually-designed major program must be formally proposed and approved. This program plan describes the primary theme, three interdisciplinary areas of concentration that explore the primary theme, and coursework to be completed for the Liberal Studies Comprehensive Major. Each major program must include at least 39 credits from College of Arts and Sciences course work and a minimum of 21 upper-division credits. To graduate with a Liberal Studies Comprehensive Major, students must complete the requirements specified for the Bachelor of Liberal Studies Degree.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students completing this program will be expected to meet the following learning outcomes: 

  • Develop and implement a research, scholarly, or creative project. 
  • Integrate knowledge and/or theories from more than one field of study or perspective to solve problems or answer questions students identify. 
  • Discuss the differences and commonalities that characterize the disciplines, and those discipline's approach(es) to problems or questions, within their liberal studies comprehensive major. 
  • Be able to evaluate changes in their own learning by building upon past experiences that have occurred over multiple and diverse academic disciplinary contexts. 

Sample Degree Plan

Liberal Studies, Comprehensive Major, B.L.S.

The following is a sample degree plan, based on the 2023-2024 catalog. It is based on the 120-credit graduation requirement and assumes no transferred credits, no requirements waived by placement tests, no courses taken in the summer or winter, no repeated courses, and no remedial courses that may be required. This sample degree plan is intended for first-year students entering UW-Eau Claire in the fall semester. Your own degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). UW-Eau Claire cannot guarantee all courses will be offered as shown, but will provide a range of courses that may enable prepared students to fulfill their requirements in a timely period. This sample degree plan is just a guide. Please consult your advisor, your degree audit, and the catalog to create your own degree plan. Note: In order to earn the required minimum of 120 credits for the degree in four years, you should plan to take 15 credits each semester or 30 credits each year.

To earn a degree, students must fulfill all University Graduation Requirements, including the Liberal Education (LE) Core. LE Core course work in the following sample degree plan uses abbreviations such as LE-K1, LE-S2, LE-R3, and LE-I1 to represent the learning outcomes students will meet via completion of their liberal education course work. Please click here for a description of the Liberal Education Core outcomes and requirements. Note that the LE Core may be completed through both course and non-course experiences.

Every student majoring in Liberal Studies completes three required courses totaling 9 credits and develops and proposes an individualized program of study.  The program of study includes a minimum of 51 credits (at least 17 credits from each of three concentrations that when linked together constitute a coherent theme). Each program must also include at least 39 credits from College of Arts and Sciences course work and a minimum of 21 upper-division credits.

Recommended Timeline for Required Courses 1
LS 201Introductory Liberal Studies Seminar (LE-R3, I1)3
LS 301Liberal Studies Research Seminar (LE-I1)3
LS 480Liberal Studies Capstone Seminar (LE-S3)3

It is highly recommended students discuss their interest in a Liberal Studies degree with the Director of Liberal Studies in addition to an ARCC advisor and to get their degree completed proposal to the Director during their 3rd year – preferably no later than February. Selecting for courses in the proposal, adjusting course scheduling on the proposal to match when courses are offered, and securing the approval of the proposal by the Liberal Studies Steering Committee is time-intensive and sensitive. Students are not guaranteed an approved proposal simply because they have completed a large number of credits toward graduation.

Minimum total for the baccalaureate degree = 120 credits

Note:  All students must complete the 30-hour Service-Learning Requirement via a non-credit or credit option (see University Graduation Requirements).

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire encourages all students to participate in High Impact Practices.  The following information identifies any specific recommendations that faculty in this major have concerning which HIPs might be most beneficial to students, and any recommendations about when those HIPs best fit into the degree plan. Students should also consult their faculty advisor for information on HIPs. There are many additional high impact opportunities available. Talk to your academic advisor for more information about incorporating HIPs like Study Abroad, Intercultural Immersion, Internship, and/or Student/Faculty Collaborative Research into your time at UW-Eau Claire.

Liberal Education (LE) Core Guidance

Liberal Education Core (LE Core) 

The LE Core comprises 17 learning experiences across 11 learning outcomes. Students must complete a minimum of 36 credits in courses approved for the LE Core. 

  • K1 – Natural Sciences; two experiences (one lab science experience is required in K1 or K2). 

  • K2 – Social Sciences; two experiences (one lab science experience is required in K1 or K2). 

  • K3 – Humanities; two experiences. 

  • K4 – Fine Arts; one experience. 

  • S1 – Written and Oral Communication; two experiences (one experience must satisfy the University writing requirement). 

  • S2 – Mathematics; one experience (must satisfy the University math competency requirement). 

  • S3 – Creativity; one experience (can be fulfilled in a student’s major). 

  • R1 – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity; two experiences (one experience must meet the UW System Design for Diversity (DD) requirement). 

  • R2 – Global Perspectives; one experience. 

  • R3 – Civic and Environmental Issues; one experience. 

  • I1 – Integration; two experiences (one experience can be fulfilled in a student’s major). 

  • SL—Service Learning; 30 hours 

Additional LE Core Information 

  • Most LE Core learning experiences are course based, and many courses meet more than one learning outcome (e.g., K3 and R2 or K1 and R3). 

  • Some learning experiences can also be met outside of a traditional course (e.g., undergraduate research (S3), study abroad (I1)). 

  • S1 – An English placement score that fulfills the University writing requirement fulfills one S1 experience. 

  • S1 – A foreign Language placement score that qualifies the student to enter the 102 level satisfies one S1 experience. 

  • S1, R2 – A foreign language placement score that qualifies the student to enter the 202 level satisfies one experience in S1 and the R2 experience. 

  • S2 – A math placement score that qualifies the student to enter Math 111, 112, 113 or 114 fulfills the S2 experience. 

  • S3 – Completion of two credits from any approved music ensemble fulfills the S3 experience. 

  • I1 – Any semester long study abroad program can fulfill one I1 experience.