2018-19 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 27, 2020  
2018-19 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, BLS

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About the Program

   The Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) is designed to meet the educational needs of those students who desire a broad exposure to the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, and technology as they pursue their own individualized course of study.

   The degree offers students the opportunity to tailor primary and secondary concentrations to meet their specific needs, whether these involve promotions at current jobs, new careers, graduate study, good citizenship, or personal fulfillment. Students create their own concentrations with the help of skilled advisors. Areas of concentration can include but are not limited to technology, humanities, pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-physical therapy, behavioral sciences, communication, business, organizational leadership and supervision, and natural sciences or combinations of these.

   Students may also transfer credits from other PNW programs or other accredited institutions toward the BLS degree requirements, making the plan of study even more flexible.

   The highly individualized concentrations are grounded on a solid foundation of knowledge and insights, transferable skills such as analytical, critical and synthetic thinking and sharp writing skills sought by employers. The General Education Core common to all Purdue Northwest degrees, a supplementary liberal arts core, and free electives broaden the base for the personalized concentrations. A BLS  gateway course at the beginning of the program and two BLS capstone courses at the end add cohesion to the degree and stress thinking skills (logical, analytical, critical, synthetic), reading comprehension, effective writing in standard English and a familiarity with the great issues that face humanity as understood by great thinkers and other sources throughout history.

The Bachelor of Liberal Studies is particularly well-suited for students who

  • seek a quality, interdisciplinary college education transferable skills,
  • have unique interests and educational goals,
  • transfer from other institutions or other degree programs and do not want to lose credits already earned

Degree Requirements

  • 120 Credit Hours
  • Minimum GPA of 2.0 required for graduation

PNW General Education Core (30 Credits)

Supplemental Core (21 Credits)

  • Foreign Language (6 Credits)
  • U.S. Tradition (3 Credits)
  • Global Cultures (3 Credits)
  • Literature and the Arts (3 Credits)
  • Racial and Ethnic Diversity (3 Credits)
  • Gender Issues (3 Credits)

Liberal Studies Gateway Course (3 Credits)

Liberal Studies Capstone Courses (6 Credits)

Primary Area of Study (30 Credits)

A minimum of 30 credits is required (ordinarily distributed among three or more disciplines) taken beyond core requirements. The primary area of study must be agreed upon by the student and the academic advisor. The primary areas of study include but are not limited to:

  • Humanities: creative arts, foreign literature, literature, philosophy, history
  • Social and behavioral sciences: economics, political science, psychology, sociology
  • Natural science and mathematics: biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics
  • Various technology and interdisciplinary areas

Secondary Area of Study (21 Credits)

A minimum of 21 credits is required (ordinarily distributed among two or more disciplines) taken beyond the core. The secondary area must be agreed upon by the student and the academic advisor.

Free Electives (9 Credits)

Student may choose any three (3) courses to fulfil this requirement

Total 120 Credits Required

Other Requirements and Limitations:

  • Students must have a completed plan of study on file with the Department of History and Philosophy by their junior year. Otherwise, on-time graduation cannot be assured.
  • A minimum of 30 credits must be taken at the 30000 level or above
  • A minimum of 30 credits must be taken at the Westville campus
  • A minimum of 32 credits must be taken at a campus of Purdue University at the junior level or above
  • A maximum of eight courses from any one discipline may be counted toward the fulfillment of the degree requirement

Degree Map


Minimum Grade and Grade Point Average (GPA):  2.0 GPA

Experiential Learning (EL):  One EL course required.  EL courses are noted by (e) next to the course title.

General Education Core:  General Education notations can be found within the course description.  Please click on a course to see if it meets a Gen Ed requirement.

Milestone Courses noted by (m) next to the course title have been identified as being critical to your success in this field of study. 

Courses that are only offered on one campus will be noted by an (H) for Hammond, or (W) for Westville.

Please see the Additional Information and Guidelines section below for more information.

Additional Information and Guidelines

Semester 1 – Identify Primary Area with Advisor

Semester 2 – Identify Secondary Area with Advisor

Semester 3 – Discuss options for a Minor with Advisor


The 8 semester plan of study is a recommended sequence of classes designed to show how this program can be completed within four years.

Visit the 15 to Finish website for information and resources.

For career information, check out “What Can I Do With this Major?”

For Financial Aid eligibility, click here. Annual FAFSA filing deadline is March 10. Financial Aid recipients are required to complete 30 credits per calendar year to stay eligible for the standard financial aid award.

Financial Guarantee: If you follow the degree map and find a course unavailable, you may be able to take the course for free in a future semester.  Certain exclusions apply. 

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