Letters, Arts, and Sciences, B.A. (Liberal Arts)

Program Code: LAS_BA

Entrance To Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to the major, the student must submit a proposal. In consultation with an LAS adviser, the student formulates a proposal designing a program that investigates a theme from the viewpoint of at least three different subject areas. Students may not duplicate existing majors from any academic area. An important standard for entrance to the Letters, Arts, and Sciences major is the student's ability to design a program with academic integrity worthy of a bachelor of arts degree.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Letters, Arts, and Sciences, a minimum of 120 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 15
Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 24
Requirements for the Major 36

3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.

Per Senate Policy 83-80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. For more information, check the Recommended Academic Plan for your intended program.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

B.A. Degree Requirements

Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.

B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)

Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.​

Requirements for the Major

Courses must be selected in consultation with an adviser.

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 24 credits from University-wide offerings to include:24
12 credits at the 400 level representing at least three different subject areas
3 credit 400-level capstone course
A minimum 9 credits from the humanities and social sciences
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits in research methods/projects from courses that involve research methodology or that focus on a research project3
Select 3 credits in communication skills from courses that focus on expression including those in verbal, symbolic, and written skills3
Select 3 credits in theory/application from courses that focus on theory, principle, central concepts, or fundamental issues3
Select 3 credits in critical analysis from courses that focus on evaluation, synthesis, and analysis3

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Liberal Arts Academic Advising
814-865-2545
http://starfish.psu.edu
http://www.la.psu.edu/current-students/undergraduate-students/education/majors-and-minors

Abington

Pierce Salguero
Program Chair
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7826
salguero@psu.edu

Altoona

Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, English and American Studies
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5365
shp2@psu.edu

Brandywine

Lori Elias-Reno
Lecturer in Marketing
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-892-1442
lxe9@psu.edu

DuBois

Jackie Atkins/Anthony Vallone
Co-Program Coordinators Letters, Arts, and Sciences
1 College Place
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-4815 or 814-375-4814
jka1@psu.edu or ajv2@psu.edu

Greater Allegheny

Advising Office
Academic Affairs

101 Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9140
GA-Academics@lists.psu.edu

Hazleton

Maggie Gordon Froehlich
Associate Professor of English
Butler 203K
Hazleton, PA 18202
570-450-3134
mgf10@psu.edu

Mont Alto

Lauraine Hawkins
Assistant Professor of Biology
208 Sci-Tech
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6237
lkh1@psu.edu

Scranton

Paul Perrone
Assistant Teaching Professor
13 Library Building
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2660
pjp3@psu.edu

Shenango

Philip Nash
Associate Professor
147 Shenango Avenue
310C Sharon Hall
Sharon, PA 16146
724-983-2978
pxn4@psu.edu

World Campus

Undergraduate Academic Advising
301 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-3283
advising@outreach.psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

University Park and World Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, ENGL 30, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H3CAS 100, ENGL 138T, or CAS 138T3
Foreign Language (Level 1)4General Education Quantification Course (GQ)3
General Education Quantification (GQ)3Foreign Language (Level 2)4
General Education Course3General Education Course3
First-Year Seminar3General Education Course3
 16 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Core course for major*3Major Core Course*3
Major Option Course*3Major Option Course*3
BA Other Cultures Course3General Education Course3
World Language (Level 3)4General Education Course3
Elective3BA Knowldege Domains Course3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Major Core Course*3Major Core Course*3
Major Option Course*3Major Option Course*3
General Education Course3ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3
BA Knowledge Domains Course3General Education Course3
Elective course3General Education Course3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Major Option Course*3Major Capstone Course*3
Major Option Course*3Major Option Course*3
BA Knowledge Domain Course3General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
Elective3Elective3
General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5Elective3
 13.5 13.5
Total Credits 120

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL/CAS 137 in the fall semester and ENGL/CAS 138 in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30 and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Advising Note:

All incoming freshmen must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.

Commonwealth Campuses

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, ENGL 30, ESL 15, ENGL 137H, or CAS 137H3CAS 100, ENGL 138T, or CAS 138T3
Foreign Language (Level 1)4General Education Quantification Course (GQ)3
General Education Quantification (GQ)3Foreign Language (Level 2)4
General Education Course3General Education Course3
First-Year Seminar3General Education Course3
 16 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Core course for major*3Major Core Course*3
Major Option Course*3Major Option Course*3
BA Other Cultures Course3General Education Course3
World Language (Level 3)4General Education Course3
Elective3BA Knowldege Domains Course3
 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Major Core Course*3Major Core Course*3
Major Option Course*3Major Option Course*3
General Education Course3ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3
BA Knowledge Domains Course3General Education Course3
Elective course3General Education Course3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Major Option Course*3Major Capstone Course*3
Major Option Course*3Major Option Course*3
BA Knowledge Domain Course3General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5
Elective3Elective3
General Education Health and Wellness (GHW)1.5Elective3
 13.5 13.5
Total Credits 120

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Bachelor of Arts Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.

Advising Note:

All incoming freshmen must take a First-Year Seminar (FYS) during Fall or Spring of their first year. Academic advisers can provide a list of FYS being offered and help the student enroll. Most FYS in the College of the Liberal Arts are worth 3 cr. and count as a General Humanities (GH) or General Social Sciences (GS) course. For this reason, the FYS is not listed separately on this eight-semester plan; most students will be able to fulfill the FYS requirement while also fulfilling a GH or GS requirement.

Career Paths

  • Government agencies
  • For-profit organizations
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Business
  • Human resources

Contact

University Park

LIBERAL ARTS UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES
128 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-5386
drg17@psu.edu

Abington

DIVISION OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES
1600 Woodland Road
Abington, PA 19001
215-881-7826
salgero@psu.edu

http://abington.psu.edu/letters-arts-sciences

Altoona

DIVISION OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES
Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts 129
3000 Ivyside Park
Altoona, PA 16601
814-949-5365
shp2@psu.edu

http://altoona.psu.edu/academics/bachelors-degrees/letters-arts-sciences/request-information

Brandywine

25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-892-1442
lxe9@psu.edu

http://brandywine.psu.edu/letters-arts-and-sciences

DuBois

1 College Place
DuBois, PA 15801
814-375-4815 or 814-375-4814
jka1@psu.edu or ajv2@psu.edu

https://dubois.psu.edu/las

Greater Allegheny

101 Frable Building
4000 University Drive
McKeesport, PA 15132
412-675-9140
GA-Academics@lists.psu.edu

http://greaterallegheny.psu.edu/letters-arts-and-sciences-ba

Hazleton

Butler 203K
Hazleton, PA 18202
570-450-3134
mgf10@psu.edu

http://hazleton.psu.edu/letters-arts-and-sciences

Mont Alto

208 Sci-Tech
Mont Alto, PA 17237
717-749-6237
lkh1@psu.edu

https://montalto.psu.edu/academics/bachelors/letters-arts-sciences-degree

Scranton

12 Library Building
Dunmore, PA 18512
570-963-2660
pjp3@psu.edu

http://worthingtonscranton.psu.edu/letters-arts-and-sciences

Shenango

147 Shenango Avenue
310C Sharon Hall
Sharon, PA 16146
724-983-2978
pxn4@psu.edu

http://shenango.psu.edu/las

World Campus

FILIPPELLI INSTITUTE FOR E-EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
128 Sparks Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-863-5965
drg17@psu.edu

https://www.worldcampus.psu.edu/degrees-and-certificates/letters-arts-and-sciences-bachelors/overview