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Liberal Studies (B.A.)

Website: Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies

About the Major

Ramapo College students have long enjoyed the freedom of individualized “contract” majors.  Liberal Studies is the contract major for the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies.

The Ramapo College graduates awarded baccalaureates in Liberal Studies major will be thoughtful, well-educated individuals with understanding of and an appreciation for multiple ways of seeing the world, skilled at using interdisciplinary approaches to meet the challenges facing themselves, their communities, and the world.  The Liberal Arts encourages and inspires reflection, critical thinking, emotional maturity, and the broadening of the mind through the contemplation of new possibilities.  This major spans the great themes of human inquiry and critical expression in the humanities, in world languages, and in social studies.

Examples of learning tracks include but are not limited to:

  • Anthropology
  • Italian Studies
  • Human Rights and Genocide Studies
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

A graduate in Liberal Studies shall:  (1) employ multiple methods of critical understanding to affirm and transform the self; (2) build foundational knowledge in the Liberal Arts; (3) gain hands-on experience applying knowledge of the Liberal Arts for providing ways to answer real-life, interdisciplinary problems; (4) reflect upon and pose original analysis of problems within the Liberal Arts in class discussions, written work, exams, group projects, portfolios, internships, or study abroad; and (5) appreciate, understand, and value the rich complexity and diversity of human experience by studying the interrelationships of individuals to groups, cultures, heritages, stories, epistemologies, and/or world languages.  These objectives will be tailored to individual students.

A Liberal Studies major is a preparation for a free and fulfilled life in any area of specialization:  business, arts, public relations, journalism, education, social or physical sciences, medicine, or law.  Liberal Studies majors gain this preparation through coursework, as well as through a significant experiential learning activity and an independent research project.  Liberal Studies majors must also complete the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies School Core (language proficiency) and General Education program.

The Liberal Studies major is also compatible with the Teacher Certification program.  Students interested in teaching at the elementary or secondary level will do an independent study in curricular and pedagogical development.

Liberal Studies majors may pursue a learning track that expands upon an existing Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies minor or may pursue one that is more individualized.  No matter what an individual student chooses as his/her particular track-e.g., Anthropology, Italian Studies, Human Rights and Genocide Stuides, or Philosophy and Religious Studies, the degree awarded will be a B.A. in Liberal Studies.

A minor in Liberal Studies is not available.

Outcomes for the Major

Outcome 1:   Students will be proficient in using key concepts in their field of study. 

Outcome 2:   Students will be able to use their content knowledge in a variety of real-life situations and contexts, which involve different disciplines and general cultural competences.

Students who elect a track in anthropology, Italian, or philosophy should consult the outcomes listed under those minors.

Requirements of the Major

In addition to the completion of the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies School Core (Language Proficiency) and General Education program, the following are required for the Liberal Studies Major:

STATEMENT OF JUSTIFICATION:  A Statement of Justification must be on file and approved by the Dean and relevant faculty advisors.  This contract must include a list of which courses (including independent studies) a student will count into the major.

ELEVEN COURSES:  The contract major in Liberal Studies will include at least eleven courses in a concentrated program of study.  At least six of these courses  (24 credits) must be from courses offered by the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies and included:

  • One 300-level Independent Study:  One of the eleven courses for all Liberal Studies major must be an independent study in original research.
  • One significant experiential learning activity:  In addition to or as part of their eleven courses, all Liberal Studies majors must complete a significant experiential learning activity that enriches classroom time with concrete experience.  This may include: service learning, internship, co-op, presenting a research paper at a professional conference or in a journal, or study abroad.  The Liberal Studies Convener must approve the significant experiential learning activity.

SELF EVALUATION STATEMENT FOR GRADUATION:  The Self-Evaluation Statement is required to graduate for all Liberal Studies major.  It must be submitted to the Dean and relevant faculty advisors, along with the graduation application.  The purpose of the Self-Evaluation Statement is to reflect back on the experience of completing the major.

  1. Students are required to take 11 courses (44 credits) to complete this major.
  2. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers do not apply to Major Requirements.
  3. Double counting between General Education, School Core, and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  4. Writing Intensive Requirement (five courses):  two writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: Critical Reading and Writing and Studies in the Arts and Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.  Close advisement by the major convener is suggested to identify which three writing intensive courses will count into a student’s contract major in Liberal Studies; usually the required Independent Study course will count as one of them.
  5. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.

Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.