Liberal Studies

The Liberal Studies degree offers an interdisciplinary approach to a well-rounded education which emphasizes reading, reasoning, and communication skills in addition to substantive knowledge that will allow graduates to thrive in a broad range of career contexts and to pursue life-long learning. 

All students are required to choose one of three program options, either the Quaternity option (also available online) which offers the more traditional broad-based liberal arts education, or a cross-disciplinary cluster of thematically related courses (option II), which currently includes the Environmental Studies and the Global and Multicultural Studies options. Courses that are used to satisfy one degree requirement cannot be used to satisfy another. Students must complete a minimum of 45 credits in the program after declaring themselves to be Liberal Studies majors.

For details about the Liberal Studies degree, contact the College of Letters and Science by calling 406-994-7805, sending e-mail to, or checking the Liberal Studies website at

Liberal Studies Seminars

All students in Liberal Studies, regardless of option, are encouraged to take a series of integrative seminars (LS 101US and LS 301) or other LS seminars. These seminars are designed to provide a sense of academic community, improved critical thinking and communication skills, and a better understanding of the factual knowledge and theoretical foundations of the disciplines encompassed by the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Integrative Studies Requirement

Students are required to take 4 courses (minimum of 12 credits) in addition to the university's Core curriculum, one course each in arts, humanities, natural science, and social sciences.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students in the Quaternity option are to complete the first two courses in a foreign language or to demonstrate equivalent competency. Students in the Global and Multicultural option are to complete the first three courses in a foreign language or to demonstrate equivalent competency. 

Capstone Experience

All students in the major take a common 4-credit capstone course in their final year either via LS 499 / LS 490R. Students must have completed their foreign language requirement before taking the capstone course. Students work individually or in small groups to design solutions to contemporary public policy issues (e.g., overpopulation). Each project results in a scholarly product (typically a paper and a presentation) that serves as a tangible and measurable indication of the extent to which students have mastered the critical thinking, reading, writing, and oral communication skills that are the principal learning objectives of the program.