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 30 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.

Liberal Studies Requirement

In addition to the university's Core curriculum, students are required to take a 3+ credit course in each of the following areas: fine arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences (minimum of 12 credits).

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 in LS 499R. Students must have completed their foreign language requirement, and are strongly encouraged to take a research methods such as LS 350, before taking the capstone course.  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.