College of Liberal Studies (CLS)

Dean (interim) — Ruthann Benson
Associate Deans -- Charles Martin-Stanley, Margaret Finders
235 Thomas Morris Hall;
(608) 785-8113
Assistants to the Dean: Chris Bakkum, Sandy Keller
Academic Advisers: Timothy Walls, Troy Richter
260 Thomas Morris Hall;
(608) 785-5454


Communication Studies
Educational Studies
Ethnic & Racial Studies
Military Science
Modern Languages
Political Science/Public Administration
Theatre Arts
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Degrees Offered

Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science
Master of Education-Professional Development
Master of Science in Education
Education Specialist

Majors and Minors

Humanities/Social Sciences Majors:

Archaeological Studies BA/BS
*Economics BA/BS
English w/Literature Emphasis BA
English w/Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis BA
*French BA
French w/Business Concentration — BA
*German Studies BA
German w/Business Concentration BA
*History BA/BS
*History w/Regional Emphasis BA/BS
*Philosophy BA/BS
*Political Science BA/BS
*Psychology BA/BS
*Public Administration BA/BS
*Sociology BA/BS
*Spanish BA
Spanish w/Business Concentration BA

* also offered as minors

Minors (only):

Creative Writing
Criminal Justice
Environmental Studies
Ethnic and Racial Studies
International Studies
    European Emphasis
    Latin American Emphasis
Military Science
Professional Writing
Public History
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Women's Studies


Child/Youth Care
University Honors

Certificate Program

French Studies

Dual Degree Program

Psychology/Occupational Therapy

School of Arts and Communication (SAC) Majors and Minors

*Art BA/BS
    Communication Studies BA/BS
        *Interpersonal Communication Emphasis
        * Organizational and Professional Communication Emphasis
        *Advocacy and Cultural Criticism Emphasis
        *Broadcast and Digital Communication Emphasis

*Music BA/BS
        History Emphasis
        Jazz Performance Emphasis
        *Music Theatre Emphasis
        Performance Emphasis
        Piano Pedagogy
        Theory Emphasis

Photography (minor only)

Theatre Arts — BA/BS
        *Design/Technical Emphasis
        *General Studies Emphasis
        *Management Emphasis
        *Music Theatre Emphasis
        *Performance Emphasis

School Of Education (SOE)

Certification Programs Offered

Early Childhood-Middle Childhood (ages birth-11)
Requires completion of the Early Childhood Education minor

Middle Childhood-Early Adolescence (ages 6-12 or 13)

Early Adolescence-Adolescence (ages 10-21)

Early Childhood-Adolescence (ages birth-21)

The College of Liberal Studies (CLS) includes departments and programs in the humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies, as well as the School of Arts and Communication and the School of Education. CLS continues the established liberal studies tradition of providing many curricula leading to the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree.

CLS is dedicated to providing quality instruction and learning experiences which prepare students for future education or careers and meaningful, responsible lives by fostering a climate of intellectual curiosity and creativity. Graduates of the college will have developed the ability to communicate effectively, to think critically, to conduct sound research, to understand global issues, to use knowledge in all aspects of life, to participate meaningfully as citizens, and to discover and apply worthwhile values.

CLS faculty and staff are committed to maintaining academic integrity and high ethical standards. CLS, through its faculty, students, and curricula, also is dedicated to advancing cultural diversity. Furthermore, by developing partnerships and encouraging professional connections, the College establishes its membership in the broader community.

The academic community within the College of Liberal Studies supports a strong General Education program, nurtures exceptional disciplinary programs, and creates innovative interdisciplinary and international programs, which together promote lifelong personal and professional learning.

Programs in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Interdisciplinary Studies

At the heart of the College of Liberal Studies are the departments which teach the humanities and social sciences. These departments have traditionally represented the cornerstone disciplines of a university. They offer essential experiences that prepare students for lifelong learning. Courses in the humanities and social sciences introduce students to cultural, ethnic and racial diversity; international dimensions of politics, economics, language and culture; social institutions and social interactions; theories and applications of human behavior; and the great writing that develops and explores these realms of knowledge.

All students at UWL take courses in the humanities and social sciences even though they may not major in one of these programs. Many of the skills courses and liberal studies courses of the General Education program are offered by departments in the humanities and social sciences. The skills that are built are those that enable students to proceed with effective and efficient learning.

Courses in the humanities and social sciences provide individuals with solid reading and writing abilities, an understanding of cultural diversity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, the ability to integrate and synthesize ideas, and a sense of personal responsibility. Courses in these disciplines help individuals learn from the past, explore the present and adapt to the future. The liberal studies program is designed to be an enriching experience that produces a well-rounded individual.

The humanities are taught in the departments of English, modern languages, history, and philosophy. The social sciences are taught in the departments of political science/public administration, psychology, and sociology/archaeology. The College of Liberal Studies also offers interdisciplinary opportunities in the departments of military science (ROTC) and women's, gender, and sexuality studies, as well as in child/youth care, criminal justice, environmental studies, honors, international studies, and ethnic and racial studies. These programs supplement and complement many others found throughout the university.

School of Arts and Communication

The School of Arts and Communication is dedicated to supporting and enhancing liberal studies while providing a complete pre-professional curriculum. School of Arts and Communication programs strive to develop the knowledge, freedom and spontaneity which underlie creative expression in its highest forms. Classes focus on establishing the foundations for creative work through the study of technical, historical, and artistic dimensions in the arts. The primary activity involves hands-on experience, so students spend much of their time in laboratories, studios, and rehearsals developing the skills, processes, and attitudes necessary for success. Students in these programs specialize in a particular art or communication discipline as they acquire general knowledge through the liberal studies core. Upon completion of their program, they have a wide range of occupational and educational choices. Some graduates begin careers in the fine or performing arts or the mass media. Others enter graduate schools, specializing in some aspect of their previous study or in some related field. Still others choose from a wide range of occupations where their creative and communicative skills serve them well. Whatever the career and whatever the future, graduates of the School of Arts and Communication are flexible, adaptable, and disciplined communicators who understand process, problem solving, and commitment.

School of Education

See the School of Education page for information, certification programs and requirements.

College of Liberal Studies Degree Options

A student in the College of Liberal Studies or School of Arts and Communication may earn either the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. The type of degree earned by a student (BA or BS) may be determined by the major programs elected by the student. School of Education students earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. All general university degree requirements must be met (as listed here): a minimum of 120 credits (40 of which must be 300/400 numbered courses), General Education program requirements, (as listed here), college core requirements, and major program requirements. See the School of Education page for School of Education information, including certification programs and requirements.


All students in the College of Liberal Studies who have declared majors are assigned to faculty advisers. Advisers provide guidance and assistance to develop plans for post-college experiences. Students and their advisers are provided with computerized degree audits (SNAP reports) that assist them in monitoring progress in meeting degree requirements. Degrees are verified in the Office of the Dean. Students are encouraged to come to the office to review progress toward the degree during their junior year.

College Core Requirements

The core requirements of the College of Liberal Studies enhance the student's experience of the liberal arts tradition in higher education. Building on the General Education program, the CLS core curriculum emphasizes critical inquiry marked by rigor, balanced breadth, and intellectual integrity. The CLS core curriculum contains: I.) a common core of requirements for students majoring in CLS programs, and II.) requirements for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

  1. Common Core Curriculum

    In addition to the minimum requirements in each category of the university's General Education program, all students in CLS must complete the following common core curriculum. (courses apply only to one category of the core):

    1. History

      Complete a HIS course at the 200 or 300 level.

    2. Global and Multicultural Studies/Minority Cultures or Multiracial Women's Studies (one course required)

      Complete a second General Education course from Minority Cultures or Multiracial Women's Studies selected from: ECO 336; ENG/ERS 207, 210, 215; EFN 205; ERS 100; HIS 306, 336; HON 207, 220; MUS 209; POL 205; PSY 285, 318; SAH 307; SOC 225; WS 100, 210, 230


      Complete a second General Education Global and Multicultural Studies course selected from ART 201; ANT, ECO, GEO, HIS, POL, or SOC 202; ECO 120; ENG 208; ENV 201; FRE 220; GEO 110, 200; HIS 101 or 102 (whichever was not taken for a General Education requirement), HIS 220; INS 250, 251, 252 (must complete all three to count); MUS 201, 204; PHL 230; POL 234; PSY 280; THA 351.

    3. Self and Society (one course required)

      Complete a second General Education course from Self and Society (from a different discipline than the student's first General Education course in this category). Select from: ECO 110; ENG 220; ERS 110; FIN 207; GEO 102; HIS 206; HON 204, 206; POL 101 or 102; PSY 100; SOC 110 or 120; ARC 100; ANT 101.

    4. Humanistic Studies (one course required)

      Complete a second General Education Course from Humanistic Studies (from a different discipline than the student's first General Education course in this category). Select from: MLG 299 or HON 203 or 205or GER 399 (if not selected from General Education list 1); HIS 205 or PHL 100 or POL 251 or HON 100 (if HON 203 or 205 is not taken under list I above).

    5. Second Major, Minor or Program Option Requirement - Students must complete one of the following options:

      1. Complete a minor (or a second major) outside of the student's major program, consisting of at least 18 credits;


      2. Complete an emphasis, program or concentration of at least 18 credits outside the major program. General Education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum General Education requirements;


      3. Complete 18 credits in two or more departments or programs earned at the 300 or 400 level. These courses must be outside the major department and can be from any college. General Education courses may apply provided they are not being used to fulfill minimum General Education requirements.

  2. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Core Requirement

    Students majoring in English or in a modern language must earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Students majoring in other CLS programs may choose either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. In addition to the common core requirements listed in I. above, the following courses are required for the degree the student is seeking:

    1. For the Bachelor of Arts Degree

      • Complete FRE 202 or GER 202 or SPA 202 or MLG 202 or MLG 304 or ESL proficiency score of 80 or above on the La Crosse Battery of exams for nonnative speakers of English. (Contact the English as a Second Language Institute for eligibility and regulations.)

    2. For the Bachelor of Science Degree (two courses required)

      1. Complete a second General Education science course (from a different discipline than the student's first General Education course in this category) selected from ANT 102; BIO 102, 103 or 105; CHM 100 or 103; ESC 101; HON 290 or 295; MIC 100; PHY 103, 106, 125 or 203; AST/PHY 155or 156; PSY 107; or complete a second science course selected from ENV 201 or PHL 334.
      2. Complete a research emphasis course or sequence of courses in the major program from the following list of applicable courses.

    Research Methods Courses — Bachelor of Science Requirement

    Major Program/Course or course sequence for the Bachelor of Science Degree
    ARC   ARC 445, Research Methods in Archaeology
    ART* A sequence of courses as outlined below
    CST  CST 302, Research Methods in Communication
    ECO  BUS 230 or ECO 307 or POL 361
    HIS   HIS 490, History Research Seminar
    MUS**  A sequence of courses as outlined below
    PHL  PHL 496, Integrative Seminar in Philosophy
    POL  POL 361, Research Methods in Politics and Government
    PSY  PSY 231 and 232, Experimental Psychology and PSY 451 Psychology Measure (PSY 420, Research Foundations also an option),
    PUB ADM  POL 361, Research Methods in Politics and Government
    SOC  SOC 350, Sociological Research and one of the following: SOC 405, Quantitative Social Research Seminar, SOC 416, Qualitative Explorations, SOC 480, Comparative Sociology or SOC 499, Seminar in Sociology.
    THA  THA 490, Senior Project

    *ART A sequence of courses including art history courses from ART 251 and 252, and one elective from 331, 332, or 341. In addition one course from ART 303, 405, 408, 413, 414, 418, 419, 421 will be completed.

    **All B.S. music majors are required to take an eight-semester sequence of course work in music history and music theory. The courses involve students in learning and practicing basic research methods and research problem solving in the discipline, including bibliographic, primary and secondary research on composers, historical periods, etc., and research writing. In addition, students apply the research they conduct in these courses in parallel applied music course work sequences. The courses involved are: MUS 201 & 202, MUS 301 & 302, MUS 235 & 236, and MUS 335 & 336. As seniors, all BS music majors also take independent study, in which research is an integral part of individual projects.