Liberal Studies Degree Requirements
Leadership Concentration | Individualized Concentration | Courses
A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete the bachelor’s degree and students must fulfill university curriculum requirements. At least half of the required concentration courses must be taken at Arcadia University.
Your degree program plan will define individual requirements based upon the transfer evaluation and granting of transfer credits.
The following lists all the degree requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies:
1. Liberal Studies Core Courses (12 credits)
- LB 200 Introduction to Liberal Studies (view course descriptions)
- LB 330 Evaluating Research
- LB 385 Social Theory
- LB 490 Liberal Studies Capstone
2. Concentration courses (27-36 credits) distributed over 100-300 level courses
3. Undergraduate university curriculum requirements as defined by transfer status. The requirements for transfer students depend upon the number of credits transferred. All students must complete English 101 if they do not have an equivalent course with a “B” or better. In addition, all transfer students must complete the Global Connections Experience and Reflection as well as the Senior Capstone Project. Any remaining curricular requirements are based on the number of credits accepted.
4. Additional electives as needed to fulfill credit hours required to complete the degree
The concentration in Leadership offers the opportunity to study the theories and the practical skills underlying successful leadership.
Required 100 level (9 credits) (view course descriptions)
- 160 Leadership Theories
- 162 Leader as Coach and Mentor
- 1xx Dynamic Communications
Required 200 level (9 credits)
- 2xx Strategy Design and Implementation
- 2xx Diversity in Leadership
- 2xx Emotional Intelligence
- 2xx Building and Sustaining a High Performance Team
Required 300 level (9 credits)
- 3xx Ethics in Leadership
- 3xx Change Management
- 3xx Leading in a Global Environment
Leadership concentration courses are offered in accelerated 7 week classes either fully online or blended meeting one night a week 6:00-9:30 at King of Prussia campus.
Individualized Concentrations include social sciences (including Sociology, Anthropology, Communications and Political Science), applied social sciences (including Business, Health Administration, Sociology, Anthropology and Communications), and humanities (including History, English, and Theater, Communications and Art and Design). Courses are distributed over the 100, 200 and 300 levels and across at least two disciplines. Courses are offered on Glenside campus day/evening.
200 Introduction to Liberal Studies (3 credits; Fall; 7-week online) This course introduces students to perspectives on and methods for understanding disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences, exploring the ways in which thinking and writing in different disciplines complement each other and provide a basis for understanding the nature of being human. Students discover the nature of learning as an open-ended process through readings, collaborative discussions, oral presentations, and written assignments. This course begins and ends with two questions: What does it mean to acquire a liberal arts education? And what is the relationship between a liberal arts education and an understanding of what it means to be human? To this end, the readings selected and the writing assignments included do not provide definitive answers to these questions but provide a forum for students to begin exploration.
330 Evaluating Research (3 credits; Fall; 7- week online) This course examines the methodologies available for collecting information in the social sciences, such as experiments, survey research, field research, unobtrusive research and evaluative research and how these methodologies can help answer questions about society. Students learn to critically analyze published research findings through a series of structured exercises, culminating in a portfolio of written reflections. Recommended semester prior to LB490
385 Social Theory (3 credits;alternate years Spring/ Fall; 7-week online) This survey of the contributions of major classical, modern and post-modern theorists, presented within their social and historic context considers the works of Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Freud, Parsons, Mead and Goffman, Habermas, Bourdieu as well as Appadurai, Butler, Hooks, Foucault, Baudrillard and Haraway and other theorists. Reviews critiques and elaborations of the theories and assesses their influences on contemporary thought in the social sciences and humanities.
490 Liberal Studies Capstone: Conversations on Being Human ( 3 credits; Spring; 7-week online) As the Capstone course for the Liberal Studies program, this course charts a number of current conversations on what exactly makes us human. Students are asked to engage with advanced material that links recent findings in the natural and social sciences with those of visual arts, literature, economics and philosophy. The main objective of the course is for students to integrate their own intellectual collegiate experience by confronting fundamental questions about the nature of humanity, and critically thinking about the current answers offered by scientists, scholars and artists. Prerequisite: A GPA of 2.0 or higher in the major and completion of all core Liberal Studies requirements, or with permission of the Department required.
160 Leadership Theories (3 credits; 7 week online and blended) Leadership is one of the most desired traits for employees, yet few people genuinely understand what it is and how to achieve it. This course examines the roots of leadership theory and explores various perspectives in an effort to lead the student to that understanding.
1XX Dynamic Communications (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) Pending Approval Through exercises and observations, students will learn how communication has an energy level. How we speak and how we go about encouraging others to share their thoughts, feelings and beliefs will either inspire others to take action, or will deflate others who will not take action. A main objective of any leader is to influence others toward the achievement of goals and results. Engaging others to take a path toward success is done by creating open and direct dialogue. Learning to listen actively and seeking to fully understand are two other aspects to this highly interactive course. Business writing—the ability to clearly express an idea in writing—will also be addressed.
162 Leader as Coach and Mentor (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) No leader can perform every task by him or herself. The true legacy of a leader is how well they prepare others to accept roles of increasing responsibility in the organization. This course explores the function of leader as coach and mentor. It begins by examining the history of what motivates people in the workplace and how to apply these motivation techniques to the leader’s current situation. It then teaches students how to systematically create coaching plans, develop the competencies necessary to be an effective coach and how to deal with the difficult conversations that a coach must occasionally have with those who are being coached.
2XX Strategy Design and Implementation (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) Pending Approval The leader is key in inspiring an organization to develop a mission, vision and values. Students will learn the value of strategic planning; how to conduct a SWOT analysis, and how to set long range objectives. But putting a strategy into action can be more difficult, so we will also study implementing the strategy through short term objectives, action plans, and assigning resources. We will use real world examples of how to implement strategy in complex organizations.
2XX Emotional Intelligence (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) Pending Approval Daniel Goleman writes that our emotions play a much greater role in thought, decision making and individual success than is commonly acknowledged. His theory of Emotional Intelligence describes the ability or skill to identify, assess, manage and control the emotions of self, others and of groups. Traditional types of intelligence, as measured by IQ, fail to fully explain cognitive ability. We will look at the idea of multiple intelligences which includes interpersonal intelligence (the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of others) and intrapersonal intelligence (the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one’s feelings, fears and motivations. Class participants will read Daniel Goleman’s best seller Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, and will learn the ability-based model and debate the validity of this concept.
2XX Diversity in Leadership (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) Pending Approval The goal of this course is for students to undergo a paradigm shift in the way that diversity is viewed in today’s increasingly global workforce. In order for an organization to capitalize on its employees’ potential, both leaders and followers must understand and value the diversity within the organization. In this course, students will develop an increased multicultural awareness through readings and class discussions. Students will incorporate previous knowledge of Emotional Intelligence and other theories, and will explore various leadership frameworks that support diversity leadership.
2XX Building and Sustaining a High Performance Team (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) Pending Approval A key to an organization’s success is their leader’s ability to assemble a high-performing team with complementary skills and styles; once a team is formed, clear expectations on goals and behavior must be communicated. Leaders must create environments where different styles are respected and collaboration is rewarded. What about the inevitable conflict that will arise? We will learn how to identify and resolve conflict on a team, gaining cooperation from others and strengthening workplace relationships. Group decision-making will also be studied.
3XX Change Management (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) Pending Approval Leaders are described as transformational, not transactional. By that very definition, they must embrace change. We will look at how leaders can initiate and sustain change; how they can lead innovation and create climates which encourage creativity in their organization, how they can create and sustain meaningful change that will position their organizations to thrive.
3XX Leading in a Global Environment (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) Pending Approval Leading in a global environment requires additional competencies. A leader must be aware of and show respect for differences in culture. We will study how leaders can instill this sensitivity and adaptability throughout their organizations. How can they assure that diversity is valued? How should an organization align corporate vision and core values across localities and regions? We will also look at what’s involved in managing a global, virtual team located throughout the world.
3XX Ethics in Leadership (3 credits; 7-week online and blended) Pending Approval This course will focus on leaders creating a code of conduct and bringing ethics into the forefront of decision making. Regulatory compliance and following the letter of the law are required to avoid penalties, but is this all that is needed to be considered ethical? Research shows that only 36% of employees believe their leaders act with honesty and integrity. Ken Blanchard has written that leadership is more of what you don’t see (character) than what you do see (skills) and that character may be as much as 80% of what is needed to be successful leading others. Students will research high trust leaders and high trust organizations; the will examine current events to determine the financial impact of high or low trust leadership on their organizations.