Liberal Studies

BA in Liberal Studies


Explore history, philosophy, art, literature, language and more with the distinguished Humanities faculty at USM. This major provides the opportunity to combine existing liberal arts credits from other institutions with USM Humanities courses to create an efficient and coherent path to degree completion.

The humanities is the study of the human condition and its relationship to human cultures, social and political formations, and the natural world.  The humanities comprise a variety of disciplines such as history, philosophy, religion, the arts, language, and literature.  Methodologically, humanists are eclectic, drawing upon multiple approaches ranging from critical theory and cultural studies to empiricism, hermeneutics, historicism, philology, narrative, and exegesis.  The humanities also includes scholarly, professional, technical, and creative writing. 

The Humanities offer the framework and skills for meeting the challenges of our complex and constantly changing world:

  • knowledge of cultural, intellectual, artistic, and literary traditions
  • appreciation of the cultural and historical contours of diversity
  • skills of close reading, analysis, synthesis, persuasion/rhetoric, and communication
  • intellectual curiosity
  • global, historical, and ethical awareness

LSH - 15-week and 7-week Online and Traditional Live Format

This major has been developed to be offered in both a traditional live format as well as in an online format.  LSH-prefixed courses are offered online only.

Finishing a degree is challenging. Work and family commitments often make it difficult to maintain steady progress toward a degree. Courses may be offered in the traditional 15-week fall and spring semesters in addition to some course availability in 7-week sessions. USM's 7-week online format offers students both the convenience of taking classes online and the opportunity to focus on one course at a time.  Students can make steady progress while taking one course per session. If life interrupts a session, the next session is right around the corner. In addition, USM offers a 4-week online winter session, and two 7-week sessions each summer. Graduation is a step closer every seven weeks.

Liberal Studies, Humanities chair:  Jason Read (Philosophy)

Liberal Studies, Humanities faculty:  Libby Bischof (History), Eileen Eagan (History), Gary Johnson (History), Bud McGrath (English), Julien Murphy (Philosophy), Gerald Peters (English), Eve Raimon (English), Kate Wininger (Philosophy)

Liberal Studies, Humanities part-time faculty:  Christopher Beam, Abraham Peck, Seth Rogoff


Humanities Requirements

Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

All students are reminded that, in addition to meeting Departmental requirements for a major leading to a baccalaureate degree, they must also meet the requirements of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and the University's Core curriculum.

Major Credit and Grade Policy

Courses to be taken for major credit at other institutions must be approved in advance. Grades of C or better must be achieved in all courses for major or minor credit. Courses taken pass/fail are not acceptable.

Honors Status

Honors status in the major is granted if the student's GPA in Liberal Studies, Humanities Track is at least 3.5 or higher upon completion of all requirements for the major.

Required Courses (36 credit hours)
  • LSH 240 Introducing the Humanities (3 credit hours)
  • LSH 340: Topics in the Humanities (3 credit hours)
  • LSH 440: Capstone Experience in the Humanities (3 credit hours)
  • HTY 101 and 102 (6 credit hours)
  • Philosophy 200 and above (6 credit hours)
  • English 200 and above (6 credit hours)
  • Three additional upper-level courses (300 and above) in History, English, and/or Philosophy OR three related courses on a humanities theme, approved by a liberal studies advisor. (9 credit hours)

A total of fifteen credit hours must be 300 level and above.