Liberal studies major allows for customization
GCSU provides students with the opportunity to build their own major. The liberal studies major allows students to combine majors and courses to create a unique major all their own.
Some students are hesitant about the liberal studies major because of its broad spectrum of courses.
“I looked at the liberal studies major, ” sophomore Kristin Cotton said. “But I wanted more focus and direction in my major.”
Liberal studies major Brittany Curry started out looking for a major in religion, but when GCSU didn’t offer it, she turned to the liberal studies major to build one. Curry took concentrations in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and international studies.
“I first wanted to major in religion to look at the fundamentals and maybe teach one day,” Curry said. But after going through my concentrations my focus shifted to more of a Geopolitical concept.”
The liberal studies major allows students have to build a major that caters to one career or variety of careers. This specialization and building a broad set of skills has its benefits.
“What students don’t realize is that traditional majors don’t guarantee a job,” said Bruce Harshburger, vice president for student affairs. “With the liberal arts major, students can build valuable skills to help them stand out in the job market.”
Skills learned such as public speaking, technical skills and presentation abilities can help expand future job prospects beyond that of an entry level job. According to Harshbuger, a person changes their career about three times during their life. During these changes, they rely on transferable skills to help them in a new career path.
“I feel like I can go to my future employer with a lot of skills and knowledge about different things,” Curry said. “Liberal studies is cross-educational. When you take one major, you look at the world through one lenses, but when you concentrate on four separate areas you look at the world through four lenses.”
The liberal studies major has requirements that must be met. First of all, the major is open by admission only meaning there’s an application process. Students must have already completed 30 semester hours, have a 2.5 grade point average, have a personal interview with a coordinator, and have a list of four disciplines that can be used in the major. A letter as to why the major was chosen must also be submitted. The major can then be approved by two coordinators of the Liberal Studies Committee.
“People think that the liberal arts major is easy,” Liberal Studies Program Coordinator Doug Oetter said. “The major is definitely for self motivated students. You’re completely on your own in this as opposed to just following the crowd with a traditional major.”
The liberal studies major allows the student to characterize themselves and their goals in an academic setting. By creating their own majors, liberal studies students are given freedom to figure out classes to take for themselves.
“Majors should challenge you to see the world from a variety of perspectives,” Oetter said.