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Letters, Arts, and Sciences is a multi-disciplinary, theme-oriented, and student-designed major leading to a bachelor of arts degree. The major consists of 36 credits, divided into two sections. The core (12 credits) consists of 3 credits each in the following: research methods/projects; communication skills; theory/application; and critical analysis. The option (24 credits) consists of courses directed toward the student's theme, 15 credits of which must be at the 400 level.  Penn State McKeesport offers the Liberal Studies option of the BA in Letters, Arts & Sciences degree.  The official course requirements for this degree can be viewed in the online Undergraduate Degree Program Bulletin.

The sample semester planner showing a typical four-year schedule for this major with the Liberal Studies option, along with other program details, can be viewed or downloaded in PDF format, or a printed copy can be requested by calling the Academic Affairs office at 412-675-9140.

In order to be eligible for entrance to the major, the student must submit a proposal. In consultation with an LAS adviser, the student formulates a proposal designing a program that investigates a theme from the viewpoint of at least three different subject areas. Students may not duplicate existing majors from any academic area. An important standard for entrance to the Letters, Arts, and Sciences major is the student's ability to design a program with academic integrity worthy of a bachelor of arts degree.

For the B.A. degree in Letters, Arts, and Sciences, a minimum of 123 credits is required.

Early Admission Program for Professional Schools: If a student is accepted and enrolled as a degree candidate in a professional postgraduate degree program requiring three years or more to complete (such as medical school, dental school, law school, theological seminary, etc.) and if that student completes 94 undergraduate credits at Penn State including General Education, B.A. requirements, and the LAS 12-credit core requirements, that student may use up to 30 credits from the professional school to complete the B.A. in LAS, Liberal Studies option.

It must be emphasized that only top students are accepted into professional school programs on such an early admission basis and that not every professional school has such a policy. Students must have enrolled in LAS prior to attending the professional school to request graduation in LAS.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

GENERAL EDUCATION: 45 credits
(See description of General Education in front of Bulletin.)

FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

UNITED STATES CULTURES AND INTERNATIONAL CULTURES:
(Included in ELECTIVES or GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)

WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM:
(Included in ELECTIVES, GENERAL EDUCATION course selection, or REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)

ELECTIVES: 18 credits

BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE REQUIREMENTS: 24 credits
(3 of these 24 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR, GENERAL EDUCATION, or ELECTIVES and 0-12 credits are included in ELECTIVES if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.)
(See description of Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements in front of Bulletin.)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR: 36 credits[1]

COMMON REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR (ALL OPTIONS): 12 credits

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (12 credits)
In consultation with adviser, select 3 credits in research methods/projects from courses that involve research methodology or that focus on a research project; select 3 credits in communication skills from courses that focus on expression including those in verbal, symbolic, and written skills; select 3 credits in theory/application from courses that focus on theory, principle, central concepts, or fundamental issues; select 3 credits in critical analysis from courses that focus on evaluation, synthesis, and analysis. (Sem: 1-8)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OPTION: 24 credits

LIBERAL STUDIES OPTION: (24 credits)

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (24 credits)
In consultation with adviser, select 24 credits from University-wide offerings with at least 15 at the 400 level representing at least three different subject areas. (Sem: 1-8)

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.


Portfolio Assessment

This procedure allows students to "demonstrate college-level learning from experiences gained outside the classroom" credit by Portfolio Assessment.  If you think you might qualify to earn credits through this procedure, consult the Credit by Portfolio Assessment Student Guide for more information.