College of Liberal Arts

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The College of Liberal Arts prepares students to read, write and think critically in an increasingly global and rapidly changing world. Future careers for our graduating seniors are correspondingly broad and wide-ranging, in addition to the more traditional pursuits, including graduate-level training (MA, PhD) in the fields represented in the college. Our curriculum is enhanced through work across fields, bridging multiple disciplines, and through use of current research and teaching technologies with applications in the liberal arts. Student experiences are augmented with research experiences provided by our faculty, the ability to mix and match majors and minors to suit the student’s preferences and needs, and through access to internships, study abroad opportunities and the university honors program. A number of research centers, teacher education and second-language acquisition programs are also contained within the college.

The College of Liberal Arts and its separate schools and departments offer the following undergraduate degrees, minors and certificates.

College Level

  • University Studies, BA
  • University Studies, BS
  • American Studies, Minor
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Minor
  • Peace Studies, Minor
  • Asian Studies, Minor
  • Global Studies, Minor
  • Native American Studies, Minor
  • Latino and Latin American Studies, Minor
  • Forensic Science, Minor

School of History and Philosophy

  • History, BA
  • History, Minor
  • Philosophy, BA
  • Philosophy, Minor

School of Writing, Literature and Digital Humanities

  • English, BA
  • English, Minor

Department of Africana Studies

  • Africana Studies, BA
  • Africana Studies, Minor

Department of Anthropology

  • Anthropology, BA
  • Anthropology, Minor

Department of Communication Studies

  • Communication Studies, BS
  • Communication Studies, Minor

Department of Languages, Cultures, and International Trade

  • Languages, Culture and International Studies, BA
  • American Sign Language, Minor
  • Chinese, Minor
  • Classical Civilization, Minor
  • East Asian Civilization, Minor
  • French, Minor
  • German, Minor
  • Greek, Minor
  • International Studies, Minor
  • Japanese, Minor
  • Latin, Minor
  • Spanish, Minor
  • Mythology, Minor

Department of Linguistics

  • Linguistics, BA
  • Linguistics, Minor

Department of Political Science

  • Political Science, BA
  • Legal Studies, Minor
  • Political Science, Minor
  • Pre-Law, Minor

Department of Sociology

  • Sociology, BA
  • Sociology, Minor

Admission and Graduation Policies

New and transfer students eligible for admission to the bachelor of science programs must meet University entrance requirements and program requirements for admission to the major.

Students must complete all coursework with a 2.0 average (C or better) on a 4.0-point scale to qualify for completion. Additionally, students must fulfill all academic program and SIU requirements including the University Core Curriculum, total hour, residency, and GPA requirements to qualify for completion.

Course Sequence

It is important that required courses in the program be taken in the proper sequence.  Sequence guidelines are available from the college advisement office and through the schools.  Courses at the 300- and 400-level are generally reserved for juniors and seniors.

Transfer Students

Students enrolled in community colleges who plan to transfer to the college should take courses that provide backgrounds in mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities.  Students may transfer at any time, but there are advantages in having completed a baccalaureate-oriented associate degree program.  Community college students may contact the College Advisement Office for course recommendations applicable to majors in the college.

Repeat Policy

Repeat Policy limits the number of times that an undergraduate student may repeat a MAJOR course for the purpose of raising a grade. Students earning less than a “C” in a major course, may repeat said course one time only. As there may be reasonable exceptions to the policy, students who wish to request Dean’s permission to repeat beyond one time may do so by filling out a College Repeat Petition obtained from the College Advisement Office.

Academic Requirements

To receive a degree from the College of Liberal Arts, students must fulfill the following:

  1. University requirements including those relating to University Core Curriculum, residency, total hours completed, and grade point average.
  2. College of Liberal Arts academic requirements:
    1. Writing: (i) one English Composition course at 200-level or higher (ENGL 290, LING 290, ENGL 291, ENGL 390, ENGL 391, ENGL 392; creative writing courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement) and one approved writing- intensive course designated by the major department as fulfilling the Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) requirement; or (ii) two approved writing-intensive courses designated by the major department as fulfilling the Writing-Across-the-Curriculum (WAC) requirement.
    2. Foreign Language: A minimum of one year (two courses) or higher of one foreign language, satisfaction by coursework or exam. Students may not use the same language course to fulfill requirements in both the University Core Curriculum and the College of Liberal Arts. International students who have met the Office of International Admissions competency requirement may satisfy this requirement with their native language by providing a secondary school certificate from their native country. (Bachelor of Fine Arts degree students in Art, Bachelor of Fine Arts degree students in Musical Theater, Bachelor of Music degree students, Bachelor of Arts degree students in Music Business Specialization, and Bachelor of Science degree students in University Studies do not have to fulfill the foreign language requirement.)
    3. International Coursework: Successful completion of 2 courses providing a global or comparative perspective on the world, and selected from the 30+ courses from ~12 disciplines listed in Section A of the Global Studies Minor [] (or comparable list of the International Studies major/minor). Some courses may be used to fulfill the international coursework requirement as well as a University Core Curriculum requirement. (Bachelor of Fine Arts degree students in Art, Bachelor of Fine Arts degree students in Musical Theater, Bachelor of Music degree students and Bachelor of Arts degree students in Music Business Specialization do not have to fulfill the International coursework requirement, though they are strongly encouraged to take Core Curriculum courses that would also meet the requirement.)
  3. Completion of an approved major in the College of Liberal Arts.
  4. Completion of a minimum of 39 hours of course work at the 300- or 400-level.

Liberal arts major requirements provide for a number of elective courses, giving students maximum flexibility in planning their overall program of study at the University. To assist students in planning their programs, the college maintains an academic advisement office in Faner Hall 1229, as well as faculty advisors in each department. Students are urged to consult these academic advisors on how they can best use their electives to fulfill their intellectual interests and to prepare for particular career opportunities. A carefully planned minor or second major field can lead to additional career opportunities for the liberal arts major. Students who are planning to attend graduate school or one of the professional schools such as law or medicine should consult with their advisors on how best to plan their undergraduate curriculum.

Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Courses

Anthropology 480; Art and Design 308, 318, 358, 368, 389, 400C, 401C, 402C, 403C, 404C, 405C, 414C, 438, 452, 489B, 489D; Communication Studies: Speech Communication 262, 310, 326, 381, 401, 411, 471, 476, 481; Criminology and Criminal Justice 316, 492; Economics 308; English 301, 365, 471; Geography and Environmental Resources 304; History 359, 392 and 499, 406B, 410, 412A, 412B, 413, 417, 418, 420, 426, 427, 429, 442, 447, 455, 464, 467A, 467B; Languages, Cultures, and International Trade: Chinese 370, 435; Classics 415, 416, 491, 496; French 320B, 410; German 320B, 410; Japanese 410, 435; Spanish 320B, 410; Linguistics 406; Music 357 sequence, 471; Paralegal Studies 300A, 300B; Philosophy 304, 305A, 305B, 405; Political Science 405, 406, 416, 420, 435, 455, 459, 480; Psychology 211, 311; Sociology 312, 497, 498; and Theater 311A.


The College of Liberal Arts has a pre-law designation to identify and assist students interested in pursuing a career in the law and/or enrolling in law school. Students planning to apply to law school can select any major course of study and, because their undergraduate grades are important in the law school application process, they are encouraged to select a major in which they can perform very well.

Applying to Law School

Students who plan on applying to law school will need to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) sometime during their junior or senior year. The LSAT is administered by a company called Law Services and is offered at SIU. A practice LSAT is offered by SIU Testing Services.  SIUC Conference and Scheduling Services (Continuing Education) offers a LSAT preparatory course. Students who perform exceptionally on the LSAT may be subject to certain conditions, enroll, and be admitted into the SIU School of Law as a junior. More information about the LSAT and the law school application process can be obtained from advisors in the College of Liberal Arts (CoLA) Advisement Office (Faner 1229), from Law Service at, or from the SIU School of Law, Office of Admissions and Student Affairs at

Student Organizations

Students interested in a career in the law and/or enrolling in Law School can join the Pre-Law Association, a registered student organization that schedules speakers and events related to a legal career. Students are encouraged to visit the Pre-Law Association website at In conjunction with the Pre-Law Association, the Department of Political Science sponsors an annual moot court competition for pre-law students that are held in conjunction with the Model Illinois Government simulation.

Suggested Courses

Students interested in pursuing a legal career should recognize that certain courses available in the College of Liberal Arts might be helpful in preparing either for the LSAT, the study of  law, and/or a career in the law.

For example, the Paralegal Studies program is one course of pre-law study in which a student takes a variety of legal courses including legal writing and research, civil procedure and torts. Students in the Political Science program can declare a pre-law specialization within their major, which includes courses in administrative law, civil liberties and constitutional law.

Any course, however, that develops or improves a student’s analytical reasoning, reading comprehension, logical reasoning, or writing skills will be beneficial for the LSAT, the study of law, and/or a career in the law. Development or improvement of oral communication skills, which are currently not tested on the LSAT but are very important for the study of law or a legal career, is also strongly recommended.

A list of courses that offer the opportunity to improve or develop these skills appears below. This is not an exhaustive list. With some exceptions, students do not need to be enrolled in a particular major to take any or all of these courses. Students who are not in a CoLA program, therefore, are strongly advised to take one or more of these courses to supplement their studies. For more information about these courses, contact an academic advisor in the CoLA Advisement Office. Anthropology 202, 298, 370, 410A and 410E; Criminology and Criminal Justice 203, 310, 320, 374 and 408; Economics 240, 241, 340 and 341; English 290, 291, 300, 391 and 491; History 330A, 400, 450B, 467A,B, and 490; Linguistics 104, 200, 201 and 415; Philosophy 105, 309I, 310, 320, 344 and 441; Political Science 332I, 334, 435, 436, and 437; Psychology 211, 223, 301, 304, 311, 431 and 420; Sociology 308, 312, 372, 424, and 473; Speech Communication 221, 310, 325, 326, 411, 421 and 463.

College of Liberal Arts

Andrew Balkansky, Interim Dean