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Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies offers extreme flexibility and is one of the most popular degree programs at MTSU. Students can earn their bachelor's degrees online and also custom-design a program to meet individual needs and interests. A liberal studies program offers the tools and knowledge necessary to successfully acquire new insights and adapt to new circumstances and changes. Those seeking this accelerated path to graduation choose two areas of emphasis (12 hours each) to meet personal and professional goals. Sample study subjects include agribusiness, child and family studies, communication, criminal justice, cultural studies, English or writing, geography, health, human sciences, industrial studies, information technology, journalism or public relations, leadership, nutrition, office management, political science, psychology, recording industry, sociology, Spanish, teaching and learning, and women’s studies.

Going back for degree increased earning power

Suzanne French took online courses to finish her college degree after her children grew up, transferring two years of credit from Colorado State. She said her earning power increased after completing the Liberal Studies degree in August 2012 (English and foreign language areas of emphasis). “I believe having it on my resume that I’m a college graduate has made all the difference,” French says. “In the past, people kind of second-guessed whether I was capable. As soon as they saw the degree, nobody questioned whether I was capable or not.” After working as an academic adviser at Bethel University in Nashville, she moved to Mission Health in Dickson for a shorter commute. She says she just gave up TV for two years to get her degree. “It’s never too late to go back and finish something you started a long time ago,” French says.

Corporate trainer earned promotion after diploma

Laurie Bostelman, a corporate trainer for a global healthcare company, received a promotion in July 2013 after earning her Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies. As a senior trainer, she now oversees the program design and delivery for one of the firm's business segments. Bostelman decided to return to college after realizing all the positions she wanted to apply for at her job required a bachelor's degree. At first, money was an issue for finishing school; then time became a factor after marriage and work. The MTSU program allowed her flexibility in taking online courses, and her employer has a tuition reimbursement program. Bostelman liked being able to tailor her major under the Liberal Studies umbrella. “It’s not one-size-fits-all,” she says. “Everybody can find something that speaks to them and is going to help them professionally.”

Every year nearly 30 percent of the people in America change jobs for a wide variety of reasons. The education provided with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree allows a student to prepare and quickly respond to the changes that life brings. The degree helps prepare students for graduate study in fields such as business, English, history, journalism, library science, law, medical and health science, natural science, psychology, sociology, speech, communication, or education. Liberal studies can be used as preparation for a variety of careers such as:

  • Advertising executive
  • Archivist
  • Business development specialist
  • Business owner
  • City manager
  • College recruiter    
  • Communications officer
  • Court liaison
  • Creative writer
  • Curriculum developer
  • Customer service specialist
  • Editor
  • Financial advisor
  • Fundraiser
  • Grant writer
  • Insurance agent
  • IT specialist
  • Journalist
  • Law enforcement officer
  • Lawyer
  • Legislative assistant
  • Lobbyist
  • Management
  • Management analyst
  • Market researcher
  • Marketing professional
  • Minister
  • Museum manager
  • Non-profit administrator
  • Policy analyst
  • Political organizer
  • Politician
  • Project manager
  • Property manager
  • Public relations professional
  • Publicist
  • Real estate agent  
  • Social services
  • Software trainer
  • Training specialist
  • Youth advocate 

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Aquinas College
  • Bedford County Board of Education
  • Bridgestone / Firestone USA
  • Comcast
  • Community Health Systems
  • Convergys Corporation
  • Deloitte & Touche
  • Department of Children's Services
  • Federal Express
  • First National Bank
  • Gaylord Entertainment
  • Genesco
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Metro-Nashville Government
  • Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp.
  • Nashville Conflict Resolution Center
  • Republic Airways
  • Saint Thomas Medical Center
  • Southwest Airlines
  • State of Tennessee District Attorney’s Office
  • Suntrust Bank
  • Tennessee Cancer Specialists
  • Tennessee Technology Center
  • Tractor Supply
  • U.S. Air Force
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Williamson Medical Center

Students pursuing the Liberal Studies program can earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Liberal Studies degree. The student and advisor decide upon two areas of emphasis to help the student meet his or her own personal and professional goals.

The University College also offers a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Studies (B.Unv.S.), as well as a Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies with concentrations in Healthcare Administration, Information Technology, Organizational Leadership, and International Organizational Leadership.

Liberal Studies, B.S.

University College 
Dianna Rust, program coordinator

MTSU offers the following online degree programs: the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Liberal Studies and the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Professional Studies and concentrations in Information Technology, Organizational Leadership, International Organizational Leadership, and Healthcare Administration. Students must earn a minimum of 120 hours; meet MTSU upper-division, residency, and senior hour requirements; meet MTSU General Education requirements; meet MTSU GPA requirements; and complete the courses outlined in the degree program.  For degree requirements refer to

Admissions, instruction, advising, library services, and other forms of student assistance are available online. The online courses have been designed to be taught totally online in an interactive, asynchronous format. For advisement, please call (615) 898-5611 or refer to

Designed especially for adults who already have some college experience, the online degree program is also appropriate for students who have earned or are working on associate's degrees and have work experience. For more information regarding degree requirements, please call (615) 898-5611.

Academic Map

Following is a printable, suggested four-year schedule of courses:

Liberal Studies, B.S., Academic Map 

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the degree programs offered by University College, faculty are drawn from every discipline offered at MTSU. This benefit allows University College students to gain from the expertise of all MTSU faculty and to have greater latitude in selecting their specific areas of interest.

The multidisciplinary nature of this degree program allows students, in consultation with their academic advisors, to choose courses from a variety of disciplines to fit their individualized academic plans. Click on the ACADEMIC MAP tab to see a framework for planning and course selection to meet degree requirements; however, the academic map does not replace working with an academic advisor.

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