• At MTSU, advisors help students
    reach the goal of graduation
  • This Liberal Studies grad decided to study music and philosophy
  • Liberal Studies offers transfer students choice and flexibility
  • MTSU helps students choose programs that work for them

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.

Students may also pursue a concentration in Applied Leadership under the Liberal Studies major. The University works with corporate partners that make available to their employees this focus on building greater depth in leadership.

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
  • MAPCO
  • 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.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

A concentration in Applied Leadership is also available under the Liberal Studies major. MTSU works with corporate partners to offer this program through a certificate program. View our flyer for more information.

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. Applied Leadership, B.S.


Liberal Studies, B.S.

University College 
615-494-7714
Dianna Rust, program coordinator
Dianna.Rust@mtsu.edu

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.

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 www.mtsu.edu/university-college/advising/.

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) 494-7714.

Academic Map

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

Liberal Studies, B.S., Academic Map 

Degree Requirements

General Education (41 hours)

General Education requirements (shown in curricular listings below) include courses in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences.

Major Requirements (27 hours)

  • PRST 4995 - Culminating Project  3 credit hours  OR

    PRST 4995 - Culminating Project

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: PRST 3995; senior standing. A capstone course in which students demonstrate skills and knowledge from the program of study. The culminating project takes the form of an academic research paper which should demonstrate synthesis of a student's coursework.

  • UNIV 4995 - Culminating Project 3 credit hours

NOTE: PRST 3395 is a prerequisite for PRST/UNIV 4995.

 

  • First area of emphasis 12 credit hours
  • Second area of emphasis 12 credit hours

Electives (52 hours)

  • UNIV 1010 recommended
  • PRST 3995 required prerequisite for PRST 4995
  • 24 credit hours must be upper division
  • 9 credit hours must be 4000-level electives

Total hours in program: 120

Curriculum: Liberal Studies

Curricular listings include General Education requirements in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Freshman

  • ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing  3 credit hours  (Comm)

    ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing

    3 credit hours

    The first General Education English course. Emphasis on learning to adapt composing processes to a variety of expository and analytic writing assignments. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 1010. The second General Education English course. Emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing and on locating, organizing, and using library resource materials in the writing. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication

    3 credit hours

    Principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Emphasis on informative, persuasive, special occasion, and extemporaneous (impromptu) speaking. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement.

  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences 4 credit hours
  • Mathematics 3 credit hours
  • Electives 8 credit hours (UNIV 1010 for freshmen or UNIV 2020 for transfer students recommended)

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Sophomore

  • Choose 6 hours from:
  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

 

  • English Literature (Hum/FA) 3 credit hours
  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences 4 credit hours
  • First area of emphasis 3 credit hours
  • Second area of emphasis 3 credit hours
  • Electives 5 credit hours

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Junior

  • First area of emphasis 3 credit hours
  • First area of emphasis (UD) 3 credit hours
  • Second area of emphasis 3 credit hours
  • Second area of emphasis (UD) 3 credit hours
  • Upper-division electives 12 credit hours
  • 4000-level elective 3 credit hours
  • Elective 3 credit hours

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Senior

  • PRST 4995 - Culminating Project  3 credit hours  OR

    PRST 4995 - Culminating Project

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: PRST 3995; senior standing. A capstone course in which students demonstrate skills and knowledge from the program of study. The culminating project takes the form of an academic research paper which should demonstrate synthesis of a student's coursework.

  • UNIV 4995 - Culminating Project 3 credit hours

 

  • First area of emphasis (UD) 3 credit hours
  • Second area of emphasis (UD) 3 credit hours
  • Upper-division electives 15 credit hours (PRST 3995 prerequisite for PRST 4995)
  • 4000-level electives 6 credit hours

Subtotal: 30 Hours


Liberal Studies, Applied Leadership, B.S.

University College 
615-494-7714
Dianna Rust, program coordinator
Dianna.Rust@mtsu.edu
 

MTSU offers the following online degree programs: the Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Liberal Studies and concentration in Applied Leadership 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.

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 www.mtsu.edu/university-college/advising/.

Designed especially for adults who already have extensive work 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) 494-7714.

Academic Map

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

Liberal Studies, Applied Leadership, B.S., Academic Map 

Degree Requirements

General Education (41 hours)

General Education requirements (shown in curricular listings below) include courses in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences.

Major Requirements (40 hours)

Leadership Theory (10 hours)

  • LEAD 3000 - Leadership Tools and Self-Assessment

    4 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Junior standing. Introduces leadership theory and practice using self-assessments and current leadership books. Students develop a practical understanding of the value of good leadership for successful team development and completion of quality work. Self-assessments will help identify students' approach to leadership and provide guidance for best practices. (One week intensive.)

  • MGMT 3940 - Business Ethics  3 credit hours  

    MGMT 3940 - Business Ethics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing and admission to the College of Business. The impact of individual values and ethics on business operations, including management of the organization and marketing of goods and services. Topics include legal and ethical aspects of dealing with the environment, consumers, employees, and the general community.

 

  • MGMT 4200 - Leadership in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing; MGMT 3610 or permission of department; and admission to the College of Business. Importance of leadership in organizations. Examines major theories and concepts relative to leadership in formal organizations. Emphasis on practical application of leadership knowledge in the leadership role.

Communication/Problem Solving (10 hours)

  • COMM 3220 - Small Group Communication

    3 credit hours

    Exploration of theories of group dynamics through practical application. Study of verbal, nonverbal, leadership communication, and group decision making.

  • ORCO 3500 - Strategic Communication in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. Organizational communication and its relationship to employees, leadership, corporate culture, diversity, change, and innovation. Possible topics include work-life balance and organizational identity.

  • ORCO 4000 - Topics in Organizational Communication

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. An in-depth study of a special topic which is significant in organizational communication literature and/or practice. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credits.

  • ORCO 4210 - Applied Organizational Projects  1 to 3 credit hours  (1 credit hour required) (intensive)

    ORCO 4210 - Applied Organizational Projects

    1 to 3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of department. Practical experiences in actual situations and projects in organizations, both on and off campus. Students will apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a supervised setting. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Pass/Fail.  

Leading Teams (10 hours)

  • MS 4520 - Leading and Developing Teams  4 credit hours  (intensive)

    MS 4520 - Leading and Developing Teams

    4 credit hours

    (Same as PRST 4520.) Introduces students to the military definition of leadership and provides knowledge on how to design and implement training strategies to continuously improve their team's performance.

 

Choose two:

  • MGMT 4680 - Organization Behavior

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: MGMT 3610 and admission to the College of Business. Human behavior in organizations. Emphasis on motivation, leadership, communication, group processes, and methods for managing change. Understanding human behavior allows student to learn better employee utilization strategies resulting in a more effective and efficient organization.

  • PSY 4810 - Teams in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: For students in the Bridgestone program pursuing the Leading Teams certificate. Online course that examines factors contributing to effective work team performance in organizational settings.

Leading People/Managing Change (10 hours)

  • MGMT 3800 - Managing Change and Conflict in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing; admission to the Jones College of Business. Examines contemporary thought on managerial roles in identifying, fostering, and implementing change in complex environments. Study of current developments in leading groups through change and managing conflict in organizations by use of competencies related to negotiation and mediation.

  • SOC 3300 - Diversity in the Workplace

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: LEAD 3000 or permission of department. Covers various aspects of organizational diversity, focusing primarily on the United States. Explores current patterns of social inequality in the workplace with a specific emphasis on gender, race/ethnicity, age, and family arrangements. Focuses on the link between these social patterns and workforce diversity.

 

  • MGMT 4600 - Strategies for Collaboration in Diverse Organizations

    4 credit hours

    (Same as SOC 4600.) Prerequisites: SOC 3300 and MGMT 3800. Case studies and application discussions of the impact of diversity in the workplace, particularly related to organizational change and conflict/negotiation.

  • SOC 4600 - Strategies for Collaboration in Diverse Organizations

    4 credit hours

    (Same as MGMT 4600.) Prerequisites: SOC 3300 and MGMT 3800. Case studies and application discussions of the impact of diversity in the workplace, particularly related to organizational change and conflict/negotiation.

Electives (39 hours)

  • 4000-level electives 12 credit hours
  • Unrestricted electives 27 credit hours

Total hours in program: 120

Curriculum: Liberal Studies, Applied Leadership

Curricular listings include General Educationrequirements in Communication, History, Humanities and/or Fine Arts, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, and Social/Behavioral Sciences categories.

Freshman

  • ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing  3 credit hours  (Comm)

    ENGL 1010 - Expository Writing

    3 credit hours

    The first General Education English course. Emphasis on learning to adapt composing processes to a variety of expository and analytic writing assignments. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • ENGL 1020 - Research and Argumentative Writing

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: ENGL 1010. The second General Education English course. Emphasis on analytic and argumentative writing and on locating, organizing, and using library resource materials in the writing. Minimum grade of C- required for credit.

  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • Mathematics 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences 4 credit hours
  • Electives 8 credit hours

 

  • COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication  3 credit hours  (Comm) OR

    COMM 2200 - Fundamentals of Communication

    3 credit hours

    Principles and processes of effective public oral communication including researching, critical thinking, organizing, presenting, listening, and using appropriate language. Emphasis on informative, persuasive, special occasion, and extemporaneous (impromptu) speaking. Counts as part of the General Education Communication requirement.

  • SPCH 1010 - Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3 credit hours (Comm)

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Sophomore

Choose 6 hours from:

  • HIST 2010 - Survey of United States History I

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2020 - Survey of United States History II

    3 credit hours

    Survey of the political, economic, social, cultural, and diplomatic phases of American life in its regional, national, and international aspects. HIST 2010 discusses the era from the beginning to 1877. HIST 2020 discusses the era from 1877 to the present. These courses are prerequisite for all advanced courses in American history and satisfy the General Education History requirement. HIST 2010 is NOT a prerequisite for HIST 2020.

  • HIST 2030 - Tennessee History

    3 credit hours

    The role of the state in the development of the nation. May be used to satisfy one part of the General Education History requirement.

 

  • English literature 3 credit hours (Hum/FA)
  • Humanities and/or Fine Arts 3 credit hours
  • Electives 9 credit hours
  • Upper-division elective 2 credit hours
  • Social/Behavioral Sciences 3 credit hours
  • Natural Sciences 4 credit hours

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Junior

  • LEAD 3000 - Leadership Tools and Self-Assessment

    4 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Junior standing. Introduces leadership theory and practice using self-assessments and current leadership books. Students develop a practical understanding of the value of good leadership for successful team development and completion of quality work. Self-assessments will help identify students' approach to leadership and provide guidance for best practices. (One week intensive.)

  • COMM 3220 - Small Group Communication

    3 credit hours

    Exploration of theories of group dynamics through practical application. Study of verbal, nonverbal, leadership communication, and group decision making.

  • ORCO 3500 - Strategic Communication in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. Organizational communication and its relationship to employees, leadership, corporate culture, diversity, change, and innovation. Possible topics include work-life balance and organizational identity.

  • ORCO 4000 - Topics in Organizational Communication

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. An in-depth study of a special topic which is significant in organizational communication literature and/or practice. May be repeated for a maximum of nine credits.

  • ORCO 4210 - Applied Organizational Projects  1 to 3 credit hours  (1 credit hour required)

    ORCO 4210 - Applied Organizational Projects

    1 to 3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of department. Practical experiences in actual situations and projects in organizations, both on and off campus. Students will apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom in a supervised setting. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Pass/Fail.  

  • MGMT 3940 - Business Ethics  3 credit hours  

    MGMT 3940 - Business Ethics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing and admission to the College of Business. The impact of individual values and ethics on business operations, including management of the organization and marketing of goods and services. Topics include legal and ethical aspects of dealing with the environment, consumers, employees, and the general community.

  • Electives 10 credit hours

 

  • MGMT 4200 - Leadership in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing; MGMT 3610 or permission of department; and admission to the College of Business. Importance of leadership in organizations. Examines major theories and concepts relative to leadership in formal organizations. Emphasis on practical application of leadership knowledge in the leadership role.

Subtotal: 30 Hours

Senior

  • MS 4520 - Leading and Developing Teams

    4 credit hours

    (Same as PRST 4520.) Introduces students to the military definition of leadership and provides knowledge on how to design and implement training strategies to continuously improve their team's performance.

  • MGMT 3800 - Managing Change and Conflict in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: Junior standing; admission to the Jones College of Business. Examines contemporary thought on managerial roles in identifying, fostering, and implementing change in complex environments. Study of current developments in leading groups through change and managing conflict in organizations by use of competencies related to negotiation and mediation.

  • SOC 3300 - Diversity in the Workplace

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: LEAD 3000 or permission of department. Covers various aspects of organizational diversity, focusing primarily on the United States. Explores current patterns of social inequality in the workplace with a specific emphasis on gender, race/ethnicity, age, and family arrangements. Focuses on the link between these social patterns and workforce diversity.

  • Electives 8 credit hours
  • Upper-division elective 2 credit hours

 

  • MGMT 4600 - Strategies for Collaboration in Diverse Organizations

    4 credit hours

    (Same as SOC 4600.) Prerequisites: SOC 3300 and MGMT 3800. Case studies and application discussions of the impact of diversity in the workplace, particularly related to organizational change and conflict/negotiation.

  • SOC 4600 - Strategies for Collaboration in Diverse Organizations

    4 credit hours

    (Same as MGMT 4600.) Prerequisites: SOC 3300 and MGMT 3800. Case studies and application discussions of the impact of diversity in the workplace, particularly related to organizational change and conflict/negotiation.

 

Choose two:

  • MGMT 4680 - Organization Behavior

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisites: MGMT 3610 and admission to the College of Business. Human behavior in organizations. Emphasis on motivation, leadership, communication, group processes, and methods for managing change. Understanding human behavior allows student to learn better employee utilization strategies resulting in a more effective and efficient organization.

  • PSY 4810 - Teams in Organizations

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: For students in the Bridgestone program pursuing the Leading Teams certificate. Online course that examines factors contributing to effective work team performance in organizational settings.

Subtotal: 30 Hours

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.

Contact and Student Information

April Cline
April.Cline@mtsu.edu

Phone | 615-898-5236

Jay Reilly (A-D)
Jay.Reilly@mtsu.edu
615-898-3593

Megan Russell (E-J)
Megan.Russell@mtsu.edu
615-898-5200

Lauren Solina (K-Q)
Lauren.Solina@mtsu.edu
615-898-5230

Byron Lightsy (R-Z)
Byron.Lightsy@mtsu.edu
615-904-8398

University College
Middle Tennessee State University
855 W. College Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37139

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