Liberal Arts, B.L.A.

Juneau, e-Learning

The Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree is designed for UAS students seeking a broad-based, multidisciplinary education. It is designed particularly for those students who have already completed a two-year Associates degree, transfer students from other universities, and non-traditional students who have previously completed university credits.

Students consult with faculty in their areas of interest to pursue interdisciplinary or individualized courses of study. This Liberal Arts degree can lead to graduate school or jobs in which critical thinking and communication skills are valued. BLA graduates who are interested in teaching may also apply to the one-year Master of Arts in Teaching programs at UAS. Program assessment plans and student learning outcomes are posted at the Program Assessment website.

Liberal Arts Emphasis Options

In each BLA degree program, students pursue one of the following Emphasis options: Designated Emphasis, Interdisciplinary Studies, or Independent Design. Courses used for GER credit cannot be used to fulfill Liberal Arts Emphasis courses or must be replaced by substitute disciplinary courses of equal credits.

BLA degrees must include:

  1. 120 credits minimum.
  2. 3 credits minimum Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement
  3. 48 credits minimum in the Liberal Arts Major (9 credits Liberal Arts Core, 39 credits Liberal Arts Emphasis).
  4. 42 credits minimum upper-division.
  5. 2 credits minimum upper-division capstone course completed through UAS.  

Admission Requirements

Students need to complete a formal application process at Admissions on the local campus (Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka) or online at uaonline.alaska.edu.

Students are admitted to the program after admission to UAS and declaring that they intend to pursue a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree.

Minimum Credit Hours 120
General Education Requirements 34
Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement 3
Liberal Arts Core 9
Alaska Native or Other Language (not English) 6-8
Liberal Arts Emphasis 39-57
Electives/Minor 20-38

The Liberal Arts Major combines Core and Emphasis courses. Courses used for GER credit cannot be used to fulfill Liberal Arts Major courses or must be replaced by substitute courses of equal credits.

Liberal Arts Core

Minimum Liberal Arts Core9
HUM S210BLA Portfolio Review1
Communications or Literature (upper-division elective) 13
Philosophy (any Philosophy course) 23
Capstone2
Language Requirement
Alaska Native or Other Language (not English) 36-8

Upon admission into the BLA program, students are required to enroll in the Student Portfolio course. This course is designed to assist students in planning their program of study with the approval of their BLA faculty advisor. The portfolio is used for purposes of continuing self-assessment during the student’s BLA program. Students must complete the Portfolio course within the first three semesters after matriculation; those who do not will be dropped from the BLA program and must officially reapply for admission.

Liberal Arts Emphasis

General Requirements for all emphasis options:

  1. During the semester the student is admitted to the BLA, an Emphasis option (listed below) must be formally declared by the student and approved by the BLA coordinator or the student’s faculty advisor.
  2. 3 credits minimum Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement.
  3. Six to eight credits in a one year sequence of a single Alaska Native or other language, or documented proficiency in a language (not English).
  4. 24 minimum upper-division in credits required in the Emphasis program.
  5. Includes a 2-credit minimum upper-division capstone course (such as GEOG S490, ODS S445, BA S462, HUM S499, or an advisor-approved Internship S491, Practicum S494, Individual Research S498, Independent Study S497, or Thesis S499).
  6. A passing BLA Student Portfolio is required for degree completion.

Designated Emphasis

A designated emphasis provides a focused course of study in the Liberal Arts not available through other baccalaureate degree programs offered through UAS.

Alaska Native Languages and Studies

Designated Emphasis Requirements
ANS S101*Introduction to Alaska Native Studies3
ANS S460ANCSA and Tribal Governance3
or ANTH S475 Alaska Native Social Change
or ART S263 *Northwest Coast Native Art History & Culture
Select one of the following language sequences:8
*Beginning Tlingit I
and *Beginning Tlingit II
*Beginning Haida I
and *Beginning Haida II
*Beginning Tsimshian I
and *Beginning Tsimshian II
Any Alaska Native Languages or Northwest Coast Art course, or any Alaska Native topic in Humanities, Social Science, or cross-disciplinary courses approved by the BLA Alaska Native Studies faculty advisor (these courses may be from different disciplines, but all must have Alaska Native themes or issues as an important component in their curriculum).
Alaska Native Languages and Studies Electives25
Select 25 credits of electives, 15 of which must be upper-division.
AKL S___ (any Alaska Language course)
ANS S___ (any Alaska Native Studies course)
Artistic Expressions and Oral Narratives of Alaska Natives
Native North Americans
Arctic Anthropology
Tlingit Culture and History
Northwest Coast Cultures
Alaska Native Economic and Political Development
Northwest Coast Art: Selected Topics
*Beginning Northwest Coast Indigenous Design
Harvest and Preparation of Basket Materials
Northwest Coast Tool Making
Northwest Coast Art: Selected Topics
Intermediate Northwest Coast Design
Beginning Northwest Coast Basketry
Northwest Coast Basket Design
Beginning Northwest Coast Carving
Beginning Northwest Coast Woolen Weaving
Northwest Coast Art: Selected Topics
Advanced Northwest Coast Design
Intermediate Northwest Coast Basketry
Intermediate Northwest Coast Carving
Intermediate Northwest Coast Woolen Weaving
Northwest Coast Art: Selected Topics
Advanced Northwest Coast Basketry
Advanced Northwest Coast Carving
Advanced Northwest Coast Woolen Weaving
Literature of Alaska: Native and Non-Native Perspectives
Native American Literature
History of Alaska
Alaska Politics and Government
Total Credits39

Outdoor and Adventure Studies

Designated Emphasis Requirements
ENGL S303Literature and the Environment3
HUM S370Sport, Leisure, and Culture3
ODS S120Wilderness First Responder 14
ODS S243Outdoor Studies and Leadership3
ODS S245Outdoor Studies Expedition I3-4
ODS S372Mountain Studies: Philosophy, Literature, and Practice4
ODS S373Ocean Studies: Images of the Environment4
ODS S444Expedition Planning and Leadership2
ODS S445Outdoor Studies Expedition II: Major Expedition2-4
PHIL S371Perspectives on the Natural World3
ODS Electives
Select 15 credits of the following:15
Backpacking in Southeast Alaska
Winter Backpacking in Southeast Alaska
Introduction to Rock Climbing
Introduction to Ice Climbing
Avalanche Evaluation and Theory I
Introduction to Fly Fishing, Tying, and Casting
Introduction to Sea Kayaking
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding
Backcountry Navigation
Rock Climbing Level II
Ice Climbing Level II
Avalanche Evaluation and Theory Level II
Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue Fundamentals
Mountaineering I
Other approved ODS skills courses
Upper-Division Electives 2
Select two of the following:6-8
Archaeology of Southeast Alaska
Arctic Anthropology
Ethnobiology
Tlingit Culture and History
Alaska Native Economic and Political Development
Nature Writing
Literature of Alaska: Native and Non-Native Perspectives
Native American Literature
Ecocriticism
Glaciology
Snow Hydrology
Earth's Climate System
Humans and the Environment
Geomorphology
Hydrology
Alaska Politics and Government
Environmental Sociology
Total Credits52-57
Minimum Credit Hours 120
General Education Requirements 34
Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement 3
Liberal Arts Core 9
Alaska Native or Other Language (not English) 6-8
Liberal Arts Emphasis 39
Electives/Minor 38

The Liberal Arts Major combines Core and Emphasis courses. Courses used for GER credit cannot be used to fulfill Liberal Arts Major courses or must be replaced by substitute courses of equal credits.

Liberal Arts Core

Minimum Liberal Arts Core9
HUM S210BLA Portfolio Review1
Communications or Literature (upper-division elective) 13
Philosophy (any Philosophy course) 23
Capstone2
Language Requirement
Alaska Native or Other Language (not English) 36-8

Upon admission into the BLA program, students are required to enroll in the Student Portfolio course. This course is designed to assist students in planning their program of study with the approval of their BLA faculty advisor. The portfolio is used for purposes of continuing self-assessment during the student’s BLA program. Students must complete the Portfolio course within the first three semesters after matriculation; those who do not will be dropped from the BLA program and must officially reapply for admission.

Liberal Arts Emphasis

General Requirements for all emphasis options:

  1. During the semester the student is admitted to the BLA, an Emphasis option (listed below) must be formally declared by the student and approved by the BLA coordinator or the student’s faculty advisor.
  2. 3 credits minimum Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement.
  3. Six to eight credits in a one year sequence of a single Alaska Native or other language, or documented proficiency in a language (not English).
  4. 24 minimum upper-division in credits required in the Emphasis program.
  5. Includes a 2-credit minimum upper-division capstone course (such as GEOG S490, ODS S445, BA S462, HUM S499, or an advisor-approved Internship S491, Practicum S494, Individual Research S498, Independent Study S497, or Thesis S499).
  6. A passing BLA Student Portfolio is required for degree completion.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies provides academic depth to a general course of Liberal Arts study by combining cross-disciplinary primary and secondary fields. Primary and secondary fields must be different. Primary and secondary fields may not both be Social Sciences, however History may be considered either a Humanities or Social Science discipline. A course that is applied to the primary field cannot also be applied to the secondary field (except in situations where course topic varies and may be repeated for credit). The Interdisciplinary Studies program must be approved by the student’s BLA faculty advisor.

Primary Field
Minimum 15 credits upper-division24
Secondary Field
Minimum 6 credits upper-division15

Primary Field

The primary field consists of BLA faculty advisor approved course electives (24 credits, minimum of 15 credits upper division) under one of the following categories. In some instances, minimal course requirements are designated.

Alaska Native Languages and Studies 1
Select one of the following language sequences:8
*Beginning Tlingit I
and *Beginning Tlingit II
*Beginning Haida I
and *Beginning Haida II
*Beginning Tsimshian I
and *Beginning Tsimshian II
Anthropology
ANTH S202Cultural Anthropology3
ANTH S205*Biological Anthropology3
Art
ART S261*History of World Art I3
ART S262*History of World Art II3
Cultural Geography
GEOG S101*Local Places, Global Regions: Introduction to Geography3
GEOG/ANTH S312Humans and the Environment3
Select 18 credits of the following courses:18
Northwest Coast Art: Selected Topics
AK Native Ecological Knowledge
*World Literature
Literature and the Environment
Detective Fiction / Criminal Geographies
Ecocriticism
GEOG S313
GEOG S350
Critical Geography
Alaska: A Contested Geography
Sport, Leisure, and Culture
Salmon, Sport, and Society
Perspectives on the Natural World
English
Government/Political Science
SSCI S300Research Methods in Social Science3
History
HIST S131History of the U.S. I3
HIST S132History of the U.S. II3
Humanities
Any two of the following Humanities disciplines: Art, Communications, English, History, Alaska Native Languages (including Tlingit, Haida, or Tsimshian), other languages (including Spanish), Philosophy, or BLA faculty advisor approved Humanities discipline.12
Discipline 1
Minimum 9 credits upper-division
Discipline 2
Minimum 6 credits upper-division
Psychology
PSY S111*Introduction to Psychology3
Select one of the following:3-4
Statistics
*Survey of Statistics (or higher)
Research Methods
Research Methods in Social Science (or other BLA faculty advisor approved methods course)
Social Sciences
Any two of the following Social Science disciplines: Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or BLA faculty advisor approved Social Science discipline.
Sociology
SOC S101*Introduction to Sociology3
Select one of the following:3-4
Statistics
*Survey of Statistics (or higher)
Research Methods
Research Methods in Social Science (or other BLA faculty advisor approved methods course)

Secondary Field

The secondary field, which must be different than the primary field, consists of 15 credits (minimum 6 credits upper-division). 

Liberal Arts secondary fields available at UAS include: Alaska Native Languages and Studies (see primary field description for minimal requirements), Anthropology, Art, Biology, Business Studies1, Communication, Creative Writing, Cultural Geography (see primary field description for list of accepted courses), Economics, English, Environmental Science, Government, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Tlingit Language.

Liberal Arts Electives/Minor

Courses from AA degrees, transfer credits from accredited universities or colleges, or other University of Alaska credits at the 100 level or higher may be counted for elective credit. A Minor field must differ from disciplinary coursework completed for the Liberal Arts Emphasis. Any overlap in specific courses between GER, the Liberal Arts Major, and a Minor requires course substitutions.

Minimum Credit Hours 120
General Education Requirements 34
Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement 3
Liberal Arts Core 9
Alaska Native or Other Language (not English) 6-8
Liberal Arts Emphasis 39
Electives/Minor 38

The Liberal Arts Major combines Core and Emphasis courses. Courses used for GER credit cannot be used to fulfill Liberal Arts Major courses or must be replaced by substitute courses of equal credits.

Liberal Arts Core

Minimum Liberal Arts Core9
HUM S210BLA Portfolio Review1
Communications or Literature (upper-division elective) 13
Philosophy, (Any Philosophy Course) 23
Capstone2
Language Requirement
Alaska Native or Other Language (not English) 36-8

Upon admission into the BLA program, students are required to enroll in the Student Portfolio course. This course is designed to assist students in planning their program of study with the approval of their BLA faculty advisor. The portfolio is used for purposes of continuing self-assessment during the student’s BLA program. Students must complete the Portfolio course within the first three semesters after matriculation; those who do not will be dropped from the BLA program and must officially reapply for admission.

Liberal Arts Emphasis

General Requirements for all emphasis options:

  1. During the semester the student is admitted to the BLA, an Emphasis option (listed below) must be formally declared by the student and approved by the BLA coordinator or the student’s faculty advisor.
  2. 3 credits minimum Alaska Native Knowledge Graduation Requirement.
  3. Six to eight credits in a one year sequence of a single Alaska Native or other language, or documented proficiency in a language (not English).
  4. 24 minimum upper-division in credits required in the Emphasis program.
  5. Includes a 2-credit minimum upper-division capstone course (such as GEOG S490, ODS S445, BA S462, HUM S499, or an advisor-approved Internship S491, Practicum S494, Individual Research S498, Independent Study S497, or Thesis S499).
  6. A passing BLA Student Portfolio is required for degree completion.

Independent Design

This option is designed for highly motivated students who are interested in completing a BLA program that does not fall under any Designated Emphasis or Interdisciplinary Studies option.

Independently designed BLA programs are available only to students who have a tenure-track faculty member who agrees to supervise their degree program. The student and supervisor will work together to design a degree proposal that provides a coherent body of knowledge at the baccalaureate level. The Independent Design must be approved by the supervising faculty member, the supervising faculty member’s department chair, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

The Independent Design must meet the following requirements:

  1. 24 emphasis credits minimum must be upper division.
  2. 24 emphasis credits minimum must be completed after the Independent Design program is approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

Any changes to a program in progress must be approved by the supervising faculty member, the supervising faculty member’s department chair, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences.