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Liberal Arts Philosophy

The Liberal Arts program is ideal for students with academic and career aspirations that require study across multiple academic subjects. Since each student has the responsibility for the quality of his or her education, the successful Liberal Arts student will be one who can develop a challenging Plan of Study and stick to it. The Liberal Arts degree is not intended for students who are undecided about their interests.

Historically, the Liberal Arts program has attracted many students who feel restricted by the specialized nature of traditional degree programs and want to combine two, three or more academic disciplines. Other students, particularly those returning to the university after years away, or those with full-time jobs, choose this degree because it has more flexibility to combine courses into themed concentrations. These latter students tend to have specific job-related academic needs that can be met most efficiently through the B.L.A. program. Liberal Arts advisors can help you to determine if this program, or some other program at UNM, is best suited to your needs.

How is the Liberal Arts degree different from other Bachelor's degrees?

A bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts is different from all other Bachelor's degrees in that it’s curriculum is not pre-approved by an academic department, and may not follow a traditional academic discipline or career path. It is self-designed by each student to meet very specific academic or career goals.

  • A Liberal Arts degree does not follow the faculty pre-approved curriculum of a specific "major" (usually 36 hours) and "minor" (usually 18-24 hours).
  • A Liberal Arts degree is not a pre-professional degree, like a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), degree because it does not follow the faculty pre-approved curriculum of a specific "intensive major", usually consisting of 50-64 credit hours with no minor.

A Liberal Arts degree is not a distributed General Studies (B.G.S.) degree primarily because:

  • It does not have a broad curriculum, which would require an even distribution of coursework across all 7 Core Curriculum areas.
  • It does not allow for 120 credit hours of "anything" that a student manages to accumulate and still qualify him or her for a degree.

Remember that if you have any questions about the BLA degree program - please, ask a LAIS Advisor.