Liberal Studies Program


The LSP Program ceased to exist Fall 2005. Students entering subsequent
to that time are required to fulfill the requirements of the General Education Curriculum (GEC) Program. Click here for information on the General
Education Curriculum Program.

from the 2003-2005 Undergraduate Catalog




WVU recognizes the need for students to have a wide range of knowledge and experience to complement their chosen field of study. The LSP serves this purpose and is based on the following two principles.

1. In our world of rapid economic, social, and technological change, universities recognize that a broad educational foundation is necessary for the life-long learning that makes meaningful careers and other goals attainable. WVU’s approach to this foundation is its Liberal Studies Program, which provides graduates with the skills and knowledge to continue their intellectual growth as a lifelong process. These skills and knowledge include the ability to reason clearly, communicate effectively, and understand major influences in society.

2. General education helps students to become thoughtful participants in a democratic society and to achieve the intellectual integration and awareness they need to meet changes and challenges in their personal, social, political, and professional lives. General education courses introduce the great ideas and controversies in human thought and experience. These courses provide breadth, perspective, and rigor that enable WVU graduates to:

  • Understand the past and its traditions.
  • Identify and resolve issues of personal and professional ethics.
  • Contribute in meaningful ways to their local, national, and global communities.
  • Understand alternative viewpoints and cultures.
  • Accept the assume responsibility for themselves and their world.
  • Interact constructively with people different from themselves.
  • Understand important issues confronting society.
  • Gain a critical understanding of the arts, sciences, and humanities.
  • Use quantitative and scientific knowledge and technology accurately.



Program Components

West Virginia University Liberal Studies Program requirements for all students who receive the baccalaureate degree are divided into a skills component and a distribution component. These are described below.

Skills Requirements

Writing

  • All students must successfully complete English 101 and 102. This requirement is in addition to the Cluster A requirements described below.

Please consult the list of available 'writing' courses to determine a course to fulfill this objective.

  • All students must successfully complete at least one course that requires a substantial writing component and in which the grade is partially determined by writing skills. These courses or course sections will be identified in the LSP portion of the Schedule of Courses by a “W”. The student must complete English 102 before fulfilling the “W” requirement.

Mathematics

  • All students must successfully complete at least three hours of mathematics or statistics. This requirement is in addition to the Cluster C requirement that is described below. Courses approved for the mathematics skills requirement: Mathematics 121, 124, 126, 129, 150, 155, 156, 180, 218, 231, Economics 225, and Statistics 211.


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Cluster Courses

The University courses in the LSP that provide students with broad liberal knowledge and experience are grouped into three clusters:

Cluster A (Humanities and Fine Arts): The study of humanities develops knowledge of and appreciation for the accumulated wisdom and experience contained in world literature, history, fine arts, religion, and philosophy, with the objective of bringing the student to an active consciousness of the living, operating, and continuing values of human culture.

Cluster B (Social and Behavioral Sciences): The social and behavioral sciences develop in students the knowledge and appreciation of both themselves and the world in which they live. Through the study of anthropology, economics, geography, linguistics, political science, psychology, sociology, and communication studies, students are able to comprehend major concepts, evaluate movements and ideas, and anticipate future trends in societies both at home and abroad.

Cluster C (Natural Sciences and Mathematics): Courses in the natural sciences and mathematics provide information about the natural world and provide a perspective on how an understanding of the natural world is developed. Educated persons should have a knowledge of the physical, chemical, geological, and biological entities and processes that constitute the natural world. Courses in mathematics, statistics, and computer science can provide the technical tools for an understanding of the natural world, as well as an understanding of the methods and value of mathematics considered as a discipline in itself.


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Distribution of Cluster Requirements

Cluster A Requirements 12 hours of Cluster A courses must be distributed according to the following provisions and successfully completed:

  • Courses must be successfully completed in three disciplines.
  • Two courses must be successfully completed in the same discipline.
  • If foreign language courses are chosen to fulfill Cluster A requirements, no student may use more than one first-semester course of an elementary foreign language. Language courses in a student’s native language may not be used to fulfill Cluster A requirements.
  • No more than one multidisciplinary studies (MDS) course may be used to fulfill Cluster A requirements.

Cluster B Requirements 12 hours of Cluster B courses must be successfully completed and distributed according to the following provisions:

  • Courses must be successfully completed in three disciplines.
  • Two courses must be successfully completed in the same discipline.
  • No more than one multidisciplinary studies (MDS) course may be used to fulfill Cluster B requirements.

Cluster C Requirements 11-12 hours of Cluster C courses must be successfully completed and distributed according to the following provisions:

  • Courses must be successfully completed in two disciplines.
  • At least one course must include a laboratory (identified in the Schedule of Courses).
  • No more than one multidisciplinary studies (MDS) course may be used to fulfill Cluster C requirements.

Note: Foreign or minority culture requirement: one three-credit-hour course must focus substantially on the study of a foreign or minority culture or cultures or on women and/or issues of gender.


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A current listing of Liberal Studies Program courses can be found by clicking here.