Skip to content

Liberal Arts, B.L.A.

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 nontraditional 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 at Arts in Teaching programs at UAS. Program assessment plans and student learning outcomes are posted on the Provost website.

BLA degrees must include:

  1. 120 credits minimum.
  2. 60 credits minimum in the Liberal Arts Major (18 credits Liberal Arts Core, 42 credits Liberal Arts Emphasis). Of this total, 45 credits minimum must be completed through UAS.
  3. 42 credits minimum upper-division.
  4. No more than 12 credits of independent study, practicum or internship in the Liberal Arts Major.
  5. 3 credits minimum upper-division capstone course completed through UAS.

Admission Requirements

For admission requirements and more information on the program please visit the B.L.A. website.

Degree Requirements (2014-2015 Catalog)

Courses in a degree program may be counted only once: that is, courses used as Major requirements cannot be used in other parts of the degree program. Courses used for GER credit cannot be used to fulfill Liberal Arts Major courses or must be replaced by substitute courses of equal credits.

Minimum Credit Hours120
Liberal Arts Major60
The Liberal Arts Major combines Core and Emphasis courses. Of the 60 total credits required for the Major, 45 must be completed through UAS. Courses completed for the Liberal Arts Major must receive a grade of C (2.0) or better.
I. Liberal Arts Core
Core Requirements18
HUMS200Orientation to the Liberal Arts2
HUMS210Student Portfolio1
  Communications, Literature or Writing (upper-division elective)*3
  Philosophy (Introduction, Logic, or Ethics)**3
  Social Science, Math or Natural Science (elective)3-4
  Cultural Diversity Courses***6-8

** PHIL S101, PHIL S201, PHIL S206, PHIL S301
***Cultural Diversity courses include: world languages, world history, Alaska Native languages, or BLA faculty advisor-approved courses in anthropology, art, communication, literature, and the humanities or social sciences, including transfer or study abroad courses, with an evident focus in cultural diversity.

Upon admission into the BLA program, students are required to enroll in Orientation to the Liberal Arts and Student Portfolio courses. These courses are 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 Orientation and Portfolio courses within the first three semesters after matriculation; those who do not will be dropped from the BLA program and must officially reapply for admission.

II. Liberal Arts Emphasis

General Requirements for all emphasis options:

  1. During the semester the student is admitted 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. 24 minimum upper-division in credits required in the Emphasis program (18 minimum credits completed through UAS).
  3. Includes a Capstone Course: HUM S499 Humanities Capstone
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.
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

B.L.A. Designated Emphasis

Minimum Credits42
Designated Emphasis Credit Hours17
ANTHS200AK Native Cultures3
HUMS499Humanities Capstone3
Select both
AKLS105Humanities Capstone I4
AKLS106Humanities Capstone II4
or both
AKLS107Elementary Haida I4
AKLS108Elementary Haida II4
Select one from the following (3 credits):
ANTHS475AK Native Social Change3
ARTS263NW Coast Nat Art, Hist, & Culture3

Any Alaska Native Languages or Northwest Coast Art course, or any Alaska Native-Specific 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).

Select from the following (25 credits):*
AKLS106Elementary Tlingit II4
AKLS108Elementary Haida II4
AKLS205Intermediate Tlingit I4
AKLS206Intermediate Tlingit II4
AKLS207Intermediate Haida I4
AKLS208Intermediate Haida II4
AKLS241Native Oratory1
AKLS305Advanced Tlingit I3
AKLS306Advanced Tlingit II3
AKLS307Advanced Haida I3
AKLS308Advanced Haida II3
AKLS401AK Native Apprentice/Mentor1-3
AKLS410Heritage Language Teaching Methods and Materials3
AKLS451Intro to Tlingit Linguistics I3
ANTHS452Intro to Tlingit Linguistics II3
ANTHS225Art Ex & Or Nar of AK Natives3
ANTHS335Native North Americans3
ANTHS342Arctic Ethnology3
ANTHS428Tlingit Culture and History3
ANTHS435NW Coast Cultures3
ARTS458AK Native Econ/Pol Dev3
ARTS180NW Coast Art: Selected Topics1-3
ARTS181Beginning NW Coast Design1-3
ARTS183NW Coast Harv/Prep Basket Mat.5
ARTS189NW Coast Tool Making2
ARTS280NW Coast Art: Selected Topics1-3
ARTS281Intermediate NW Coast Design1-3
ARTS282Beginning NW Coast Basketry1-3
ARTS284NW Coast Basket Design1
ARTS285Beginning NW Coast Carving1-3
ARTS286Beg NW Coast Woolen Weaving1-3
ARTS380NW Coast Art: Selected Topics1-3
ARTS381Advanced NW Coast Design1-3
ARTS382Intermediate NW Coast Basketry1-3
ARTS385Intermediate NW Coast Carving1-3
ARTS386Inter NW Coast Woolen Weaving1-3
ARTS480NW Coast Art: Selected Topics1-3
ARTS482Advanced NW Coast Carving1-3
ARTS485Advanced NW Coast Carving1-3
ARTS486Adv NW Coast Woolen Weaving1-3
ENGLS365Lit of AK: Nat and Non-Nat Per3
ENGLS370Native American Literature3
GEOGS302G of AK: People, Places, Potential3
HISTS115Alaska, Land and People3
HISTS341History of Alaska3
*15 credits must be upper division

Language Arts

B.L.A. Designated Emphasis

Language Arts Fields: English (ENGL), Communication (COMM), Theatre (THR).
Primary Field: 24 credits (minimum 15 credits upper division).
Secondary Field: 15 credits (minimum 6 credits upper-division).
Capstone (3 credits): HUM S499 Humanities Capstone

Outdoor and Adventure Studies

B.L.A. Designated Emphasis

Minimum Emphasis Credit Hours52-56
Designated Emphasis Requirements31-35
ENGLS303Literature and the Environment3
HUMS270Sport, Leisure and Culture3
HUMS499Humanities Capstone3
ODSS120Wilderness First Responder4
ODS S243Intro to Outdoor Leadership3
ODSS244Outdoor Leadership3
ODSS245Outdoor Leadership Capstone2-4
ODSS372Mountain Adv: Phil, Lit & Pract3
ODSS444Expedition Planning/Leadership2
ODSS445Outdoor Studies Emph Capstone2-4
PHILS371Perspectives on the Natural World3
ODS Electives15
Select from the following (15 credits):
ODSS114Backpacking in SE Alaska1-2
ODSS115Winter Backpacking in SE Alaska1
ODSS116Introduction to Rock Climbing1-2
ODSS117Introduction to Ice Climbing1-2
ODSS118Avalanche Eval and Theory I2
ODSS119Intro to Fly Fishing, Tying & Casting2
ODSS133Introduction to Sea Kayaking1
ODSS148Backcountry Skiing/Snowboarding1
ODSS205Backcountry Navigation and Travel2
ODSS216Rock Climbing Level II1-3
ODSS217Ice Climbing Level II1-3
ODSS218Avalanche Eval/Theory Level II2
ODSS221Glacier Travel/Crevasse Res Fund2
ODSS222Mountaineering I2
Upper Division Electives*6
Select two from the following (6 credits):
ANTHS314Archaeology of SE Alaska3
ANTHS342Arctic Ethnology3
ANTHS428Tlingit Culture and History3
ANTHS458AK Native Econ/Political Dev3
ENGLS363Nature Writing3
ENGLS365Lit of AK: Nat & Non-Nat Per3
ENGLS370Native American Literature3
ENVSS407Snow Hydrology4
ENVSS415Biogeography & Landscape Ecology3
ENVSS422Earth's Climate System3
GEOGS312Humans and the Environment3
GEOLS300Geology of Alaska3
GEOLS310Glaciation and Climate Change3
GOVTS313Alaska Politics and Government3
SOCS404Environmental Sociology3
*Advisor-approved courses
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 from different disciplines. The Interdisciplinary Studies program must be approved by the student’s BLA faculty advisor.
Primary Field: 24 credits (minimum 15 credits upper division).
Secondary Field: 15 credits (minimum 15 credits upper-division).
Capstone (3 credits): HUM S499 Capstone.
Primary Field
The primary field consists of BLA faculty advisor approved course electives (24 credits, minimum of 15 credits upper division) under one the following categories. In some instances, minimal course requirements are designated.
Cultural Anthropology (ANCH S202), Biological Anthropology (ANTH S205)
Two-semester History or World Art survey (ART S261/S262
Two-semester History survey: History of the U.S. (HIST S131/S132) or World History (HIST S105/106) or Modern Europe (HIST S227/228) and Seminar in History: Selected Topics (HIST S492).
Any two of the following Humanities disciplines: Art, Communications, English, History, Alaska Native Languages (including Tlingit, Haida), Modern Languages (including Spanish), Philosophy, Theatre, or BLA faculty advisor approved Humanities discipline.
Discipline 1: 12 credits (min. 9 credits upper division).
Discipline 2: 12 credits (min. 6 credits upper division).
Introduction to Psychology (PSY S101), Research Methods and Statistics (STAT S107 or higher), Social Science Research Methods (SSCI S300), or BLA faculty advisor approved course.
Social Science
Any two of the following Social Science disciplines: Anthropology, Economics, Government (Political Science), History, Psychology, Sociology, or BLA faculty advisor approved Social Science discipline.
Discipline 1: 12 credits (min. 9 credits upper division).
Discipline 2: 12 credits (min. 6 credits upper division).
Introduction to Sociology (SOC S101) and either a statistics course (STAT S107 or higher) or a research methods course (SSCI S300 or other BLA faculty advisor approved methods course).
Secondary Field

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

Liberal Arts secondary fields available at UAS include: Anthropology, Art, Biology, Communication, Creative Writing, Economics, English, Environmental Science, Government, History, Laws, Mathematics, Philosophy, Psychology, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, Tlingit Language.

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. As the program is independently designed, there are no formal limitations on the structure of each student’s program beyond the required Liberal Arts Core. However, the Independent Design has rigorous emphasis requirements:
  1. 45 total credits for the BLA Liberal Arts Major must be completed while enrolled at UAS.
  2. 24 Emphasis credits minimum must be upper division.
  3. 30 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.

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.

Internship Opportunities

The UAS Career Services Office provides a current listing of internship opportunities available to UAS students. These internships are funded by Alaskan, federal, national and international organizations and businesses. Changes occur frequently. If you have an interest in internships please contact Career Services for assistance. If admitted to a degree program you can also speak with a faculty member if you are interested in an internship for academic credit.


Content maintained by Webmaster.