Liberal Studies

Choose to study what interests YOU! Explore general education in the arts and sciences as well as the benefit of doing specialized research in a single area.

What is a Liberal Arts Degree?

A liberal arts degree is a broad-based educational program that focuses on developing knowledge and skills in a variety of academic fields, including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. It emphasizes critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills that prepare students for a wide range of career opportunities and lifelong learning. The degree is highly adaptable, enabling students to tailor their education to their interests and career goals, while also promoting intellectual curiosity and versatility.

Liberal arts degrees can lead to a variety of career paths, including in areas such as business, law, education, government, nonprofits, and the arts. NCWU graduates with a liberal arts degree are sought after by employers who value their broad-based knowledge, critical thinking abilities, and communication skills. Overall, a liberal arts degree provides a solid foundation for individuals who seek to make a meaningful contribution to society through their work and personal lives.

students around classroom tables

Liberal Arts Program at NCWU

The Liberal Studies degree program at NCWU allows students to design an individualized program of studies that forms a multidisciplinary major in an area not covered through one of Wesleyan’s existing majors. You can choose from one of three, pre-approved courses of study: Communication, American Studies, and International Studies. Students will then take a required liberal studies seminar and develop a program of study with a faculty sponsor.

Individualized Programs of Study
All students’ proposed courses of study will be reviewed by an advisory committee which oversees multidisciplinary Liberal Studies program. Upon approval of the course of study, the student will work with his or her advisor to complete the work in a timely fashion.

In the final year of study, students in the major will take our Liberal Studies Capstone Seminar during which students will synthesize work in their course of study in a variety of scholarly ways. Examination of key questions and complex problems from multidisciplinary perspectives are integrated throughout the course.

The NCWU Liberal Studies program offers Concentrations in the following areas:

The Benefits Of Liberal Studies Programs

Communication skills that you will learn as a liberal studies major are greatly valued in the workplace. Likewise, you will learn to carefully analyze problems using all the available facts and you’ll be given the ability to think critically and without bias.

Long-term Financial Success

Research shows that while liberal arts graduates may not make as much right after graduation as those with STEM degrees, the average liberal arts graduate earns $20,000 more than the average high school graduate, and the top 25 percent earn $90,000 or more per year.

The Lasting Value of the Liberal Arts

NC Wesleyan’s President Evan D. Duff discusses the importance and value of liberal arts programs in this published article.  

Faculty & Staff

Email any of our advisors with any questions you have about completing this program.

Liberal Studies Program Concentrations

American Studies Concentration

Students pursuing NCWU’s American Studies Concentration will engage in critical analysis and interpretation of American culture, society, and institutions. They will develop skills in researching, analyzing, and interpreting primary sources such as historical documents, literature, and media. Topics of study may include American identity, social movements, popular culture, race and ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Upon completion of the American studies concentration, students will be able to understand the complex history and cultures of the United States and critically evaluate the social and political systems that shape those cultures. They will be well-equipped to pursue graduate studies or careers in areas such as education, government, journalism, or non-profit organizations. Overall, the American studies concentration provides students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in a variety of fields that require an understanding of American culture and society.

The pre-approved American Studies Concentration includes courses such as:

  • Art Appreciation
  • Literature of the United States
  • Dawn of Civilizations
  • The United States: From Colonies to Civil War
  • American Humanities
  • American Political System
  • American State and Local Government or Social Problems
  • And more
professional sitting around table

Career Areas

  • Social Services Human Relations Officers
  • Public Relations Personnel
  • Urban Planner/City Manager
  • Non-profit Organizational Director
  • Copywriter
  • Medical Communications Trainer
  • Advertising Account Executive

The Liberal Arts Communications Concentration

Students pursuing NCWU’s Communications concentration will gain a comprehensive understanding of modern media, effective communication, and the role of communication in contemporary society. You will study a range of related subjects such as communication theories, mass media, interpersonal and intercultural communication, public speaking, journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising, and social media.

This concentration will also allow students to develop strong analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as effective written and verbal communication skills, which are essential for success in today’s job market. Graduates of a Communications concentration in Liberal Studies will be well-equipped to pursue careers in fields such as journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, social media, and many others. Moreover, they will be able to play an influential role in shaping public discourse, creating brand identities, and communicating effectively with different audiences. 

The pre-approved Communications Concentration includes courses such as:

  • Web Authoring and Publishing
  • Fundamentals of Communication
  • Journalism
  • Editorial Techniques
  • Oral Communication Methods or Principles of Marketing
  • Advanced Writing
  • Business Communication
  • Advanced Journalism
  • Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Psychology of Mass Communication
  • And More
group looking over ideas on paper

The communication concentration at NCWU can prepare you for a variety of career fields that require strong communication skills. Here are some possible career fields:

  • Public Relations: Public relations professionals are responsible for managing and maintaining the public image of individuals, companies, or organizations.
  • Marketing: Marketing professionals are responsible for promoting products, services, or ideas to target audiences.
  • Journalism: Journalists report on current events and provide analysis and commentary on issues of interest to the public.
  • Human Resources: Human resources professionals are responsible for managing employee relations, recruiting and hiring new staff, and ensuring compliance with labor laws and regulations.
  • Education: Educators use communication skills to teach students and engage with parents, colleagues, and administrators.
  • Event Planning: Event planners are responsible for coordinating and executing events, such as weddings, conferences, and fundraisers.
  • Nonprofit: Nonprofit organizations work to improve social or environmental issues, and communication skills are vital in advocating for their cause.

The Liberal Arts International Studies Concentration

The International Studies Concentration at NCWU offers a broad and interdisciplinary approach to understanding global issues and cultures. This concentration provides students with the opportunity to explore different societies, languages, religions, political and economic systems, and historical contexts. Students learn how to critically analyze complex global problems, such as poverty, inequality, conflict, climate change, migration, and human rights violations. They also gain intercultural and diplomatic skills that are essential for effective communication, negotiation, and collaboration in a globalized world.

In addition, NCWU offers study-abroad programs and internships that allow students to experience firsthand the cultures and challenges of other countries. Graduates with an international studies concentration in a liberal studies program have a wide range of career options, including NGOs, government agencies, international organizations, private companies, and academic institutions. They can also pursue further education in fields such as international relations, law, public policy, or anthropology.

The pre-approved International Studies Concentration includes courses such as:

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • World Literature and Literature of the United States
  • Dawn of Civilizations
  • War. Revolution. Repeat.
  • African History
  • Introduction to International Relations
  • Religious Worlds
  • Studies in International Literature and African American Literature
  • The 99 Years (1815-1914)
  • Latin American History
  • The Renaissance, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution
  • The Celestial Empires
  • Middle East
  • Church History
  • Sociology of the Workplace
  • And more

Career Areas

The International Studies concentration at NCWU can prepare you for a variety of career fields that require knowledge of international relations, cultural understanding, and research skills. Here are some potential career fields:

  • Diplomacy: Diplomats represent their country’s interests and engage in negotiations with other nations, international organizations, and foreign governments. They use their knowledge of international relations and cultural understanding to resolve conflicts, facilitate trade agreements, and promote cooperation between nations.
  • International Business: International business professionals work for multinational corporations or small businesses with global operations. They use their knowledge of foreign cultures, languages, and business practices to negotiate contracts, manage international supply chains, and develop marketing strategies for products and services.
  • Nonprofit and Humanitarian Organizations: Nonprofit and humanitarian organizations operate globally and provide aid and services to communities affected by poverty, conflict, or natural disasters. International Studies students can contribute to these organizations by conducting research, analyzing data, and developing programs that address specific needs.
  • International Development: International development professionals work to reduce poverty and promote economic growth in developing countries. They use their knowledge of international relations, cultural understanding, and research skills to design and implement programs that address social, economic, and environmental issues.
  • Government: Government agencies at the national, state, or local level require professionals with knowledge of international relations, foreign policy, and global affairs. International Studies students can pursue careers in government agencies that focus on foreign policy, international trade, or national security.
  • Education: International Studies students can pursue careers in education, such as teaching English as a second language or working as a cultural exchange program coordinator. They can also pursue graduate studies in international education, which prepares them for careers in international education policy, program development, and academic administration.
  • Media and Journalism: International Studies students can work in media and journalism as foreign correspondents, reporters, or editors. They use their knowledge of international relations and cultural understanding to report on global events and provide analysis and commentary on international issues.

Overall, an International Studies student can apply their knowledge of international relations, cultural understanding, and research skills to many different career fields.

The Liberal Arts Learning Theory & Practice Concentration

The Learning Theory and Practice Concentration at NCWU focuses on the study of various theories of learning and their application in different educational settings. Students pursuing this concentration would have the opportunity to explore topics such as cognitive psychology, educational technology, and curriculum design. They would also have the opportunity to gain practical experience through internships or student teaching. This concentration would be ideal for students who are interested in pursuing careers in education, instructional design, or related fields. Graduates of this program would be equipped with a deep understanding of how people learn and how to design effective learning experiences for a variety of audiences.

The pre-approved International Learning Theory & Practice Concentration includes courses such as:

  • Educational Theory and Practice
  • Introduction to Teaching
  • Books for Children, K-6
  • Psychological Development in Childhood
  • Fundamentals of Communication
  • Dawn of Civilizations
  • Systems of Grammar
  • Southward Bound: History of an American Region or Tarheel History
  • Technology in Education
  • Introduction to Exceptional Children
  • Education Foundations and Diversity
  • Practicum in School Settings
  • And more

Career Areas

The Learning Theory and Practice concentration liberal studies program at NCWU can prepare graduates for a variety of career fields. Some potential career options include:

  • Education: Graduates can become teachers, instructional designers, curriculum developers, or educational consultants.
    Corporate Training: Graduates can work as corporate trainers or instructional designers, helping organizations develop and implement training programs for their employees.
  • Non-Profit Organizations: Graduates can work in non-profit organizations that focus on education, such as museums, community centers, and after-school programs.
  • Educational Technology: Graduates can work in educational technology companies, developing and designing learning software, apps, and other technology-based learning tools.
  • Government Agencies: Graduates can work in government agencies such as the Department of Education or Department of Defense, designing and implementing educational programs and initiatives.

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Transfer Articulation Agreements

To simplify the transfer process, NC Wesleyan University has a number of partnerships with other community colleges, universities and institutions that allow students to enroll at NCWU with simple pathways. These agreements outline the courses you should take to prepare for transferring to NCWU. Review the full list of transfer articulation agreements to see if your institution is listed.

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