Liberal Arts, Bachelor of Science

Personalized Learning

Online, Statewide, and Education Innovation

This plan is no longer accepting students.

This program is provided through our Personalized Learning system, wherein a student completes their courses at their own pace, in six month subscriptions, through an online competency-based learning environment. Students in a Personalized Learning program are not able to concurrently enroll in traditional semester-by-semester courses.

A student majoring in Liberal Arts through Personalized Learning will study broadly from history, philosophy, literature and the arts. The student will learn how to analyze, interpret and evaluate important cultural artifacts of diverse cultures.  This is a fresh, contemporary take on Liberal Arts in that each exercise in understanding important works of art and letters is immediately connected to relevant skills.

This plan will not be available to new students after Summer 2024

University Requirements
  • To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally include a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.

    • All Northern Arizona University requirements.
    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
    • At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
    • At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
    • A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.

    The full policy can be viewed here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. 

Students may transfer up to 75 units of credit from an accredited community college. 

Minimum Units for Completion 120
Highest Mathematics Required MATH 115
Some online/blended coursework Required
AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A Recommended
Progression Plan Link Not Available

Purpose Statement

In the Personalized Learning Liberal Arts program, students will explore ideas from many different areas of study, including sociology, philosophy, psychology, history, literature, and the arts.  The coursework for this program provides an opportunity to explore ideas from many different angles and perspectives.  The mission of a Liberal Arts education is to broaden the mind, encouraging students to think critically and creatively, and to make informed decisions on a wide variety of topics. 
The skills students learn in the Liberal Arts degree prepare them for further study in a graduate program or to work in any workplace.  The ability to write effectively, to communicate clearly, and to think analytically will serve students well in any field.  Students will also practice problem solving and the application of ideas in new and different ways. This program provides the opportunity to explore the interrelationship of concepts and ideas from varying disciplinary subjects.
The bachelor of science degree takes students beyond their major coursework to also explore more closely the science of the world around them.  Students will learn about water management and green technologies, as well as astronomy and the intersection of science, technology, and religion.
At the completion of the program, students will be able to articulate themselves clearly in writing, apply ideas from different schools of thought, and think creatively across a broad range of contexts.
Student Learning Outcomes
Liberal Arts Personalized Learning Graduates will be able to:

  • Work in a team structure: Engage in effective group communication building on Group Dynamics and theories in intercultural communication
  • Communicate with diverse populations: Demonstrate the difference between analysis, interpretation, and evaluation
  • Solve complex problems: Demonstrate knowledge of relationships between knowledge, power, morality, ethics, and law
  • Analyze complicated materials: Analyze, interpret, and evaluate objects and theories across broad contexts
  • Write about culture effectively and Compose academic essays in various rhetorical styles: Write clear summaries, position papers, reports, research papers, and annotated bibliographies
  • Demonstrate knowledge of potential and limitations of technology’s advances: Differentiate, evaluate, and apply theories concerning technological advances and their impact on society
  • Practice an examined or self-reflective life: Examine and explain the importance of literature, film, media, and art on understanding human nature.
  • Describe ethical theories: Differentiate between ethics and morality, and analyze ethics and morality from both religious and political perspectives
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of the humanities: Examine and compare theories of subjectivity, personal identify, and human nature in the humanities
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of the social sciences: Examine and compare the history and impacts of the penal and legal systems in the U.S. and Asia, paying particular attention upon their impacts on political and religious life
  • Demonstrate an effective transfer of competencies to the workplace: Develop research approaches for case studies, and develop approaches to effective workplace communication.
  • Analyze and explore the basics of science and technology.
  • Explore the history of fossil fuels and their development.
  • Project the advances and uses of green technologies in the construction and transportation industries.
  • Explore the properties of stars from mass, size, magnitude, luminosity, lifespan, color, variability and main fusion process to formation, death and left over remnant.
  • Explore the lives of galaxies from formation to star production, its evolution by collision with other galaxies, and their stellar populations.

Transfer Block
  • Students may transfer up to 75 units of credit from an accredited community college. 

Major Requirements
  • Liberal Arts Requirements

    This major requires 66 units distributed as follows:

    • Liberal Arts Requirements: 54 units
    • Science Requirement: 12 units

    Personalized Learning Competencies for the Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts

    • Completion of these competencies will result in the awarding of credit for NAU courses.

      C.1  Work in a team structure
      C.2  Communicate with diverse populations
      C.3  Solve complex problems
      C.4  Analyze complicated materials
      C.5  Write about culture effectively
      C.6  Compose academic essays in various rhetorical styles
      C.7  Demonstrate knowledge of potential and limitations of technology's advances
      C.8  Practice an examined or self-reflective life
      C.9  Describe ethical theories
      C.10 Apply ethical theories to education
      C.11 Formulate and substantiate theses
      C.12 Formulate and test hypotheses in humanities and social science
      C.13 Demonstrate knowledge of leadership in the working of organizations
      C.14 Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of the humanities
      C.15 Demonstrate knowledge of the significance of the social sciences
      C.16 Demonstrate effective transfer of competencies to workplace

      • ARHI 143 Western Art History (3 units)
      • CCSU 251 Interdisciplinary Cultural Aesthetics (3 units)
      • CCSU 351W Interdisciplinary Research Writing (3 units)
      • CCSU 490C Capstone in 1960's American Cinema (3 units)
      • CSTU 272 Group Dynamics and Social Conflict (3 units)
      • CSTU 324 Cross Cultural Communication (3 units)
      • ENGL 254 Introduction to World Literature (3 units)
      • ENGL 306W Writing Across the Disciplines (3 units) 
      • HUMA 377 Utopias and Dystopias (3 units)
      • HUMA 381 Reflections of Society in Postwar Cinema (3 units)
      • HUMA 383 Humanities in Global Contexts (3 units)
      • HUMA 476 Human Nature and Humanistic Values (3 units)
      • PHIL 106 Ethical Obligation (3 units)
      • RELI 151 World Religions (3 units)
      • SOCI 202 Sociological Thought (3 units)
      • SOCI 314 The Sociological Aspects of Education (3 units)
      • SOCI 321 Interaction of Sociology and Psychology (3 units)
      • SOCI 340 Social Criminology (3 units)


  • You may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your faculty mentor for details.

Science Requirement
General Electives
  • Additional coursework is required if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.

    You may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.

    We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you.

Additional Information
  • Some courses may have departmental prerequisites required by students in other majors. Any prerequisites not fulfilled with transfer credit may be met by successfully completing a pretest; however, the pretest credit(s) will not be granted for the completion of the plan requirements.

    This degree is offered only through the Personalized Learning program. Work with a faculty mentor for any questions regarding the applicability of coursework completed through Personalized Learning to any other plan of study at NAU.