Additional Programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Education

Helios Certificate of Integrated Liberal Arts

This program provides students the opportunity to take a more purposeful pathway through their general education program. Students who complete the certificate will integrate knowledge and skills from liberal arts disciplines with applied fields of study while building broad-based skills in communication and collaboration.

Certificate Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will integrate learning from liberal arts disciplines with learning from applied fields of knowledge.
  2. Students will value different perspectives and be able to collaborate with people who are different from them.
  3. Students will understand the connection between liberal arts principles and social responsibility.

The certificate is comprised of twelve credits.  Students take three credits of first-year, gateway course that provides a foundation for integrated learning.  Through an exploration of transformative texts, students will grapple with enduring questions of the human experience.  They then take nine credits in a thematic cluster that allows them to build in-depth knowledge in a specific theme by integrating different disciplinary perspectives.  

Course Title Credits
Gateway Course3
Choose one from the following 1
Studio College Writing I
College Writing I
College Writing II
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Philosophy
Thematic Clusters9
Choose 9 credits from one of the following thematic clusters 2
The Environment and Sustainability
Conservation, Wildlife, and Recreation
Environmental and Wildlife Crime
Literature of Nature
Native America and Colonial Borderlands to 1887
Native American History, What you thought you knew
The Land Ethic
Space, Place, and Gender
Environmental Conservation
Environmental Ethics
Introduction to Social and Environmental Justice
Rural Sociology
Society and the Environment
Land and Conflict Resolution
Ethnicity, Race and Crime
Women, Gender, and Justice
Social Inequalities
Philosophy of Law
International Relations
Constitutional Law
Civil Liberties
Techniques of Counseling
Introduction to Social and Environmental Justice
Contemporary Social Problems
Science, Culture, and Society
Global Public Health
Introduction to Linguistics
Literature and Science
Writing for Science and Research
An International History of Technology
History of Medicine
History of Science and Technology in Europe: Faculty-Led Short-Term Intl Exp
Biomedical Ethics
Science, Technology, and Ethics
Positive Psychology
Women and Health
Total Credits12

Gateway courses can be found in PASS Class Search with the Course Attribute filter "Certificate in Liberal Arts" and the Course Attribute Value "Transformative Texts".


Students must take courses in at least two different disciplines.


Individually Contracted Major

Coordinator: Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Education
Office: 160 Gardner Hall
Phone: 608.342.1151


The purpose of the individually contracted major is to afford an individualized source of study to students who are unable to fulfill important educational and/or career goals via the existing majors.


  1. The student will self-assess personal, educational and occupational goals.
  2. The student will review the existing major and minor programs.
  3. The student will determine and demonstrate that existing majors and minors will not fulfill the student’s goals.
  4. The student will employ critical thinking to prepare, with the assistance of an advisor and a committee of faculty, a detailed individually contracted major specifically tailored to that student’s needs.
  5. The student will master the coursework and content of the agreed-upon major.
  6. The student will develop increased self-knowledge, occupational knowledge, creativity, flexibility and organizational skill.

Students sometimes find that the selection of a major does not fit their own unique interests or career plans. Instead, their needs can best be served by an individualized course sequence composed of offerings from several departments or even from more than one college within the university. To accommodate such students, the College of Liberal Arts and Education offers the individually contracted major. Students, working closely with faculty members, propose and develop a course of study that will lead to the fulfillment of their personal educational goals.

The following process sets forth the steps by which students can plan and pursue an individualized course sequence constituting the equivalent of a conventional major. At the same time, it provides a means by which the faculty can monitor students’ planning and subsequent activities to ensure that they meet the standard requirements for a degree. The process culminates in an agreement which sets forth the details of the proposed major.

Step One

Any sophomore or junior with a 3.0 or higher grade point average may select a member of the faculty of the college who is willing to be the advisor. With the advisor’s assistance, the student drafts a preliminary proposal which includes four elements:

  1. A justification of the projected major (including evidence both of the validity of the proposed program and of the unavailability of suitable alternatives)
  2. A rationale for the program
  3. Evidence of the student’s capability to conduct independent study
  4. A statement of the likely acceptability of the projected major to graduate schools or potential employers. The preliminary proposal is then presented to the coordinator.

Step Two

The coordinator, after confirming the completeness of the proposal, may help the student bring together a suitable committee of at least three faculty members, a majority of whom are from the College of LAE. One member of the committee serves as chairperson. The coordinator forwards the student’s proposal to the committee chairperson for review.

Step Three

The committee reviews the proposal, and if it is acceptable, requests that the student submit a more detailed proposal.

Step Four

The student consults with his or her advisor and the members of the committee to develop the detailed proposal. The proposal contains a rationale and includes a complete list of courses which will be taken, the formal course descriptions and sequencing of courses where applicable. The proposal also contains a thorough report on the acceptability of the major to employers or graduate schools, depending on the student’s long-term goals. The complete proposal is reviewed by the committee which can approve it, send it back for revisions, or reject it.

Step Five

The committee chairperson forwards the approved proposal to the coordinator who reviews it to make sure that college and university requirements are met. The coordinator may approve the proposal, send it back to the committee for changes, or reject it. Upon the coordinator’s approval, an agreement is signed between the student and the college, and information is forwarded to the appropriate offices.