Nov 29, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Liberal Studies, B.A.

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The Shimer School Liberal Studies Major comprises the entirety of the School’s core curriculum. Liberal Studies majors take the full complement of courses in all three major areas of the curriculum: humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Studying the breadth of human knowledge and creation, largely (but not entirely) in traditions from Europe and North America, allows Liberal Studies majors to integrate knowledge and methods from disparate fields and develop insights that transcend any given discipline of study. Like all Shimer School majors, those in Liberal Studies develop their insights through a combination of individual reflection; small-class discussions; intensive writing, peer-editing and revision of essays; and the variety of practical exercises that reflect our readings in each area sequence of courses.

Breadth and depth of knowledge and skills characterize graduates of the Shimer School. Through the core curriculum of the Shimer School they immerse themselves in major classic and contemporary works of human expression, social thought and scientific knowledge and practice. Their broad familiarity with fundamental ideas and methods across the Liberal Arts provides the foundation on which they build increasingly refined understanding and skills in more specialized courses in chosen disciplines taught across North Central College. Shimer School graduates thus find meaningful employment in an unusually broad array of fields, including teaching, social work, law, small business and entrepreneurial enterprise and non-profit administration among the most common.

For additional programs and courses in this school, see Shimer Great Books School .

Major Requirements

Additional Electives

Twelve additional elective credit hours are required:

  • Four credit hours need to be from SGBH at the 200-level or above
  • Four credit hours need to be from SGBN at the 200-level or above
  • Four credit hours need to be from SGBS at the 200-level or above

*At least one of the above elective courses needs to be at the 300-level or above (any Shimer prefix)

Comprehensive Examination

  • Pass the Shimer Great Books Basic Studies Comprehensive Exam (following successful completion of at least four of the required courses at the 100-level).

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements  within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

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