Liberal Arts Bachelor’s Programs FAQ

Can I complete my Liberal Arts Bachelor’s Degree entirely by examination?

No. As of July 1, 2010, all students are required to take an Excelsior College capstone course near the end of their program.

Do you offer financial aid?

Federal and Financial aid is available regardless of income, with low interest rates and flexible payment options. Excelsior College is the pioneer in offering federal aid for a completely online education. Certificate programs do not qualify for financial aid.

Visit the Financial Aid pages

How can I get credit for my work/life experience?

We offer several ways to help you get credit for prior learning acquired outside college or university settings including Excelsior College® Examinations, other exams such as CLEP® or DSST® Examinations, training that has been evaluated by the American Council on Education or the National Program on Non-Collegiate Sponsored Instruction, and portfolio-based assessment which is the assessment for possible credit of your prior learning through employment, community, volunteer, or other experiences.

What are the General Education Requirements?

Distribution requirements for general education ensure that all students develop basic competence (at least 100-level courses/examinations) in the areas of arts and sciences (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics), as well as specific abilities in written English, ethics, and information literacy.

Learn more about General Education Requirements

What is the depth requirement for a Liberal Arts Bachelor’s Degree?

Every student in the BA in Liberal Arts or BS in Liberal Arts programs is required to demonstrate expertise by certifying depth of knowledge in at least two different disciplines or thematic areas of study. The depth requirement ensures exposure to a variety of subject areas. It also allows students to explore thematic areas of study that connect disciplines in a meaningful way.

In each depth, students must complete 15 credits, with a minimum of 6 credits at the upper level. For the BAL degree, both depths must be within the arts and sciences; for the BSL, one may be earned in an applied professional area, like business or education.

In cases where two disciplines or thematic areas of study are related (such as sociology and criminal justice), students may apply credit from a course that has content related to both (Intro to Criminology, for example) to only one of the two depths.

Students must maintain a 2.0 (C) grade point average within each depth area. Depth areas will not be listed on your Excelsior College transcript.

Examples of arts and sciences depth areas include:

Religion/philosophy Economics Art Political science Music
Geography Literature Biology Foreign languages Psychology
Sociology Mathematics History

Examples of applied professional credit depth areas include:

Computer science Military science Architecture Engineering
Business management Education Law Nursing

This is not an exhaustive list of subject areas in which the depth requirement can be met; if you have any questions about the depth requirement or about whether study in a subject area other than those listed can be applied to the depth requirement, please consult with your advisor.

What is the difference between a Liberal Arts bachelor of science degree and the bachelor of arts degree?

Both the bachelor of science (BS) and the bachelor of arts (BA) degree programs require that students complete 120 semester hours. The main difference between the two degree programs lies in the number of arts and science and applied professional credits required for each degree program. The BA degree requires more arts and science credits that the BS. The BA degree requires a minimum of 90 semester hours in the arts and sciences, and allows for a maximum of 30 applied professional credits. The BS degree requires a minimum of 60 semester hours in the arts and sciences and allows up to 60 applied professional credits. Students who have taken or intend to take a large number of applied professional credits will find the BS degree to be a more flexible option for them. More detailed information regarding the specifics for both the BS and BA degree can be found in the Liberal Arts Catalog (PDF).

What would I need to do to complete a Liberal Arts major?

When considering a major, please be aware that our majors require 33 semester hours of course work. At least 18 of those hours need to be in upper-level courses. In addition, each major has specific requirements. These are based on specific core and intermediate requirements. As such, you would be required to complete particular courses/subject areas as outlined in our liberal arts catalog for the particular major. Please refer to our catalog when considering the necessary courses of study to complete a major. If you have any further questions or need assistance in your consideration of completing a major, academic advisors will be happy to assist you further.