College of Liberal Studies

The college houses Anthropology, Economics, English, History, Languages & Literatures, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Sociology & Criminal Justice, and the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The Individualized Major and interdisciplinary programs including Chinese Studies, Gender, Sexuality & Race Studies, Global Studies, Holocaust & Genocide Studies, Native American & Indigenous Studies, and Publishing & Printing Arts minor also reside in the college.

Programs in the College of Liberal Studies engage students in the critical study of human existence and social systems across diverse cultures, time periods, and environments using a range of academic tools and methods.

Vision Statement:

Students in the College of Liberal Studies are engaged readers and writers, curious critical thinkers, aware citizens both locally and globally, and thoughtful contributors to their communities.

Mission Statement:

The College of Liberal Studies introduces students to a variety of academic disciplines, diverse methods of inquiry, and multiple modes of understanding in order to help them better realize their personal capacities, build communities that are just and sustainable, and meet the challenges of a complex and changing world.

We do this through:
  • Engaging the vast range of human experience over time and in the present.
  • Developing analytical, research, and communication skills so that students may inform and inspire others.
  • Creating space for reflection and discernment.
  • Modeling a thoughtful practice of making meaning in the world, with patience and acceptance of others.

PLU Class of 2024 College of Liberal Studies Commencement Ceremony

PLU monument
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Our Departments

Gender, Sexuality and Race Studies

Women protesting their rights and holding signs

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

A fence with the words "Arbeit Macht Frei" in Auschwitz, Germany

Individualized Major

A student leaning down and gardening

Interdisciplinary Programs

PLU monument

Languages & Literatures

A student holding a pen and writing Chinese characters on a journal

Master of Fine Arts

A group of students inside the Rainer Writing Workshop class

Native American & Indigenous Studies

Indigenous people wearing different head gear

Political Science

The legislative building in Olympia, WA

Sociology and Criminal Justice

Panel made up of Social Science graduates talking about careers in their fields in the Scandinavian Center at PLU on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. (PLU Photo/John Froschauer)