September 25-26, 2003

ITEM 120-2019-R0903  Authorization to Establish a Bachelor of Liberal Studies; Montana State University-Bozeman


THAT: The Board of Regents of Higher Education Authorizes Montana State University-Bozeman to Establish a Bachelor of Liberal Studies at Montana State University-Bozeman


EXPLANATION: Montana State University - Bozeman is one of the very few institutions in this region that does not offer a general education degree designed specifically to meet the needs of students, including non-traditional majors and lifelong learners, wanting to pursue a broad and flexible educational program, which is not as prescriptive as traditional curricula. Additionally, some of the most exciting and innovative advances in human knowledge are occurring at the intersections of traditional academic disciplines, which demands a flexible curricular structure that can allow motivated students to explore these emerging areas.

A Bachelor of Liberal Studies would be in keeping both with the universitys mission and with the terms of the Morrill Act of 1862, which made land-grant colleges responsible for the liberal and practical education of the people in the several pursuits and professions of life. The proposed Bachelor of Liberal Studies would be built around the current strengths of MSU B Bozemans instructional programs by providing an overall scaffolding, including newly-developed integrative seminars, to ensure academic rigor while at the same time permitting sufficient latitude to allow students to pursue individual interests.

All students would be required to choose one of two program options, either the Quaternity (option I), which would offer the more traditional broad-based liberal arts education, or a cross-disciplinary cluster of thematically related courses (option II), such as the Environmental Studies and the Global and Multicultural Studies options included within this proposal. It is anticipated that interested faculty would develop additional cross-disciplinary clusters in the future.