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Interdisciplinary Majors

  • BA/BS - Arts & Letters
  • BA/BS - Science
  • BA/BS - Social Science
  • BA/BS - Liberal Studies

These majors are flexible by design, and each is unique to the student who chooses it. Each allows for both concentration and diversification of course work. The rules for the majors provide a framework on which to build a cohesive undergraduate program. 

Arts & Letters, Science, and Social Science each require 56 credit hours of course work, 36 of which must be upper division (300/400 level) to include 4 credits of WR 323 or an approved Writing Intensive Course (WIC). Within the upper division course work, the student must complete eight upper division credits in each of two different departments from the major area. In addition to the two eight credit hour concentrations, the student must complete 16 upper division credit hours from the major area. These credits may all be from the same department or may be chosen from different departments within the major. The remaining 20 credit hours may be upper and/or lower division from the major area.

Social Science is the most frequently chosen interdisciplinary major. For students planning to continue on to the Graduate Teacher Education Program*, the Social Science major allows for the acquisition of the broad base of knowledge necessary for the elementary teacher. For the individual planning to teach social studies at the secondary level, this major brings prerequisite course work together into an integrated whole. Additionally, because it allows dual concentrations in Psychology and Sociology, it has been used successfully by individuals who were admitted to the Master's program in Social Work and the Master's in Counseling.

Health Science pre-professional* students preparing for a medical, dental or other health careers may find it efficient to coordinate their professional school prerequisites into the Science major. This major may also be chosen by those wishing to teach integrated science at the middle school or secondary level. Additionally, students intending to teach at the elementary level find that a strong background in the sciences makes them competitive in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP) and marketable in teacher placement.

*Please see pre-professional program page for more information.

Arts & Letters allows the synthesis of related course work within Arts & Letters without the necessity of completing two years of a foreign language (required by the English and the Art/Art History concentration majors). The Professional Writing minor course work may be used in the Arts & Letters major.

Major Requirements for Liberal Studies:

The Liberal Studies major requires either WR 323 or an approved Writing Intensive Course (WIC), plus 81 upper division credit hours chosen from the three academic areas of Arts & Letters, Science and/or Social Science. The credits do not need to be distributed among these three areas. If you are majoring in Liberal Studies, you do NOT need to meet the University Studies requirement UNLESS you graduate with two majors. If you graduate with a Liberal Studies major and a second major, you must meet the University Studies requirement.

Students who have successfully parlayed these majors into good jobs have often done volunteer or practicum work in their area of interest beginning as early as their junior year. For example, students who want to work in social services have volunteered for a social service agency and have often been hired by the agency at the time of graduation. In addition to practical experience, which demonstrates the application of knowledge in practical settings, majors should make early contact with the PSU Career Center to explore career options and opportunities.

Academic Distribution Areas:

Arts & Letters - Applied Linguistics, Architecture*, Art*, Art History*, Black Studies (only BST 221, 351, 352, 352, 353, 421, 424, 425, 426, 427), Conflict Resolution, Dance*, English, Film*, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Music*, Philosophy, Communication, and Theater Arts*.

* Fine and Performing Arts

Science Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences and Resources, Geography (only 210, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 320, 322, 333, 340, 380, 407, 413, 414, 418, 420, 475, 481, 482, 484, 485, 488, 489, 490, 492, 493, 494, 495, 496, and 497), Geology, Math/Statistics (except MTH 70, 95, 100), Physics, and Science Education (SCI).

Social Sciences Criminology & Criminal Justice, Anthropology, Black Studies (except BST 221, 351-353, 421, 424-427), Chicano Latino Studies, Child & Family Studies, Economics, Geography (only GEOG 230, 240, 321, 331, 332, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, 351, 352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 360, 363, 364, 366, 368, 415, 425, 430, 432, 442, 445, 446, 447, 448, 450, 453, 462, 465, and 480), History, International Studies, Native American Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Urban Studies and Planning, and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Students wishing to obtain further information may visit the advising office, located in 3rd floor mezzanine of the Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU), or contact:

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Advising Office
Portland State University
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751
1-800-547-8887 ext 3822

Worksheet for Prospective Arts & Letters Majors (PDF)
Worksheet for Prospective Science Majors (PDF)
Worksheet for Prospective Social Science Majors (PDF)

Liberal Studies

Worksheet for Prospective Liberal Studies Majors (PDF)


Degree Maps for all PSU majors can be found here.