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The Liberal Arts Essentials (LAE)

Strong communication skills, coupled with the ability to analyze and think critically, are the cornerstones of a successful college and professional career – and our Liberal Arts Essentials (LAE) will help you get off to a good start.

Through the LAE, students gain confidence as independent thinkers, expand their base of knowledge and broaden their understanding. If you’re undecided about what to study, the LAE will also let you explore potential academic majors.

In the long run, the LAE courses help round out your education so that whatever field you eventually pursue, you’ll develop an understanding of other areas, and feel comfortable conversing and working with people in different disciplines.

NOTE: The following is an abbreviated version of the LAE requirements. For more detailed information, see the LAE Checklist (pdf).


LAE Core Requirements

AREA Requirements

Writing Courses

  • Composition
  • Two specified writing courses

Arts & Humanities of Western Culture

Religious Understanding & Moral Inquiry

  • Two courses

One Mathematics Course

Concepts of Wellness

  • Two physical education activity courses

Fundamentals of Speech Communication


Scientific Understanding

Two lab electives from two different departments: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, or Physics

Cultural Understanding

The Global Society

  • Communicating in the World
A foreign language or computer science course, or participation in an approved international program
  • Social Foundations
One elective in Economics, Political Science, Psychology or Sociology
  • International Perspectives
One elective in Anthropology, Business, Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion or Sociology
  The Western Heritage
  • One elective in History, Philosophy or Political Science
  • One elective in English, French, German, Spanish or Religion
  • One elective in Art, Music or Theatre

The American Experience

  • One elective in English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion or Sociology


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