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Division of Liberal Arts

A liberal arts education begins with the premise that one’s world and one’s self are at the core of the pursuit of knowledge. It leads to viewing the world from more than one perspective and learning something about its social, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions. Those different perspectives within the liberal arts encompass two major groups of academic disciplines: the humanities, which explore the history and experience of human culture; and the social sciences, which examine the social and material foundations of human life.

Regardless of the perspective, the focus in the liberal arts is on knowledge itself, on both its substance and the tools for pursuing it, on what is known and what is worth knowing. Skills for acquiring and generating knowledge, as well as the preservation of knowledge, are contained within the School of Liberal Arts curriculum.

Visit the IUPUC website to view degree requirements for the Division of Liberal Arts.

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Students may complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies at IUPUC. Communication studies students will learn about communication theories, research methods, and competencies from a variety of contexts: rhetoric, public address, organizations, family, health, and media. The department offers a diverse curriculum for students interested in majoring or minoring in Communication Studies. Students learn about the communication process inherent in the areas of interpersonal, small group, organizational, public, and media studies.

Courses in Communication Studies aid students in enhancing their critical inquiry, speech delivery, message design, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. Students who pursue Communication Studies degrees are well-suited for graduate work in various areas of communication studies, humanities, and in professional programs such as law and business. Course work also assists those students pursuing career fields: public relations, marketing, training and development, human resources, public affairs and social advocacy, and event planning.

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Students may complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice at IUPUC.  A Criminal Justice will provide students will a broad and layered understanding of the history, operations, and implications of criminal justice in America.

The U.S. criminal justice system is designed to enforce defined standards of conduct designed to protect the rights of individual citizens and groups of citizens. The term “criminal justice” is used to describe the policies, procedures, and practices that federal, state, and municipal governments use to uphold legal codes and laws, ensure public safety, deter and mitigate crime, penalize those who violate laws, and rehabilitate offenders.  It also aims to reduce crime, deliver justice to victims, and maintain public confidence that the system protects law-abiding citizens.

As a criminal justice student, you will study, explore, and research important societal needs related to law enforcement, the judicial system, corrections, and national security.  You will complete classes on research methods, criminological theory and policy, criminal law, courts, corrections, and policing.  You may also study cutting-edge topics related to homicide, terrorism, juvenile justice, and cybercrime.

Bachelor of Arts in English

Students may complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing or the Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Literature at IUPUC. The IUPUC Undergraduate Program in English provides opportunities for personal and professional achievements. Our multi-dimensional program offers courses in professional writing, creative writing and literature that seek to foster students’ abilities to read closely, think critically, research effectively, and write with clarity and purpose. Our English degrees prepare students for meaningful lives and a variety of careers.

Bachelor of Arts in English with Concentration in Creative Writing

Creative Writing students will improve their creative expression through a range of courses and workshops. In addition, they will work closely with published faculty; read and critique a variety of experimental, canonical, and original texts;  participate in intensive workshops while practicing the craft of writing with a community of writers; consider wider audiences for their creative work through internships, educational field trips and travel, readings, community projects, and capstone course. They should consider submitting original creative work to the university’s student literary magazine Talking Leaves, as well as other venues. Students may aspire to publish an original book.

Bachelor of Arts in English with Concentration in Literature

Literature students will read, discuss, and analyze a range of written works. For example, students may study historical complexities of Elizabethan drama in the plays of Shakespeare; American transcendentalists in New England such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau; the golden age of high society and aristocracy in novels by Edith Wharton and Henry James; life in the southern United States by writers like William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Flannery O’Connor; or the nuanced aesthetics of modernist and contemporary poetry and prose in the works of Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Toni Morrison. In reading and analyzing works like these, students will develop broad and deep understandings of the human condition across many cultures. Students will sharpen critical thinking skills that will serve them well, personally and professionally.

Bachelors of Arts in Sociology

IUPUC Students may complete the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and may also choose a concentration in Medical Sociology or Criminology to go with their degree. Human beings are social animals. We live in groups and do most things with other people. Much of what we think, say, and do is influenced by what others expect of us and by how others treat us. Sociologists study the patterns of interaction between people in all sorts of settings: at work, at play, at home, etc. They try to clarify what is going on, what lies behind it, what is likely to come from it, and what might be done differently. Their theories and research findings can provide insights into processes and events that affect us in our everyday lives.

Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with Concentration in Medical Sociology

The optional concentration in medical sociology consists of four of five sociology electives from a list of approved courses. The medical concentration provides students with an understanding of the social factors connected to health, illness, patient care, and health-related professions. It prepares students for entry into a variety of those health professions such as nursing, optometry, medicine, social work, medical sociology, and psychology. Once completed, the concentration is noted on the student's transcript.

Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with Concentration in Criminology

Students majoring in sociology will have the opportunity to complete a concentration in the sociological subfield of criminology.  Criminology studies the social causes and consequences of crime and deviance. Criminologists help shape policies and procedures designed to address crime. They enjoy careers in law, forensics, corrections, criminal profiling, law enforcement, and counselling.  IUPUC is the only IU location offering a sociology degree with a criminology concentration.

Other Liberal Arts Degrees

The following liberal arts programs are jointly offered by IUPUC and IUPUI.  Successful IUPUC students automatically have access to specialized courses on the Indianapolis campus required for graduation.


Anthropology is the study of human culture, biology, and social interaction across time and place.  It includes the archaeological investigation of past and present human material culture; ethnographic study of contemporary cultures around the work and in the United States; research into human evolution and the origins of human physical diversity; and analysis concerning the origins, structure, and social use of language.


Geography, like history, is a way of looking at the world. Whereas historians study variation through time, geographers study variation through space: how and why the earth’s natural and human features vary from place to place. Underlying this spatial approach are such recurring themes as spatial diffusion of people, goods, and ideas; the significance of location in human interaction; the power of place in human conscience; and the interaction of physical and human processes to create landscapes. Geographers work at the intersection of social and natural sciences, using the concepts and methods of both to examine human-environmental relationships in their full complexity. This integrative approach is a hallmark of geography and one of its main attractions. Geographers can be found in a great variety of positions often not specifically identified as geographic: environmental management, urban planning, conservation, recreation and tourism, transportation planning, international affairs, and many others.


The Department of History offers students the opportunity to better understand the human social condition through the systematic study of the human past. A variety of courses are offered, dealing with the history of the United States, Europe, Latin America, and some non-Western areas. The history major not only provides opportunities to serve the avocational interest of the liberal arts student, but also provides a foundation for continued work at the graduate level. Courses in history serve the student admirably in fulfilling the tradition of a liberal education. They also provide a solid basis for professional training in fields such as law, business, environmental affairs, historic preservation, public administration, and government.


Philosophic inquiry aims, ultimately, at a general understanding of the whole of reality. It draws on the insights of the great historical philosophers, on what has been learned in all other major fields of study, and on the rich perspectives embodied within ordinary ways of thinking. Philosophers address a diverse array of deep, challenging, and profoundly important questions. Examples include the nature of the self and of personal identity; the existence or nonexistence of God; the nature of time, mind, language, and science; the sources and limits of human knowledge; the nature of the good life; the foundations of state authority; the requirements of social justice; and the nature of art, beauty, and aesthetic experience. Philosophical questions are addressed not by reference to empirical information alone, but by means of analysis, synthesis, argument, and the construction and evaluation of philosophical theories.

Political Science

Politics is about power: who has it and how it is used. The study of political science provides students with an understanding of the many different and intriguing ways in which power is given, taken, distributed, limited, manipulated, and used, and helps them better appreciate and understand the many different forms taken by systems of government around the world.

Religious Studies

Religious studies offers students opportunities to explore the patterns and dimensions of the many different religious traditions of the world from the perspectives of the academic study of religion. The courses are designed to help students develop basic understandings of the many ways in which religions shape personal views of the world, create and sustain the communities in which we live, and interact with politics, economics, literature and the arts, and other structures of society. Through this curriculum, students are provided the skills that will allow them to understand religions as a part of the study of human history and traditional and nontraditional values.

Minors available in Liberal Arts

A minor can enhance the breadth and depth of your academic experience, strengthen your marketability and employment opportunities, or enable you to fulfill a life goal to simply learn more about a particular topic.

* Anthropology
* Communication Studies
* Corporate and Organizational Communication
* Creative Writing
* Criminal Justice
* Digital and Professional Writing
* Health Communication
* History
* Literature
* Medical Sociology
* Sociology
* Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies