LMU Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts


  • Dean: Richard Fox
  • Associate Deans: Stuart Ching, Eliza Rodriguez, Brad Stone
  • Assistant Dean: Lauren Sinclair

The Inherent, Enduring, and Practical Value of the Liberal Arts

BCLA is the oldest and largest school at LMU and the liberal arts is at the heart of the LMU undergraduate education for all our students. We have 24 degree programs and 33 minors that will help you sharpen your intellectual capacity, gain deep content knowledge, and practice the marketable skills–such as critical thinking, writing, diversity awareness, and teamwork–that are highly valued by employers. In fact, the overwhelming majority of employers prefer to hire people who demonstrate the outcomes from a liberal arts education. Liberal arts graduates have similar peak earnings as business and pre-professional majors, and are more likely to pursue graduate degrees. The liberal arts will stimulate your intellectual curiosity, broaden your horizons, deepen your self-awareness, enhance your moral principles and ethical reasoning, and develop habits for lifelong learning.

In the Liberal Arts you will:

  • Think about the ideas, traditions, and institutions that influence our culture and society
  • Engage in exciting community-based and experiential learning opportunities
  • Prepare to work in the widest range of professions and become career-ready
  • Build your capacity for citizenship and engagement with the world
  • Be able to personalize your studies by combining majors and minors.

The Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts embodies the wider University goals of liberal education and commitment to Roman Catholicism and the Judeo-Christian traditions. Our courses represent the heart of the University’s core curriculum for all undergraduates. Our curriculum liberates the mind, nourishes the spirit, and cultivates creativity for the challenges of today and tomorrow.

BCLA is committed to welcoming and supporting a diverse community of scholars and learners. The diversity of people, perspectives, and programs in BCLA only amplifies the power of an LMU liberal arts education. For more information about BCLA’s mission, visit http://bellarmine.lmu.edu/about

BCLA Student Learning Outcomes

By virtue of their liberal arts courses, LMU students should understand:

  • The various ways in which knowledge is established and integrated
  • The broad outlines of human history and the interconnectedness of the world
  • The philosophical and theological dimensions of our intellectual traditions.

By virtue of their liberal arts courses, LMU students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate written and oral competencies
  • Synthesize and apply knowledge to solve problems, personal and social
  • Interact cross-culturally and pursue justice, locally and globally.

By virtue of their liberal arts courses, LMU students should value:

  • The life of the mind, enhanced self-awareness and social awareness
  • Critical reflection that leads to thoughtful action
  • Diversity, responsibility, justice, and globally sound human practice.

Similarly, BCLA students attain the learning outcomes of their majors and minors, found in the following program descriptions.

Organization of the College

The College offers undergraduate majors and/or minors in the following fields of learning:

Department/Program Abbreviation Degree/Program
African American Studies AFAM Major and Minor
Asian Pacific American Studies APAM Minor only
Asian and Pacific Studies ASPA Major and Minor
Bioethics BIOE Minor only
Catholic Studies CATH Minor only
Chicano/a and Latino/a Studies CLST Major and Minor
Chinese CHIN Minor only
Classics and Archaeology CLAR Major and Minor
Economics (BA) ECON Major and Minor
Economics (BS) ECNO Major and Minor
English ENGL Major and Minor
Environmental Studies EVST Major and Minor
French FREN Major and Minor
German GRMN Minor only
Global Economics EGEM Minor only
Health and Society HEAS Minor only
History HIST Major and Minor
Individualized Studies ISLA Major only
International Relations IRLT Major and Minor
Italian ITAL Minor only
Irish Studies IRST Minor only
Jewish Studies JWST Minor only
Journalism JOUR Major and Minor
Modern Greek Studies MDGK Minor only
Modern Languages MDLG Major only
Peace and Justice Studies PJST Minor only
Philosophy PHIL Major and Minor
Political Science POLS Major and Minor
Psychology PSYC Major and Minor
Sociology SOCL Major and Minor
Spanish SPAN Major and Minor
Theological Studies THST Major and Minor
Urban Studies URBN Major and Minor
Women’s and Gender Studies WGST Major and Minor

Master’s level graduate programs are offered in the following fields:

  1. English (ENGL)
    ​With emphasis in:
    1. Literature,
    2. Creative Writing, or
    3. Rhetoric and Composition
  2. Philosophy (PHIL)
  3. Theological Studies (THST)
    1. M.A. in Theology
    2. Concentration in Comparative Theology option
    3. M.A. in Pastoral Theology
    4. Concentration in Pastoral Leadership option, or
    5. Concentration in Spiritual Direction option
  4. Yoga Studies (YGST)
    1. M.A. in Yoga Studies 

Application of General University Requirements

The University requirements for admission, graduation, and all general rules and regulations of the University as set forth in this Bulletin are applicable to and binding upon all students enrolled in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts.

Degree Requirements for a Baccalaureate Degree in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

The degree program has three components: core, major, and electives. The core curriculum, which is taken throughout the four-year program, provides educational breadth and embodies Loyola Marymount’s educational mission and vision. The major provides a field of concentration that develops a depth of understanding in the humanities or social sciences. Finally, up to one-third of the program is made up of electives. This provides the opportunity for exploring fields of study complementary to the major or for developing expertise in a second major or minor.

All BCLA students should be aware of the following policies:

Graduation Requirements: 124 semester hours are required for graduation with the following distribution: a) at least 45 semester hours of upper division, and b) a maximum of 40 upper division semester hours or no more than four upper division courses beyond the major requirements in any one department will be accepted toward graduation requirements.

Concurrent Enrollment: Enrollment by degree-seeking students at another institution at the same time they are enrolled at LMU is not permitted. Courses taken concurrently elsewhere will not be accepted toward degree requirements in BCLA. See Financial Aid policies for additional restrictions.

Transfer Coursework: The Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts accepts a maximum of two semester hours of physical education only upon entrance for a new transfer student. Other physical education hours do not count toward degree requirements.

A maximum of 10 semester hours of Aerospace Studies credit will be accepted.

Major Declaration: Students in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts must declare their primary major in the college prior to earning 60 credits. This is typically achieved by the end of the second year. Majors are declared by completing the Office of the Registrar Change of Academic Program form in consultation with advising.

Unit Overload: Requests for registration of more than 18 credits in a semester must follow the university policy on unit overloads. Students who do not meet the minimum standards as defined by the university policy must supply additional materials (Attn: Assistant Dean via BCLA Advising) including: a four-year plan and a written proposal.

Course Audit: Undergraduate students in good standing may audit courses provided faculty approval and a written statement to the BCLA Dean’s Office that provides sufficient academic rationale for audit as opposed to direct enrollment. Refer to the university policy on course audit for additional governing policies.

Individualized Study Program

Admission to the Individualized Study Program in BCLA is granted in limited cases based on a series of discipline-based requirements. In all cases a student must have:

  1. A B (3.0) grade point average.
  2. The submission of an Individualized Study Program form delineating courses and signed by the student’s advisor and the chairperson of the advisor’s department.
  3. The submission by the advisor of a complete curriculum.
  4. The signature of the Dean(s) of the College(s) where coursework resides.

All subsequent changes in the Individualized Study Program require points 2, 3, and 4 above.

Students registering for an Individualized Study Program are advised that their diploma and transcript will read “Individualized Study” and not the specific major they elect within that program.

Academic Advising: Students are encouraged to meet early and often with BCLA Advising (4600 University Hall) for questions related to student success, academic policies, and degree progress in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts.

Students Interested in Teaching in California Public Schools

Students wishing to teach grades K-5 in California public schools are required to obtain a Multiple Subjects Subject Matter Teaching Credential and demonstrate “subject matter competence” to teach the many subjects commonly taught in elementary school. Subject matter competence must be demonstrated by passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET). To prepare for this examination, students complete the requirements of the Liberal Studies Bachelor of Arts degree in the School of Education. Students interested in the Liberal Studies degree program should consult a Liberal Studies advisor in the School of Education.

Students wishing to teach in grades 6-12 in California public schools are required to obtain a Single Subject Credential and demonstrate “subject matter competence” to teach a particular subject (e.g., English, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Mathematics, or Science). Subject matter competence can be demonstrated by either passing a national exam or by successfully completing an approved subject matter preparation program in the College. Students interested in teaching a single subject at the 6-12 grades levels should consult the Subject Matter advisor in the relevant department. The Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering offers an approved single subject preparation program in mathematics. Students interested in teaching mathematics should consult an advisor in the Mathematics Department. Subject matter preparation programs in science and French are pending, whereas Spanish and the social sciences have been approved.

A Multiple Subjects Subject Matter or Single Subject Matter teaching credential can be earned concurrently with a Bachelor’s degree. Except for Liberal Studies majors, students may declare a minor in Education and begin taking Education courses after completion of 30 semester hours (first semester Sophomore standing). In order to maximize the full potential of taking Education courses with the undergraduate program, students are strongly encouraged to declare the Education minor early in their career. Credential programs are also available in Special Education (K-12) and Bilingual Education (Spanish, K-12). For more information on Education programs, see the School of Education section in this Bulletin.

Secondary Teacher Preparation Programs

For information on these programs, see the Center for Undergraduate Teacher Preparation section in this Bulletin.

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