Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in Applied Studies is part of a suite of Applied Studies degrees, each of which provides an opportunity for students with technical, occupational, and other professional training to apply that learning toward the completion of an undergraduate degree that both embraces their technical background and integrates it as a part of an interdisciplinary curriculum.  Students who have 27 or more units in one cohesive technical area (units that would not be transferable into our Liberal Studies degree) can transfer those units in as part of an Applied Studies major and then complete the degree program through professionally-focused learning.  These degree programs give students the opportunity to connect their technical expertise to a liberal learning framework that will make them more effective as problem solvers and leaders in their fields.

The Applied Studies degrees are considered a constellation of majors that share their core learning goals as well as degree requirements.  The educational goals for the Applied Studies program reflect the integration of technical knowledge with liberal learning outcomes, as demonstrated by the following expected learning outcomes:

  • Application of critical thinking and creative problem solving
  • Utilization of effective written and oral communication skills
  • Application of technological skills within a particular field of expertise
  • Articulation of multiple and global perspectives related to one’s professional practices
  • Analysis of how social justice issues impact professions and communities
  • The capacity for critical self-reflection, particularly regarding professional competence
  • Integration of theoretical concepts with technical training and lived experience

These educational goals apply to each of the Applied Studies degrees; more specific objectives for the Applied Studies major follow below.

This Applied Studies major gives students with technical training in a discrete area the forum to build upon previously acquired skills by developing a broader contextual understanding of their profession while advancing their liberal learning perspective. Students with an Applied Studies major are encouraged to integrate their career or technical preparation into studies that expand their skills in written and oral communication while fostering their ability to consider social and ethical issues and to problem solve.  Applied Studies students will critically examine their professional field and personal learning, moving toward a more systems-thinking approach.  Students completing this degree will have a liberal education perspective that will enhance and build upon their employable skills from their careers and technical learning experiences.

Degree-specific learning objectives

Students completing the BA in Applied Studies degree demonstrate the ability to:

  • Use career, technical, and occupational skills in a professional context while thinking critically about obstacles and their solutions
  • Communicate effectively while exhibiting leadership, and interpersonal skills that promote professional and personal development
  • Consider problems in their field from multiple perspectives and offer strategies for problem solving in that professional context

Major Requirements

The BA in Applied Studies degree requires a minimum of 54 units and at least 27 of these units must be upper division learning.  In order to fulfill the 27-unit upper-division learning requirement, students must engage in three specific types of learning and complete the following:

  • 8 units of practicum (non-classroom learning) in the major area of study (through internships, prior learning, or self-directed independent study)
  • 10 units of professional seminars (hybrid-format courses – including a capstone experience –that combine online and face-to-face formats in which students connect their technical knowledge to a conceptual framework such as leadership, culture, social justice, or communication)
  • 9 units of professional core curriculum in the major area of study.  These courses include: 
BUS 3570Interpersonal Communication in The Workplace3-4
BUS 4050Psychology of Leadership3-4
BUS 4310Social and Ethical Issues in Management4
COM 3600.LAPublic Speaking Workshop1
HUM 3750Critical Thinking About Contemporary Issues3-4
MGT 5900HProject Management1
PSY 3860ASystems & Systems Thinking3-4
URB 3270Toolkit for Community Leaders3-4

Note: BUS 4050 is cross-listed with PSY 4050; and, PSY 3860A with SCI 3860.