Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BA)

Liberal education addresses our democracy’s need for an educated and critically aware citizenry; it also serves to enhance personal and professional roles. Since its inception in 1972, the BA degree completion program at Antioch University Los Angeles has provided a liberal studies curriculum designed to assist students in becoming independent life-long learners with a sound grasp of disciplinary content and an ability to think critically and creatively about the social issues that influence their lives, communities, families, and professions. The liberal studies curriculum – based on a tripartite model of academic rigor, experiential learning, and social engagement -- cultivates ethical understanding, perspective taking, diversity, and an appreciation of historical and political issues. The learning activities – courses, internships, and independent studies -- are often interdisciplinary and integrative in their design. The interdisciplinary nature of the program fosters students’ capacity to synthesize what they are learning and to understand complex social issues in a holistic way.


The BA in Liberal Studies Program provides its students with a broad base of knowledge, skills, experience, and the intellectual flexibility to become critically informed participants in their professions and communities. The Program fosters students’ critical awareness by examining the multiple contexts that shape knowledge and inspire courageous action. By linking knowledge to agency, the Program challenges students to demonstrate their commitment to personal responsibility, concern for the rights of others, and to the goal of achieving social justice in our communities and our world.


The BA Program infuses its curriculum with this purpose and these values through learning activities that cultivate the following intellectual and practical skills, applied learning, social awareness and responsibility:

Critical and analytical thinking ability

This objective cultivates students’ ability to reach conclusions founded on their examination of a variety of authorities within and across various disciplines. As critical thinkers, students develop an appreciation of the complexities and nuances of problems under investigation by examining the historical, social, and political contexts in which the problem emerged. Critical thinking also entails assessing evidence and methodology as well as the logic of an argument and biases that undermine it. And it includes the capacity for self-reflection, that is, the ability to take stock of one's own learning and experience and to harvest effective change through the self-awareness gained. 

The ability to understand issues from multiple perspectives

This objective fosters the capacity to take a spectrum of perspectives into account, to acknowledge respectfully points of view that differ from or are opposed to the student’s own, and to weigh these perspectives with fair-minded analysis that enriches the complexity of the student’s thought. This objective promotes the development of an appreciation for underrepresented perspectives, unfamiliar forms of discourse and representation, and different ways of knowing. This objective further challenges students to develop their capacity to respond constructively to classmates’ contributions as responsible members of the AULA learning community. 

The ability to connect learning to lived experience

This objective calls upon students to apply abstract knowledge to their lived experience and concrete issues. The insights of theory help to organize and conceptualize data drawn from experience. At the same time, experientially based knowledge can serve as an effective measure for assessing the validity of theoretical knowledge. This objective challenges the student to synthesize connections among academic knowledge and experiences outside of the formal classroom to deepen understanding of fields of study, to broaden her/his own points of view, and to integrate these perspectives into new levels of insight and awareness. 

Social and intercultural awareness

This objective calls upon students to identify and engage with their own cultural patterns and biases and to seek understanding of others whose history, values, and cultural practices are different from their own. The objective fosters appreciation of cultural differences and critical awareness of the social, economic, political, and environmental justice issues that impede the goal of equality and inclusiveness.

Civic and community engagement

This objective challenges students to develop understanding of the interconnectedness of societies and the commitment, skills, and knowledge necessary to contribute to the on-going work for justice through activism and engagement in local and/or global communities. The objective calls upon students to sharpen their awareness of their own civic identity and the ways they might contribute to the public space through community projects and ethical social action. 

Core competency in foundational skills

These skills -- including writing, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, technological literacy, oral communication, and research -- establish the foundation for professional effectiveness, continued academic study, lifelong learning, and robust social action.


AULA understands learning as an interactive process in which the student and teacher together develop attributes of liberally educated individuals. To that end, AULA encourages its faculty to present their own work, commitments, and values in the classroom while faculty members encourage students to define and reflect upon their own goals, interests and values. 

Some of the educational and developmental principles that guide the program’s pedagogic philosophy are:

  • Respect: Instructors are expected to treat what the student knows with respect. This principle acknowledges the power differences between teachers and students deriving from the teacher’s expertise, yet it assumes that the students’ thinking and knowledge are central to the interactive learning process
  •  Developmental Match: AULA encourages instructors to assess the student’s level of knowledge and to design course work and independent studies that are sufficiently flexible to challenge the student to build upon that knowledge and extend it to a new level of complexity
  • Problem-Solving/Conflict Situations: AULA expects instructors to engage students in genuine social and cognitive debate about problematic situations and to pursue constructive solutions
  • Interactive Activities: Instructors involve students in activities in which there is regular feedback from the instructor
  • Student Interest: AULA encourages instructors to allow their students’ individual interests to help shape their research and writing assignments
  • Active Learning: Whenever possible, course design promotes opportunities for students to apply what they are learning. Learning involves theory and practice, as well as critical reflection on this relationship

AULA’s BA Program emphasizes the historical and socio-political context of thought and knowledge. This implies the following practices:

  • Historical Context: AULA encourages both the student and the instructor to situate the content of the learning in historical perspective and contemporary context.
  • Contextualization: Instructors compare and contrast ideas, theories and practices not only in terms of their quality and validity but also in terms of their contextual antecedents such as gender relations at the particular time, social stratification, and values of the society. The way in which the ideas or theories reflect or sustain particular power relations in society is also part of the context for consideration.
  • Values and Outcomes: Instructors emphasize the values embedded in ideas, theories, and practices and the social outcomes to which the values contribute.
  • Academic Freedom: AULA stands behind the principle of academic freedom for both faculty and students. Instructors may present content that is uncomfortable to some individual students. Students and faculty are encouraged to discuss any areas of discomfort in order to ensure that academic freedom and the critical exploration of ideas occur in the context of respect and responsibility to the class a whole  


The BA degree requirements are: 

1. Unit Requirement

To complete the degree, students must earn 180-200 quarter units overall of which a minimum of 90 units must be upper division. (Note: units earned through DSST or CLEP testing may be counted as lower division units only.)

2. Residency Requirement

Students must also earn a minimum of 45 quarter units during residency at AULA. Residency units must be AULA classes, seminars, workshops, independent studies, or internships. Prior learning units and units earned through other means such as DSST or CLEP testing do not accrue toward residency.

3. General Studies Requirement

Students must earn a minimum of six units and no more than 39 units in each of six Domains of Knowledge: communications, sciences, humanities, fine arts, social sciences, and quantitative methods.

Students must complete a minimum of 100 units of General Studies overall.

The General Studies units may include any combination of upper and lower division units. AULA provides a range of general studies courses to assist students in completing domain requirements and to help students gain knowledge and skills appropriate for the development of a liberally educated person.

The following is a guide to the types of courses generally included in each domain:


All Writing CoursesForeign Languages
JournalismMedia Studies

Fine Arts

Painting and SculptureDance
DesignFilm and Video
MusicTheatre Arts


Women's Studies

Quantitative Methods

Intermediate Computer ScienceAdvanced Computer Science
Research MethodsStatistics


BiologyHealth Science
NutritionPhysical Geography
Environmental StudiesChemistry

Social Sciences

GerontologyHuman Development
Political SciencePsychology
Social WorkUrban Studies
Labor StudiesLibrary Science
Organizational ManagementPublic Administration
Social Services AdministrationTeacher Education
Addiction Studies

4. Major and Minor Area of Concentration Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 40 units and a maximum of 80 units in a Major Area of Concentration. The BA Program currently offers six Major Areas of Concentration with a wide variety of core courses, electives, internships, and independent study opportunities for each: 1) Liberal Studies, 2) Business and Social Entrepreneurship, 3) Creative Writing, 4) Psychology, 5) Urban Community and Environment, and 6) Addiction Studies. Note that units counted towards an Area of Concentration cannot be used to meet the domains of knowledge requirements and vice versa.

Students are encouraged to work very closely with their faculty advisors as they develop degree plans appropriate to their educational and career goals. The faculty strongly recommends that at least half of the units in the student’s chosen Major or Minor Area of Concentration be upper division. Students who are not able to accrue 20 upper-division units in one of the specialized Major Areas of Concentration should opt for Liberal Studies as their Major Area of Concentration. Students are also strongly advised to take as many of the core courses in the specialized Major Area of Concentration, as listed in this catalog and as identified on the quarterly course schedule. Students who take the recommended core courses acquire a strong foundation in their chosen discipline. 

The student should choose and declare the Major Area of Concentration in the first two quarters of enrollment and work closely with his or her advisor to identify internship opportunities and independent studies that will reinforce the learning in the chosen discipline. If a student has not completed 40 credits in a specialized Major Area of Concentration by the time of candidacy review, the Major Area of Concentration will be designated as Liberal Studies.

Students may also opt for a Minor Area of Concentration in any of the above-listed specialized Major Areas of Concentration – Business and Social Entrepreneurship, Creative Writing, Psychology, Addiction Studies, and Urban, Community and Environment -- and also in Child Studies and Queer Studies. To earn a Minor Area of Concentration, a student must earn at least 20 units in the concentration of which at least 10 are upper division units.

For further information on the curriculum of each specific area, please see the section below, “Areas of Concentration.” 

5. Self-Directed Non-Classroom Learning Requirement
Each student must complete a minimum of 6 units of learning outside of the classroom through internships or field work completed previously at another institution and approved by AULA for transfer creditor by any of the following learning activities:

  • Internships undertaken while in residence at AULA
  • AULA Independent Studies that focus on field work, learning through personal experience, and/or are conceived and crafted by students in collaboration with their evaluators
  • Upper-Division Prior Learning, where upper division is determined by students’ ability to situate their learning experience within appropriate disciplinary discourses and to reflect critically on both the experience and their learning

For any of the activities itemized above to qualify for Self-Directed Non-Classroom Learning credit they must be:

  • Approved in advance following the specific guidelines for internships, independent studies, and prior learnings. For further information, see the section below on Non-Classroom Learning
  • Accompanied by a Student Learning Analysis, which reflects critically on the learning in terms of the student’s understanding of the discipline or internship experience, as well as the knowledge and development gained in the experience. Additional documentation of learning is also expected, depending on the specifics of the learning activity 

For further information on internships, independent studies, and prior learning, please see the section below, “Types of Learning.” 

6. Other Requirements

Educational Foundations Course

All entering BA students are required to enroll in and successfully complete the Educational Foundations course (EDU 380A) during their first quarter at AULA. The course familiarizes students with AULA’s educational philosophy; trains them in using Antioch University’s Gmail and Sakai online learning management system and OhioLink (Antioch’s library database access); provides students with their math and writing assessments; and prepares students for the sort of critical reading and writing that will be expected of them during their enrollment. 

Students who fail to complete Educational Foundations during their first quarter of enrollment will receive an "incomplete" or a “no credit” for the course, which will result in being placed on academic probation or dismissal. Students who are not maintaining satisfactory performance or not completing requirements for this course in a timely manner may receive a "Letter of Concern from the instructor, spelling out what actions the student needs to take in order to earn credit for the course. (See "Academic Policies and Procedures" section of this Catalog for more information about the Letter of Concern.) For students who have received a Letter of Concern in Educational Foundations, registration for the second quarter may be delayed until they have resumed good progress in this course. 

Core Competency Assessment

During the Educational Foundations course, all students complete three assessments to determine their incoming skills in academic writing, critical thinking, and math. The writing and critical thinking assessments provide baseline information for placing the student in the academic writing course appropriate to the individual student’s skill level. The math assessment identifies the student’s basic skill level and any weaknesses to be addressed through required review workbooks, workshops, tutoring, or other intervention aimed at assisting the student in achieving college-level proficiency in math. Students are required to complete these assessments and fulfill the subsequent writing requirements and/or math review requirements even if they have previously met the communications and quantitative domain requirements. 

Instructional Requirement

At least 50 percent of all units earned during enrollment at AULA must be evaluated by members of the AULA Core, Associate, or Adjunct Faculty. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirement

Per University policy, students must successfully complete and earn credit for a minimum of 75 percent of the units they attempt in order to maintain good standing and be eligible for graduation, with the following exceptions. 1) During the first quarter of enrollment the minimum completion rate is 50 percent to maintain good standing; during the second quarter, the minimum completion rate is 66 percent. 2) Students admitted with the provision of successful completion of the first quarter must complete and receive credit for all units attempted in order for the student to become fully admitted to the BA Program. A student with the first quarter provision who fails to complete and receive credit for any learning activity may be dismissed or may petition the program chair, with the recommendation of the student’s advisor, to continue. (A student with a pending petition will be allowed to register for the following quarter while his/her petition is being reviewed.) If the petition is accepted, the student may continue on academic probation until he or she has achieved good standing.


BA students pursue their education through classroom learning, internships, and independent studies. They also have the opportunity to receive credit for college-level learning obtained through prior experience. 

AULA’s educational approach emphasizes experiential learning, which recognizes the validity of learning acquired through participation in the home, workplace, and/or community. In these settings, students often construct new knowledge when prior assumptions and understandings are challenged. Likewise, their direct experiences may challenge and enrich current bodies of scholarship. Experiential learning exercises in the classroom are also encouraged such as site visits, data collection, and learning activities that promote the integration of theory and practice and confer academic value on adult students' experiences.

Classroom Learning

This category includes classes, seminars, and workshops taken at AULA. These offerings taught by core, associate, and adjunct faculty are announced and listed in the Quarterly Schedule published prior to the student advisement and registration period each quarter.


Most BA Program classes are upper-division courses, although some lower division courses are provided to assist students in improving proficiency in areas such as writing and math. Most courses meet once a week for three hours and extend over a ten-week quarter. The BA Program is also experimenting with other delivery models such as five-week intensives and online courses to enhance scheduling flexibility. Students taking on-line courses are expected to have their own high-speed Internet Service Provider and an active AULA Gmail account. 

Some BA classes are cross-listed; they appear in the Quarterly Schedule with two discipline and number designations. At registration, the student selects one of the designations and applies that course to one Domain of Knowledge or to the Area of Concentration. The choice determines how the class appears on the academic transcript. Students should keep in mind that the discipline designation can be changed after the add/drop period only by petition.


Seminars offer directed independent study in a group setting, providing an opportunity to focus in depth on particular lines of inquiry. Readings are usually assigned prior to the first meeting. Students are expected to do independent library or empirical research and writing, and to document their learning through presentations and/or papers.


These learning opportunities allow students to become acquainted with subjects not typically present in the regular course curriculum. A one-unit workshop typically runs from 8 to 10 hours in a single day. Between 20 to 22 hours of non-classroom learning such as field work, data collection, reading and/or writing are also expected. Some workshops may require papers whereas others may require more reading or an experiential project. Incompletes are generally not allowed for workshops. Most workshops have assignments that must be completed before the class meets. Students are responsible for checking the Quarterly Schedule of Classes and syllabus posted in the AULA BA Google site for early assignments and completing them in advance. It can be disruptive to the workshop if some students attend without having completed the prior reading. In these cases, the instructor has the right to ask the student to leave the workshop. Extra units and grade equivalents are not allowed for workshops.

Non-classroom Learning

AULA has long been recognized as an innovative pioneer in awarding credit for college-level learning accomplished outside the traditional classroom. In 1922, Antioch College established a Co-Op program that required traditional-aged students to participate in work, community service, or travel as part of their Antioch College educational experience. More recently, Antioch University, catering to returning adult students, has led the way in recognizing learning gained prior to university re-entry as potentially valid and creditable college-level learning. The recognition underlying both of these initiatives is that education must further the development of self-directed, life-long learners. 

Non-classroom learning includes internships, independent studies, and prior learning. These types of learning activities are intended to supplement the classroom learning experience, not serve in lieu of classroom study. Students should work with their advisors to achieve an appropriate balance between classroom and non-classroom learning in their overall program. 

Each non-classroom learning activity is supervised by an evaluator with credentials appropriate to the topic of the study. In some cases, with the advisor’s approval, an outside evaluator may be enlisted to supervise a specialized topic.


An Internshipis a field-based learning activity that takes place in an applied setting (business, community organization, high school, senior center, etc.). BA Internships recognize the special circumstances of adult students by linking classroom and workplace. The program stresses an interdisciplinary perspective while combining rigorous academic standards and hands-on learning. It offers students an opportunity to expand their learning experiences, apply a range of new skills, play an instrumental role in a community organization, become an active part of the city of Los Angeles, and reflect academically about the learning process. 

The Internship format offers:

  • Academic credit, up to 4 units per internship
  • State-of-the-art academic support for experiential learning
  • A range of sites to choose from among the most progressive community organizations in Los Angeles
  • The opportunity to work individually or in collaborative teams
  • Internship sites that match students' academic concentrations
  • One-on-one guidance to develop appropriate learning objectives, to take advantage of academic opportunities, and to showcase learning analyses.
  • A rigorous evaluation model through which future employers and/or graduate program admissions will clearly discern the scope of students' abilities

All undergraduate Internship activities are numbered 253, 353, or 453 with the appropriate subject prefix. Interns are expected to demonstrate their learning by submitting an Internship Journal and a Student Learning Analysis. Unlike a course, an internship involves establishing a suitable placement, developing a proposal, and gathering approvals to be completed with the support of the Internship Program office at least six weeks before the internship begins. Detailed information -- including procedures and academic standards for demonstration of learning -- can be found in the Internship Program Handbook posted in the Internship section of the BA Program Google Site, together with all other forms used to set up, register and document these learning activities. Grade equivalents are not allowed for Internships. 

Independent Study Projects (ISPs)

BA students may undertake self-directed reading, writing, and other learning experiences based upon a learning contract they negotiate with a faculty evaluator, whose academic expertise and credentials match the topic of study, with their advisor who must approve the selection of the evaluator as well as the proposal, and with the approval of the Independent Study Faculty Coordinator. Students may earn 1- 4 units for an Independent Study project. Students may earn a maximum of 20 units through ISP toward their degree; under special circumstances a student may petition the Chair of Undergraduate Studies to exceed this maximum. Independent Study proposal forms are available in the Undergraduate Studies Office and on the BA Google site. The form must be submitted, with the signature of the evaluator, advisor, and ISP faculty coordinator during registration. 

All undergraduate Independent Study learning activities are numbered 151, 251, 351 or 451 with the appropriate subject prefix. In the proposal, the student also specifies the title of the study, the learning objectives, learning activities, and method of demonstrating learning, which must be approved by the evaluator, the student’s faculty advisor, and the ISP faculty coordinator. For an activity that extends for more than one quarter, an approved Independent Study Form is required for each quarter, and the student must be evaluated each quarter. The student may assign the letter A, B, C, etc. to the Independent Study subject prefix number when exploring the same topic in consecutive quarters. Note that in these cases the learning objectives must change in each subsequent proposal. 

Prior Learning

Prior Learning refers to college-level learning that took place outside of college or university classes after high school and before enrollment at AULA. Many adult students enter AULA’s program with college-level learning acquired in such diverse settings as the workplace, home, or volunteer organizations. Awarding credit for prior learning is based on the assumption that a great deal of college-level learning that takes place in adult life experience is as valid as traditional classroom learning. Prior learning is also more likely to have been applied in real-life situations, allowing for fuller understanding and longer retention of what was learned.

Prior learning credit is awarded only for demonstrated college-level learning, not for experience alone. College-level learning is defined as learning that 1) has both theoretical and practical understanding of the subject, 2) has applicability beyond the immediate context in which it was learned, 3) is acquired after high school graduation or its equivalent, and 4) falls within an area eligible for higher education as identified by academic and professional experts. AULA strives to maintain a fair, high quality evaluation process with appropriate standards. These standards, policies, and procedures are based on the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) standards that are widely recognized internationally in the field of prior learning, as well as the Antioch University policy on Prior Learning.

Students can earn a maximum of 22 lower division units, although limits apply for students transferring in extensive lower division units.  (The total of prior learning and transfer units cannot exceed 90 lower division units.) Students may also earn up to 22 upper division units of prior learning, for an overall maximum of 44 units. Prior learning units may not duplicate units transferred to Antioch or units earned through Antioch courses or independent studies. Prior learning credits are not awarded until students complete 24 units of course and/or internship credits at AULA. In order to begin documenting any Prior Learning, students must take and complete the Prior Learning Workshop. This workshop assists students in conceptualizing prior learning, developing successful prior learning proposals, and in understanding the documentation process. Students are advised to take this workshop early in their program. Each prior learning activity requires the completion of a Prior Learning Proposal Form, which is approved by the Prior Learning Coordinator and faculty evaluator. Up to 4 lower or upper division units can be requested for each prior learning activity. Upon review of the documentation, the Prior Learning Coordinator and faculty evaluator will make the final determination about the awarding of credit. Prior learning units do not count toward the Residency Requirement. For more detailed information regarding policies and procedures for Prior Learning, students should review the Prior Learning Workshop Reader available on the BA Program Google site.

Students may register for prior learning projects at any time, except not during their final quarter of enrollment. Students pay a fee for each prior learning activity. Prior learning projects may also be completed and evaluated at any point and are not tied to the quarterly schedule.

Students need to balance the time and energy spent on courses, internships and independent studies with that spent on completing documentation of Prior Learning if they intend to earn this form of academic credit. Some students find it helpful to devote an entire quarter to completing Prior Learning documentation, without registering for classes in addition. In this case, the student must register for Enrollment Maintenance

AULA is required to retain and archive all Prior Learning documentation. Students should keep copies of their Prior Learning work for their own files, as their originals will not be returned. Students who wish to transfer prior learning credit to another undergraduate program should check if the institution accepts these credits in transfer. Students should also check with any graduate programs to which they intend to apply to find out their policies regarding credit for prior learning experience. Grade equivalents are not allowed for prior learning.

Evaluation of Non-Classroom Learning

For all non-classroom learning, BA students complete and submit a Student Learning Analysis (SLA) to the evaluator. AULA believes that for independent learning activities, this self-evaluation is a crucial part of the student's learning experience. The objective is to provide an opportunity for the student to participate in the evaluation process and to encourage students to be critical and reflective about their learning as they articulate and share these reflections with an academic audience.

The SLA affords students the opportunity to focus on the following: how the student met the program learning objectives as well as the learning objectives of the particular independent study, internship, or prior learning; what were most significant parts of the learning; a self-assessment on the level of learning acquired; directions for further study; insights into the larger context of the learning; and a summary of how the learning benefited the student. The SLA should be clearly written, concise, detailed, and balanced, referring both to strengths and to areas for improvement. Please note that the SLA is not a mere listing or description of tasks and activities. Other documentation such as a paper, report, and bibliography may be attached to the SLA to complete the evidence substantiating the learning. The SLA together with accompanying documentation provides the basis for the evaluator in writing the Student Learning Evaluation. Internships and Prior Learning have specific requirements for the SLA, guidelines for which may be found on the AULA BA Google site. 


During the first two weeks of enrollment, each incoming student is assigned to a faculty advisor and receives notification by email. This relationship is not only a means to assist the student in planning and completing the degree requirements; it is, more importantly, a mentoring relationship. The advisor is available for guidance on course selection, independent studies and internships, preparing for graduate study, and developing future professional plans, but also for help in setting goals, reflecting on the questions that animate the student’s educational quest, and exploring the pathways to a life of meaning and purpose. The advisor also reviews the student’s academic progress and the quality of her or his work on a regular basis. 

Students are expected to contact their assigned advisor and set up an initial advisement meeting during weeks 2-4 and a follow-up meeting during week 8, which is designated as advisement week for advisors to meet with their advisees in planning the student’s course schedule for the next quarter, in preparation for registration during week nine. First quarter students are required to meet with their advisor before registering for the second quarter. 

During the initial degree planning and follow-up advisement meetings, students work with their advisor to design a program that meets basic degree requirements. This involves determining:

  • How many transfer units will be included in the BA degree, based on the official Degree Audit Report (DAR)
  • How many Prior Learning units the student plans to document, if applicable
  • The appropriate course load per quarter
  • How many quarters of residency at AULA are needed and the tentative target date for completing the degree
  • Which initial writing course is required as determined by assessment
  • What workbook review, if any, is required in math, as determined by assessment
  • How the various degree requirements will be met
  • Which Major Area of Concentration is appropriate to the student’s educational goals and which core courses are needed to build a strong foundation
  • How to plan the program to meet graduate school requirements, if applicable

These basic program planning discussions are initiated in the first quarter of enrollment with follow up during subsequent quarterly advisement meetings. Many students find it useful to construct a timetable of study indicating when they expect to fulfill course requirements.

Early in the program and prior to candidacy for graduation, students should be sure to address the following issues

  • Attend the Prior Learning Workshop at an early point in the program, if the student intends to incorporate prior learning into his or her program. Make sure that Prior Learning proposals are filed with the Registrar with final approval signatures of the Prior Learning Coordinator and the evaluator
  • Design the Major Area of Concentration during the first or second quarter of residency. Students cannot declare a specialized concentration after candidacy review begins during the student's penultimate quarter
  • Units of credit transferred to AULA from other institutions must be evaluated and accepted by the Office of the Registrar early in the degree program. It is not possible to accept additional transfer credit during candidacy preparations or the actual candidacy review
  • Students should track their progress toward completing degree requirements from their earliest quarters in the program by reviewing their Degree Audit Report with their advisor each quarter prior to registering for classes 


Liberal Studies: Major Area of Concentration

The Liberal Studies concentration allows students considerable freedom in designing their educational program and encourages students to be active agents in defining the parameters of their concentration. To this end, there are no set core courses for the Liberal Studies concentration. Each student, with an advisor, has maximum flexibility in shaping her or his course of study and meeting individual learning objectives. The Program recommends that students earn all 180-200 quarter units across a broad array of disciplines with 9-15 quarter units in each of the six Domains of Knowledge but no more than 39 units in any single Domain. The program faculty also recommends that students strive for a balance of upper and lower division learning in establishing their degree plans. 

Students choosing the Liberal Studies concentration should work closely with their faculty advisors to develop a degree plan characterized by: 

  • Breadth across all domains of knowledge
  • Depth of study in specific areas of interest
  • Development of critical thinking, writing, and oral presentation skills
  • Integration of theory and practice
  • Independent study
  • Cross-disciplinary approaches to issues of power relations, race, class, sex, gender, and diversity issues

 Non-Classroom Learning

The faculty recommends that students supplement their course work with an internship in a setting that acquaints students with the work of community organizations or professional fields in which they are thinking of focusing their careers. In addition, independent studies provide opportunities for students to pursue new learning in specialized areas of interest in self-directed individual or collaborative projects under the guidance of faculty mentors. The prior learning process is another option that affords students the opportunity to reflect on the knowledge, values, and commitments gained in the course of lived experience outside of the formal classroom.

Addiction Studies: Major or Minor Area of Concentration

Through the integration of theoretical understanding, experiential learning, and a broad liberal arts education, learners engaged in the Addiction Studies Concentration will gain a critical understanding of addiction, its treatment, its individual, social and community impact, and the personal and professional ethical concerns of working in the addiction treatment profession. The core curriculum fosters a global perspective on the impact of addiction on the individual, family and community while engaging strength-based approaches to prevention, intervention and treatment.

The Addiction Studies Concentration at Antioch University Los Angeles was developed in 2012 to respond to the call for higher education in the addiction treatment profession. This concentration serves learners who are interested in entering the addiction treatment profession by equipping them with the competencies and knowledge needed to sit for credentialing examinations to become certified addiction treatment counselors. This concentration also serves learners who may already have professional experience in the addiction treatment field (or other helping professions) by providing advanced learning opportunities to meet the ever changing and expanding needs of those they serve.


The Addiction Studies Concentration curriculum is designed to fulfill the educational requirements necessary for credentialing as a certified addiction treatment counselor in the state of California and to provide appropriately challenging coursework that will offer upper division scholarship in addiction studies.

Learners who declare the concentration with the intention of becoming certified addiction treatment counselors must complete the following core and expertise courses to prepare for the certification exam. All other learners are encouraged to build these core and expertise courses into their program of study as scheduling allows. Courses are offered in rotation throughout the yearly schedule.

Course List

Core Courses

ADS 301Addiction & Human Development3-4
or PSY 301A Addiction & Human Development
ADS 314Addiction & Marginalized Populations3-4
or PSY 314A Addiction & Marginalized Populations
PSY 356AThe Science of Psychopharmacology3-4
or PSY 356A The Science of Psychopharmacology
PSY 359Theories of Addiction3-4
PSY 366APsychology of Addiction3-4
PSY 391AIntegrating Addiction Counseling Proficiencies3-4

Expertise Courses

ADS 310Addiction Counseling: Models of Practice3-4
ADS 315Group Facilitation for Addiction Counselors3-4
or PSY 369A Group Facilitation for Addiction Counselors
ADS 317Counseling Addiction & Co-Occurring Disorders3-4
or PSY 317A Counseling Addiction & Co-Occurring Disorders
ADS 318Addiction & Family Dynamics3-4
or PSY 318A Women and Mental Disorders
ADS 319AProcess & the Addiction Counselor3-4
or PSY 319A Process & the Addiction Counselor
PSY 319Ethics in Counseling and Psychotherapy3-4

The California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE), as well as other credentialing bodies, have stated that addiction treatment professionals require an education across many domains to effectively engage the diverse, unique and rapidly changing needs of individuals, families and communities experiencing the impact of addiction. Therefore, learners are advised to take a broad range of coursework in the arts, science, philosophy, quantitative studies, history and sociology to gain additional understanding of the diverse complexities that underlie the phenomenon of addiction.

Non-Classroom Learning

The Addiction Studies Concentration is developing relationships with numerous human service organizations, clinical settings, and social advocacy groups in the Los Angeles area that meet the requirements for credentialing (i.e., fieldwork experience at a state licensed agency). It is recommended that learners in the Addiction Studies Concentration take at least 9 units of internship/fieldwork (this is mandatory for learners seeking a credential) in one of the placement sites in order to gain real-world experience and have an opportunity to apply classroom learning in real time work environments.

Additionally, the faculty works individually with learners to develop and design specialized topics of independent study that can be counted toward completion of the concentration.

Education Requirements for Certification in the State of California

The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) has oversight over the eight credentialing bodies that provide certification and credentialing for AOD (alcohol and other drug) counselors in the State of California. The ADP is responsible for enforcing the Counselor Certification Regulations, Title 9, Division 4, Chapter 8 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR).

The educational requirements for certification mandated by the CCR:

Prior to certification as an AOD counselor, the certifying organization shall require the registrant to:

  • Complete a total of 155 hours of classroom education and training:
    • Education on Technical Assistance Publication Series 21 (TAP 21), “Addiction Counseling Competencies, The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice”
    • Education on ethics, and communicable diseases
    • Training on the provision of services to special populations such as aging; co-occurring disorders; disabilities; gay, lesbian, transgendered and cultural differences; and individuals on probation/parole
    • Training on the prevention of sexual harassment.
  • Complete a specified minimum documented hours (250) of supervised training and work experience providing counseling services in an AOD program.

For more information on State requirements please visit the state of California's page.

The BA Addiction Studies curriculum at Antioch University Los Angeles is designed to exceed the minimum educational requirements mandated by the State of California for addiction treatment professionals and to prepare students to be socially aware and effective agents of healing and transformation for individuals, families and communities.

Business and Social Entrepreneurship: Major or Minor Area of Concentration

Business professionals must meet the challenge of understanding the complex technological, social, political, ethical, and ecological issues in the global economy. Critical thinking and problem solving skills in broad interdisciplinary frames are essential. Issues of diversity in the workforce, economic and environmental sustainability, the changing role of capital in the global economy, the role of information and technology are among the topics to be addressed together with a critical appreciation of the role of people in organizations. AULA’s Business and Social Entrepreneurship Concentration is designed to help students develop the knowledge necessary for understanding and challenging the professions they will enter and lead. Interdisciplinary course work in philosophy, psychology, and political theory are integrated with the theory and practice of socially responsible business management, making the curriculum relevant for entrepreneurs, managers in small businesses, as well as corporate, public, and non-profit organizations. 

The courses on social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management highlight the potential for business to contribute to the work of social change. By examining organizing strategies of nongovernmental organizations and nonprofits, the individuals and organizations that foster entrepreneurial change in the social sector, and the innovative business practices that effect positive social outcomes, the concentration offers a socially engaged approach to the study of business. 

Core Curriculum

The Business and Social Entrepreneurship concentration core courses address the broad categories listed below, with core courses offered in rotation. Students in this concentration are advised to build these courses into their program of study to whatever extent scheduling allows.

People in Organizations 

BUS 357Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace3
BUS 332Small Group Process3
BUS 362Management in the Multicultural Workplace3
MGT 517Organizational Behavior: People in Organizations4


BUS 346Principles of Finance3
BUS 355Principles of Marketing3
BUS 373Accounting Practices3

The Context of Business

BUS 381The Political Environment of Business3
BUS 382Global Economics3
BUS 431Social and Ethical Issues in Management4

Social Entrepreneurship

BUS 321Transformative Forces: Case Studies in Social Entrepreneurship3
BUS 325The Business of Social Change3

Opportunities for Applied Learning

BUS 353Internship1-4

Business students are advised to take a broad range of liberal arts courses, particularly those in the arts and in history, science, philosophy, and mathematics, in addition to the core courses listed specifically for the concentration. BA students who opt to become MAOM advanced-standing candidates may also register for graduate management courses (subject to space availability) with the permission of the Chair of the MA in Organizational Management Program. If they are admitted to the graduate management program, they may apply up to 12 units of these 500-level courses toward AULA's MAOM degree. See below section on Preparation for Graduate Study regarding the option for advanced standing in the MAOM. Note: Students may take a maximum of 16 units of MAOM courses while enrolled in the BA program. 

For course descriptions of all the undergraduate courses, click here.

Non-Classroom Learning

Students should incorporate at least one internship into the design of their program of study in consultation with their advisor. Examples: Students may develop new learning in their current job setting for activities such as designing a training program, implementing new management information systems, or researching alternative means for marketing a new product. An internship could entail participating in socially responsible business management groups where the student applies the theory studied in courses. In addition to internships, students are also encouraged to propose independent studies focusing, for example, on topics such as feminist management, sexual harassment in the workplace, the social practice of business, etc. Students may also develop prior learning projects based on learning they acquired in a business setting prior to their matriculation at AULA. 

Child Studies: Minor Area of Concentration

The Child Studies Minor Area of Concentration provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of children with an emphasis on Psychology. The Child Studies minor prepares undergraduate students for positions in education, human services, and child advocacy, as well as for clinical and research-oriented graduate programs in education, psychology, and child development. 

Students concerned with working effectively to enhance the quality of children’s lives will benefit from the blend of clinical and developmental psychology, as well as aspects of physiology, neurology, sociology, philosophy, economics, social policy, and the law. As one of the few social groups still lacking equal rights under the law, children are particularly vulnerable to the vicissitudes of our social conditions. Child advocates with an interdisciplinary perspective gain from a sophisticated understanding of the contexts that shape children’s lives. The Child Studies minor provides the opportunity for in-depth study of the relations between community, peers, social agencies, families, schools and the developing self of the child. 

Core Curriculum

Core courses fall into four basic categories as listed below. These courses build a strong foundation and preparation for professional work in the field; students opting for a Child Studies minor are advised to build these courses into their programs of study to whatever extent scheduling allows. 

Theoretical Foundations

PSY 343Infant to Child Development3
PSY 401AChild to Adolescent Development3
PSY 433Cognitive Psychology: Children's Thinking3

The Child in Context

PSY 346Cross-Cultural Child Development3
PSY 384Social Cognition: the Social-Psychological World of the Child3
or SOC 375 Social Cognition: the Psychological World of the Child

Scientific Foundations

MAT 402Research Design and Methodology4
or PSY 409 Research Design and Methodology
PSY 434AContemporary Neuro-Psychology3
MAT 403Descriptive and Inferential Statistics4
or PSY 414 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

Child Advocacy

HUM 316Human Rights and Children3
or SOC 316 Human Rights and Children
SOC 381Children in Social Policy3

Opportunities for Applied Learning

EDU 353Internship1-4
PSY 353Internship: Psychology1-4
SCW 353Internship1-4

In addition to the core courses listed above, Child Studies students are also advised to take a broad range of liberal arts courses, particularly in the arts and in history, science, philosophy, and mathematics. Students preparing for research-oriented graduate study should complete the sequence of Research Design and Methodology and Descriptive and Inferential Statistics, followed by independent study research projects under the guidance of an AULA faculty member. 

Non-Classroom Learning

Students who plan to continue their studies in applied fields such as education, social work, or clinical psychology should include an internship in these areas in their program of study. The BA Program sponsors internships in the community that provide opportunities to work with children and adolescents. Students may also design independent studies in specialized areas such as infant care, early education, anti-social personality disorder, or learning disorders.

Creative Writing: Major or Minor Area of Concentration

The Creative Writing concentration encourages students to explore literary expression in order to achieve greater proficiency in their own craft. Since creative writing is a highly rigorous practice with a history of diverse conventions, methods, and forms, the concentration also encourages students to learn a critical vocabulary for talking about and reflecting on texts. Creative Writing students are encouraged to gain a strong familiarity with the literature of various genres as a means of expanding their appreciation of the complexities of language. The concentration introduces students to traditional writing concerns, such as language, form and expression, to theory and literary models, to practical concerns shared by working writers, and, through the Two Hawks Quarterly internship, to experiential learning in literary publishing. With these competencies in hand, Creative Writing students are encouraged to experiment with form by blurring the lines between traditional genres as well as working in multi-generic modes and considering alternate narratives strategies. AULA’s Creative Writing concentration is distinguished by its emphasis on the ethical import of language and story, attention to the socio-political context within which work is produced, and the role of the writer in society.

Learning Objectives

Students in the Creative Writing Concentration develop and demonstrate the following:

The craft of writing in multiple genres

This objective encourages students to explore literary expression in order to achieve greater proficiency in their own craft as writers. The practice of writing in multiple genres introduces students to different forms of creative writing, including (but not limited to) fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, and the blurring of genres often found in more experimental forms of creative writing.

The ability to do a close reading of literature

This objective cultivates students’ ability to examine the craft of other writers (both historical and contemporary), looking at formal elements of the work, including the elements of language, character, story, theme, rhythm, and tone. Exposure to different styles and content often expands a writer’s own sense of voice, style, and creative interests. Identifying literary models among historical and contemporary writers can also help students begin to understand the work within a context of time, place, and culture.

The ability to analyze writers’ roles in local and global communities

This objective calls upon students to consider the impact that creative writing has in our world. Students are encouraged to consider the importance of writers in community, society, and culture—to move toward a contextual understanding of one's own voice in a continuum of writers. In doing so, students may consider political issues that affect writers, such as censorship, the role of activist literature, independent vs. corporate publishing and bookselling, and the inclusion of previously marginalized voices in the canonization of literature. Students are also called to consider personal responsibilities in their work, such as questions of representation, identification of self in society, agency, and considerations of truth in writing.

The ability to apply foundational skills of a creative writer

These skills include the ability to comment on the work of other writers, participate in a writing community, and apply best practices of editing and grammar. These abilities help establish the foundation for professional effectiveness and continued academic study.

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum serves as a guide to students in the concentration for establishing a strong foundation in the history, theory, and practice of creative writing. The faculty strongly recommends that Creative Writing students take as many of the core courses as possible during their enrollment. These courses are offered in regular rotation:


ENG 309BThe Art of Fiction3
ENG 322AThe Art of Poetry3
ENG 327The Art of Mixed Media Literature3
ENG 364AThe Art of Creative Non-Fiction3
ENG 365Genre Mongrels and Unfixed Forms3
ENG 490AAdvanced Multi-Genre Workshop3

Texts, Contexts, and Critiques

LIT 321ALiterary Theory and Critique3
LIT 365AWriting & Social Resistance3
LIT 437Special Topics in Contemporary Literature3

+ 3 units in History of Literature

+ 3 units in Global Literature or Translation


ENG 353Internship (Two Hawks Quarterly)1-4
ENG 353Internship (WriteGirl Teaching)1-4
or EDU 353 Internship
ENG 353Internship (WriteGirl Publishing)1-4
or COM 353 Internship
EDU 353Internship (Bridge Teaching)1-4

Note: ENG 490A, Advanced Multi-Genre Workshop in Creative Writing, is an on-going seminar that provides Creative Writing students with an opportunity to workshop their writing in a structured and supportive environment while exploring craft in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Students are encouraged to work in multiple genres, to press the boundaries of genre, form, intertextuality, and narrative. In workshop, students are challenged to use various approaches in critique and close reading of a text. The workshop requires permission of the creative writing faculty advisor; it can be taken multiple times for credit. LIT 437, Special Topics in Contemporary Literature, is designed to explore a range of topics in post-World War II literature, such as sexual politics, literary journalism, and others. Students may take this course multiple times for credit in order to sample the varying special topics offered.

Creative Writing students are also advised to take a broad range of liberal arts courses in literature, the arts, religion, philosophy, and history in addition to the courses listed above.

For course descriptions of all the undergraduate courses, click here.

Non-Classroom Learning

Creative Writing concentration students may take advantage of a broad array of internship and independent study opportunities. A number of community partners are engaged in creative writing education and literacy for underserved sectors of the local population, First Amendment advocacy, and production of public literary events such as readings and symposia. Internships in these areas provide opportunities for Creative Writing students to extend their writing practice beyond the discipline of writing into the larger community where they have the opportunity to facilitate the emergence of the voices of others. Students may also gain practical experience in the day-to-day operations of literary publication by serving on the editorial board of Two Hawks Quarterly: A Literary Uprising by the BA Students of Antioch University Los Angeles, an online journal sponsored by the BA Program.

Creative Writing students may also design an array of independent studies including ongoing work on creative writing projects such as novels, memoirs, and collections of short stories, essays, and poetry. Students who have written professionally prior to their matriculation may be eligible to receive credit for college-level learning through prior learning projects. This process allows students to apply a critical, analytical lens to their own published and unpublished works of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction and to analyze their own body of work in comparison to the work of other published writers. For each of these prior learning activities, students will select a qualified evaluator who will join them in the process of compilation and reflection.

Psychology: Major or Minor Area of Concentration

The BA in Liberal Studies Psychology Concentration began at Antioch with the university’s inception in 1972. Since that time, the concentration has provided AULA’s diverse adult-learner population with a comprehensive and cutting-edge education in psychological theory and practice, while emphasizing the core issues of social justice and intercultural studies. The curriculum continues to train students in numerous areas within the field of psychology, including case management, clinical work and counseling, industrial/organizational psychology, and the treatment of substance abuse. Additionally, students can receive preparation for a multiplicity of related careers, including the fields of child studies, non-profit work, community organizing, teaching, and social work. 

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum falls into the following four categories, with courses offered in regular rotation. Students in the Psychology Concentration are advised to build these courses into their programs of study to the extent that scheduling allows, with the two identified ‘Gateway Courses’ -- PSY 371, The Politics of Psychology and PSY 327A, Critical Psychology -- highly recommended for all beginning psychology students. The faculty also strongly recommends that at least one half of the units counted toward the concentration be upper division. Our Core Psychology Curriculum: 

Psychologies in Context

PSY 371The Politics of Psychology3
PSY 327ACritical Psychology3
PSY 352AHuman Sexualities3
PSY 384ASocial Psychology3

Integrated Theories

PSY 307History and Systems of Psychology3
PSY 425Global Approaches to Normal & Abnormal Psychology3
PSY 358Community Psychology: Context and Change3

Applied Theories

PSY 311Contemporary Modes of Counseling3
PSY 319Ethics in Counseling and Psychotherapy3
PSY 464AIntroduction to Postmodern Psychotherapies3

Empirical Foundations

PSY 434AContemporary Neuro-Psychology3
PSY 409Research Design and Methodology4
PSY 414Descriptive and Inferential Statistics4

In addition to the core courses listed above, an array of elective courses is offered each quarter. A representative sampling of elective course offerings includes: The Psychology of Couples in Fiction & Film;  PSY 311A Foundations of Art Therapy: Past, Present, and Practical ; PSY 401A Child to Adolescent Development;PSY 392A Madness in American History and Film; PSY 485 The Art of Relationship in Tibetan Buddhism; PSY 340B Relational Gestalt Therapy; PSY 333A Eco-psychology; PSY 385 Adult Levels of Psycho-sexual Development; PSY 308A Existential Psychology: Roots, Theory, and Practice; PSY 435A LGBT Identity Issues; PSY 383A Psychology of Consumer Behavior; PSY 434A Contemporary Neuropsychology; PSY 390BBThe Psychology of War, Trauma and Vets, and PSY 363A Applications of Psychology in the 21st Century. 

In accordance with American Psychological Association (APA) recommendations, students in the Psychology Concentration are advised to take a broad range of liberal arts courses. Specifically, the APA recommends courses in the arts, science, philosophy, and quantitative studies in addition to psychology. The BA faculty also recommends that students enroll in history and sociology courses to gain an additional understanding of the social context that influences identity development and informs our relational interactions. AULA also recommends courses that focus on gender, ethnic and racial differences, and various forms of disability to enhance students’ appreciation of the special issues of diverse communities. 

For course descriptions of all the undergraduate courses, click here.

During their final one or two quarters in the BA Program, students may earn 6-12 credits toward a graduate degree in psychology in AULA’s Master of Arts in Psychology Program. See below under the heading “Preparation for Graduate Study” for further information on the Fast Track for Master of Arts in Psychology. 

Non-Classroom Learning

The Psychology Concentration has established relationships with numerous human service organizations, clinical settings, and social advocacy groups throughout the Los Angeles area. It is recommended that students in the Psychology Concentration complete 6-12 units of internship in one of these placements in order to gain real-world experience and to enable students to link up classroom learning with practical applications in the field. 

Additionally, the faculty works individually with students to design specialized topics of independent study. Some recent areas of independent study initiated by students and conceptualized together with faculty have included: Forensic Psychology, Community Organizing, Treatment of Autism, Bisexual Identity Development, Sports Psychology, Counseling the Homeless, and Working with Transgender Youth.

Queer Studies: Minor Area of Concentration

In support of AULA’s commitment to the issues affecting this historically marginalized population, the BA Program offers a Minor Area of Concentration in Queer Studies emphasizing an activist orientation and advancing the understanding of queerness as challenge and resistance to dominant paradigms in history, culture, and society. 

The Queer Minor requires 20 units of study in related course work, independent study and internship, including at least 10 units of upper division. Courses and workshops are offered throughout the calendar year and include: 

HIS 390CQueer History of Los Angeles1
HUM 348BGay & Lesbian History Through Documentary Film3
or SOC 348A Gay & Lesbian History Through Documentary Film
HUM 390AZQueer Theory1
HUM 404Queer Theory4
LIT 339Queer Literature-A Brief Survey Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Memoir and Film3
PSY 352AHuman Sexualities3
or SOC 352A Human Sexualities
PSY 427ATransgender Identities3
or SOC 427A Transgender Identities
PSY 435ALGBT Identity Issues: Theories of Personality, Racial and Cultural Concerns3
PSY 490ACLgbt Sexual Identity Development: Diversity and the Multi-Layered Self1
SOC 307Race, Gender, and Migration3

Current internships include various opportunities with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and LifeWorks, an after school peer mentoring program for LGBT youth.

For course descriptions of all the undergraduate courses, click here.

Urban Community and Environment: Major or Minor Area of Concentration

The Urban Community and Environment concentration (UCE) at Antioch University Los Angeles prepares our students for careers as courageous and thoughtful practitioners and activists, in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors, in education, and for graduate study in multiple fields. In the program, students explore urban dynamics through a framework of human rights, and a focus on the powers of action, community organizing, place-making and social change.

Our practice and theory-based philosophy of education equips students with the skills and understandings necessary to become effective leaders within organizations and networks. All students participate in field study and internships, building their capacity and resumés while working as youth organizers, community gardeners, event coordinators, fundraisers, communications and social media practitioners, and as researchers in social justice campaigns throughout the region. Urban Community and Environment faculty, staff and guest lecturers are social justice change-makers, contributing to and shaping the current public, intellectual, cultural and sustainability discourse.

This innovative program exists in the recognition of the need to support and train effective change-makers who can envision a socially, economically, racially, and ecologically just future, and who will participate in the diverse coalitions and alliances necessary to inspire and make that future a reality. Unique among most academic programs, the Urban Community and Environment curriculum incorporates the study and practice of social, political, historic, cultural, ecological, legislative and economic analysis, media, and the arts.

The Urban Community and Environment concentration embodies our Antioch University mission to advance justice and to inspire lifelong learning.

Core Curriculum

The UCE concentration core courses fall into the three broad categories listed below, with courses offered in regular rotation. UCE students are advised to build these courses into their program of study to establish a strong foundation in history, theory, and methodology to be supplemented by a range of elective courses and workshops.


URB 303Intro to Urban Communities & Environment3
HIS 336Environmental & Social History of Los Angeles3
or SCI 336 Environmental & Social History of Los Angeles
GEG 303Global Justice & Ecology3
or ENV 303 Global Justice & Ecology
SOC 323Identity, Community, Social Change3


SOC 305Social Theory of the City3
or URB 305 Social Theory of the City
SOC 334Classical and Multicultural Social Theory3


SOC 343Community Organizing3
ENV 314Environmental Justice: Law & Policy3
URB 353Urban Studies Internship1-4

+ At least 1 guided field- or skills-based workshop or course

+ At least 1 ecology / science workshop or course

+ At least 1 art and social change-related workshop or course

 In addition, students select elective courses that span the four conceptual anchors of the UCE concentration to study the dynamics of oppression and liberation in our city's people, systems, arts, and environment.

 A BA student may elect to become a fast-track candidate for the Master of Arts in Urban Sustainability, enroll in MA program courses and have them count toward completion of both the BA degree and the USMA degree or certificate. See below under the heading “Preparation for Graduate Study” for further information about the Fast Track into the USMA Program. 

For course descriptions of all the undergraduate courses, click here.

Non-Classroom Learning

The UCE concentration offers community-based workshops, which are site-based learning activities conducted partially or completely by personnel at community venues. Student learning is evaluated either by a core faculty member working with the community organization or the community organizer conducting the workshop. Workshops are scheduled to coincide with and take advantage of cultural events taking place in the city. Most workshops are one-day events and are offered for one unit. 

Students in the UCE concentration are strongly encouraged to select internship placements that connect them with community organizations. Internship opportunities for UCE students include urban and environmental organizations working on such issues as poverty and homelessness, economic justice, immigrant rights, and the greening of Los Angeles. Teaching assistant internships in Antioch’s Bridge Program count as UCE internships. In consultation with their faculty advisors, students can also develop independent, advanced learning opportunities to examine one or more aspects of urban and environmental studies in greater detail. UCE students often propose independent studies that enhance their understanding and effectiveness in their off-campus activist or non-profit work. 

If students have relevant experience in the community that qualifies as college-level learning, they can earn prior learning credit and apply such credit to their required UCE units. Prior learning activities include working with community organizations, developing new policies, and administering existing programs.

Individually Designed Concentration

In exceptional cases, a student may construct an individually designed Area of Concentration in consultation with his or her advisor. This option is appropriate only for students transferring to AULA with a substantial number of units in a specialized field of study not offered at AULA and who intend to complete work in that field through AULA classes, independent study, or through courses at other institutions. Students must petition for an individualized concentration to the Chair of Undergraduate Studies through their faculty advisor well in advance of their candidacy. Units counted toward an individually designed major Area of Concentration should include at least 20 upper division units; for an individually designed minor Area of Concentration at least 10 upper division units are expected. To be approved, the petition must demonstrate that the student has studied or has a plan to study courses that can be understood to constitute a core curriculum in the individually designed Area of Concentration.

Dual Areas of Concentration

Under certain circumstances, a student may construct dual major Areas of Concentration to demonstrate depth of learning in two specialized academic fields (i.e., excluding the Liberal Studies concentration). The dual concentration option may prove viable if a student enters AULA with 40 or more transfer units (including at least 20 upper division) in a specialized Area of Concentration but wishes to pursue a second specialized concentration during enrollment at AULA. Please note that students with two Areas of Concentration cannot have more than 100 units in the two Areas of Concentration combined and no less than 40 units in each area. Transfer courses and courses taken at AULA may be counted for one concentration or the other but not for both. There may be no overlapping in the courses counted toward the two concentrations, just as courses counted toward the concentrations may not overlap with the courses counted toward meeting the general studies requirement. Students wishing to pursue dual Areas of Concentration should consult their advisors to explore this option.


The qualities of mind cultivated by this curriculum prepare students for career advancement and for pursuing lives of meaning and purpose, as well as for further study at the graduate level. Historically a significant percentage of the program's graduates attend and complete graduate school, including, in recent years, Boston University, Brandeis, Alliant International University, the California State Universities, Claremont Graduate School, Columbia, Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School, Loyola Law School, Southwestern School of Law, University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, University of Chicago, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico School of Law, University of Southern California, Rutgers Law, Pacifica University, University of Minnesota, and Yale, as well as graduate programs at Antioch University Los Angeles and Antioch New England. 

Students intending to pursue graduate study should contact graduate schools early in their BA enrollment to find out the admission requirements so that they can tailor their undergraduate study accordingly. BA students interested in attending a particular graduate program outside of AULA should be sure to investigate that school's policy on accepting undergraduate credit for Prior Learning in order to make appropriate choices about incorporating Prior Learning into their programs of study. They should also find out whether the school accepts narrative evaluations in place of grades and a grade point average. If the school does not accept narrative evaluations, the student should request a grade equivalent on the final evaluation from each instructor at AULA.

Fast Track Programs

For all Fast Track info, please see Fast Track Programs.