The BA in Liberal Studies Program uses an interdisciplinary approach toward learning and emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem-solving, awareness of multiple perspectives, social and intercultural awareness, civic and community engagement, and an ability to connect learning to one’s lived experience. The Liberal Studies program is particularly structured to give students flexibility while designing their path to a meaningful degree.  For this degree program, students can transfer in units from across a wide range of general education subjects without needing to follow a specific pattern of prerequisites.  The core curriculum is recommended, rather than required, so that students can easily individualize their learning experience.

Although all students in the BA in Liberal Studies Program graduate with the same degree, students can choose an area of concentration to focus their studies.  Students select a Major Area of Concentration from the following:

  • Addiction Studies
  • Business and Social Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Writing
  • Liberal Studies
  • Psychology
  • Urban Studies

Students can also choose a Minor Area of Concentration in any of the above specialized areas, as well as the following:

  • Child Studies
  • Queer Studies


Students must complete a minimum of 40 units and a maximum of 80 units in a Major Area of Concentration. The BA in Liberal Studies Program currently offers six Major Areas of Concentration with a wide variety of core courses, electives, internships, and independent study opportunities for each. Note that units counted toward an Area of Concentration cannot be used to meet the domains of knowledge requirements and vice versa. Students may also opt for a Minor Area of Concentration in any of the above-listed specialized Major Areas of Concentration. To earn a Minor Area of Concentration, a student must accrue at least 20 units in the concentration.

Students are encouraged to work 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.

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 activity 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.


Learners are encouraged to build core and expertise courses from the list below into their program of study as scheduling allows. Courses are offered in rotation throughout the yearly schedule. Learners are also 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.

Core Courses

ADS 3010Addiction & Human Development3-4
or PSY 3010A Addiction & Human Development
ADS 3140Addiction & Marginalized Populations3-4
or PSY 3140A Addiction & Marginalized Populations
PSY 3560AThe Science of Psychopharmacology3-4
or PSY 3560A The Science of Psychopharmacology
PSY 3590Theories of Addiction3-4
PSY 3660APsychology of Addiction3-4
PSY 3910AIntegrating Addiction Counseling Practices3-4

Expertise Courses

ADS 3100Addiction Counseling: Models of Practice3-4
ADS 3150Group Facilitation for Addiction Counselors3-4
or PSY 3690A Group Facilitation for Addiction Counselors
ADS 3170Counseling Addiction & Co-Occurring Disorders3-4
or PSY 3170A Counseling Addiction & Co-Occurring Disorders
ADS 3180Addiction & Family Dynamics3-4
ADS 3190AProcess & the Addiction Counselor3-4
or PSY 3190A Process & the Addiction Counselor
PSY 3190Ethics in Counseling and Psychotherapy3-4
PSY 3180B/3180BAddiction & Family Dynamics3-4

Non-Classroom Learning

The Addiction Studies Concentration has established relationships with numerous human service organizations, clinical settings, and social advocacy groups in the Los Angeles area. It is recommended that learners in the Addiction Studies Concentration take at least 6 units of internship/fieldwork in one of the placement sites in order to gain real-world experience and have an opportunity to apply classroom learning in real-world 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.

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 frameworks 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 and managers of small businesses, corporations, and 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 3570Interpersonal Communication in The Workplace3
BUS 3320Small Group Process3
MGT 5170Organizational Behavior: People in Organizations4
BUS 3620 Management in Multicultural Workplace3


BUS 4010Foundations of Business Practice3
BUS 3550Principles of Marketing3
BUS 3460Principles of Finance3-4

The Context of Business

BUS 4310Social and Ethical Issues in Management4
BUS 3810 The Political Environment3-4
BUS 3820 Global Economics3-4

Social Entrepreneurship

BUS 3210Transformative Forces: Case Studies in Social Entrepreneurship3
BUS 3250The Business of Social Change3

Opportunities for Applied Learning

BUS 3530Internship1-4

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. 

Certified Nonprofit Leadership Credential

Undergraduate Studies offers students a pathway to secure the nationally recognized Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential and accompanying National Certification in Nonprofit Leadership and Management while completing their Bachelor’s degree at Antioch University.

Experts in nonprofit studies and nonprofit practitioners joined forces to create the CNP Program. The goal was to create a unique leadership development program designed to reduce the learning curve of nonprofit professionals, allowing them to more immediately impact their organization and communities. Through this model, students move beyond simply gaining domain knowledge to building the critical-thinking skills essential for successful leadership.

CNP: The Certified Nonprofit Professional credential is the only nationally recognized nonprofit credential preparing students for leadership in the nonprofit sector. Students who complete a leadership development program at one of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s (NLA) affiliated colleges or universities are awarded the credential and gain access to a network of non-profit resources. Antioch University Los Angeles is in the unique position of being the only campus in Los Angeles County affiliated with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance offering the Certified Nonprofit Professional credential.

Students must complete the following in pursuit of earning the national credential:

  1. Demonstrate competency on ten (10) core competencies for nonprofit professionals through qualifying coursework. (Students may also use AULA “Prior Learning” or “Self-Directed Independent Study” formats as a way to demonstrate competencies.)
  2. Provide documented evidence of leadership and service
  3. Attend one of the qualifying annual conferences sponsored or sanctioned by Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (locally – Center for Nonprofit Management’s annual 501(C) conference, Los Angeles.)
  4. Complete 300-hour internship within a nonprofit organization or provide qualifying evidence of professional nonprofit sector experience to waive the requirement.

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 3430.LAInfant to Child Development3
PSY 4330Cognitive Psychology: Children's Thinking3
PSY4010A Child to Adolescent Development3-4

The Child in Context

PSY 3460Cross-Cultural Child Development3
PSY 3840/SOC 3750 Social Cognition: the Social-Psychological World of the Child3-4

Scientific Foundations

MAT 4020Research Design and Methodology4
or PSY 4090 Research Design and Methodology
PSY 4340AContemporary Neuro-Psychology3
MAT 4030Descriptive and Inferential Statistics4
or PSY 4140 Descriptive and Inferential Statistics

Child Advocacy

HUM 3160Human Rights and Children3
or SOC 3160 Human Rights and Children
SOC 3810 Children in Social Policy3-4

Opportunities for Applied Learning

EDU 3530Internship1-4
PSY 3530Internship: Psychology1-4
SCW 3530 Internship1-5

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, or learning disabilities.

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 versus 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 3090BThe Art of Fiction3
ENG 3220AThe Art of Poetry3
ENG 3270The Art of Mixed Media Literature3
ENG 3640AThe Art of Creative Non-Fiction3
ENG 3650Genre Mongrels and Unfixed Forms3
ENG 4900AAdvanced Multi-Genre Workshop3

Texts, Contexts, and Critiques

LIT 3210ALiterary Theory and Critique3
LIT 3650AWriting & Social Resistance3
LIT 4370Special Topics in Contemporary Literature3

+ 3 units in History of Literature

+ 3 units in Global Literature or Translation


ENG 3530Internship (Two Hawks Quarterly)1-4
ENG 3530Internship (WriteGirl Teaching)1-4
or EDU 3530 Internship
ENG 3530Internship (WriteGirl Publishing)1-4
or COM 3530 Internship
EDU 3530Internship (Bridge Teaching)1-4

Note: ENG 4900A, 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 4370, 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 3710.LA, The Politics of Psychology and PSY 3270A, 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 is as follows: 

Psychologies in Context

PSY 3710.LAThe Politics of Psychology3
PSY 3270ACritical Psychology3
PSY 3520AHuman Sexualities3
PSY 3840ASocial Psychology3

Integrated Theories

PSY 3070History and Systems of Psychology3
PSY 4250Global Approaches to Normal & Abnormal Psychology3
PSY 3580Community Psychology: Context and Change3

Applied Theories

PSY 3110Contemporary Modes of Counseling3
PSY 3190Ethics in Counseling and Psychotherapy3
PSY 4640AIntroduction to Postmodern Psychotherapies3

Empirical Foundations

PSY 4340AContemporary Neuro-Psychology3
PSY 4090Research Design and Methodology4
PSY 4140Descriptive 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 3110A Foundations of Art Therapy: Past, Present, and Practical ; PSY 4010A  Child to Adolescent Development;PSY 3920A Madness in American History and Film; PSY 4850 The Art of Relationship in Tibetan Buddhism; PSY 3400B Relational Gestalt Therapy; PSY 3330A Eco-psychology; PSY 3850 Adult Levels of Psycho-sexual Development; PSY 3080A Existential Psychology: Roots, Theory, and Practice; PSY 4350A LGBT Identity Issues; PSY 3830A Psychology of Consumer Behavior; PSY 4340A Contemporary Neuropsychology; PSY 3900BBThe Psychology of War, Trauma and Vets, and PSY 3630A 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: 

HUM 3480BGay & Lesbian History Through Documentary Film3
or SOC 3480A Gay & Lesbian History Through Documentary Film
HIS 3900C Queer History of Los Angeles1
HUM 3900AZQueer Theory1
HUM 4040Queer Theory4
LIT 3390Queer Literature-A Brief Survey Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Memoir and Film3
PSY 3520AHuman Sexualities3
or SOC 3520A Human Sexualities
PSY 4270ATransgender Identities3
or SOC 4270A Transgender Identities
PSY 4900ACLgbt Sexual Identity Development: Diversity and the Multi-Layered Self1
SOC 3070Race, Gender, and Migration3
PSY 4350A LGBT Identity Issues: Theories of Personality, Racial and Cultural3-4

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 Studies: Major or Minor Area of Concentration

The Urban Studies concentration 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 Studies 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 Studies curriculum incorporates the study and practice of social, political, historic, cultural, ecological, legislative and economic analysis, media, and the arts.

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

Core Curriculum

The Urban Studies concentration core courses fall into the three broad categories listed below, with courses offered in regular rotation. Urban Studies 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 3030Intro to Urban Communities & Environment3
HIS 3360Environmental & Social History of Los Angeles3
or SCI 3360 Environmental & Social History of Los Angeles
GEG 3030Global Justice & Ecology; Crisis, Strategy and Change3
or ENV 3030 Global Justice & Ecology
URB 3130Autonomy, Sustainability, Justice: Community Organizing in LA3-4


SOC 3050.LASocial Theory of the City3
or URB 3050 Social Theory of the City


URB 3270Toolkit for Community Leaders3-4
URB 4900AWCommunity Organizing1-2
URB 3530Urban 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 Urban Studies 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 (USMA), 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 Urban Studies 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 Urban Studies concentration are strongly encouraged to select internship placements that connect them with community organizations. Internship opportunities for Urban Studies 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 Urban Studies 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. Urban Studies 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 Urban Studies 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 comp 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.

Fast Track Programs

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