Letters, Arts, and Sciences - Penn State Altoona

An Overview of the Letters, Arts, and Sciences Program

Spring 2014 Graduates

Spring 2014 Graduates

Six students received their B.A. in Letters, Arts, & Sciences at Spring commencement. Pictured from left to right are Tasia Scott and Megan Zimmerman. Not pictured are Michael Bobrin, Ronald Morissey, Mariane Parks, and Ryan Slagenweit.

Our Alums

Erin Kelly Erin Kelly, a 2009 Penn State Altoona LAS graduate, has published an article in the Huffington Post. Read her article here.

Our Students

Click on a student's name or image to read more.

"LAS has worked out great. . . . In fact they [potential employers] seem rather impressed with my functional background of studies in so many different areas of business, and that coupled with my study abroad experience really seems to be the talk of every interviewer."
- Shawn Goodwin, '11

Penn State Altoona’s B.A. in Letters, Arts, and Sciences (LASAL) is the college’s only degree that is designed entirely by individual students to meet their own needs and interests. Rather than focusing your classes on one subject, you will develop a program that combines at least three different academic disciplines.

For example, your primary interest may be criminal justice or business, but you want your college experience to include a broad liberal arts education as well. Or you might wish to focus on psychology, but would like to include human development and family studies or counseling education courses in your overall plan. You may wish to be a science reporter or business journalist and therefore need to take upper-level classes not only in media writing but also in science and business.

Letters, Arts, and Sciences puts you at the drafting table. Working closely with an advisor, you decide which classes best fit your interests and skills and build an undergraduate program that meets your needs. The 36-credit program requirements are distributed across your subjects of emphasis as follows:

  • three credits in research methods/projects
  • three credits in critical analysis
  • three credits in theory/application
  • three credits in communication skills
  • fifteen credits at the 400-level, including a senior capstone or internship
  • nine additional credits

Is LAS for me?

The LAS program is ideal for students who are:

  • self-motivated and focused
  • interested in a pre-professional area of study
  • interested in creating their own interdisciplinary major
  • planning to attend graduate or professional school
  • seeking a broad liberal arts education in addition to specific vocational training
  • dissatisfied with the narrow focus of their current major

What do current employers value?

What do hiring managers look for in today’s college graduates? Critical thinking. Communication skills. Creative problem-solving.

These qualities are at the top of the list, according to a recent survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. This study also finds that managers seek graduates with “broad knowledge in the liberal arts and sciences” as well as those who “demonstrate ethical judgment and integrity; intercultural skills; and the capacity for continued new learning.”

Letters, Arts, and Sciences allows you to develop these vital skills while building on your own individual academic interests and strengths.


For more information:

Sandra Petrulionis

Dr. Sandra H. Petrulionis

Distinguished Professor of English and American Studies
Arts and Humanities

Office: 129 Misciagna Family Center for Performiing Arts
Phone: 814-949-5365
Email: @psu.edu
WWW: http://www.personal.psu.edu/shp2

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