Montana State University

Online Degree Completion Program in Liberal Studies

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  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

You will earn the same regionally accredited Montana State University degree that a student on the Bozeman campus is awarded. You will take on-line courses with on-campus students and your diploma and transcript are identical to those given to on-campus students.


This online degree completion program is designed for students who have completed at least two years’ of college and would like to earn a bachelor’s degree online.

Maybe you have completed an associate’s degree but cannot complete a bachelor’s degree on campus. Maybe circumstances led you to leave college before you could complete a degree. Maybe you’ve attended several colleges, in different majors, because you are interested in a wide variety of subjects. This program in Liberal Studies could be your path to completing a four-year degree, from wherever you are and on your own schedule.

The Liberal Studies degree values a broad, integrated, and interdisciplinary approach to higher education. Interdisciplinary studies foster connections among disciplines and draw upon multiple areas of knowledge. This program is the Quaternity (group of four) Option of the Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies. The Quaternity option offers students a flexible liberal arts education, allowing students to construct a curriculum that reflects their interests and career goals. Quaternity studies come alive with four interconnected areas of study: arts, humanities, social science and natural science. In addition to the Liberal Studies seminars, university core and integrative seminars, students select an additional four courses in each area of the Quaternity and eight credit hours of a foreign language.

Only the Quaternity option is currently available in the online degree completion program.

Designed for:

  • people needing a bachelor’s degree to advance their career
  • graduates of community colleges, tribal colleges, colleges of technology and other two-year academic programs
  • military personnel and veterans
  • anyone interested in the broad-based education of a liberal studies degree

Meet Our Graduates: Dreams Fulfilled

Image of graduate Shanna Stanley and her family

Shanna Stanley of Conrad finished her bachelor's in August through MSU's online liberal studies bachelor's degree completion program. Stanley has a 4-year-old daughter and works full time as a certified nursing assistant. She is pictured with her parents and daughter during her MSU graduation ceremony. Photo courtesy of Shanna Stanley.

Meet Shanna and fellow graduate David Vanhorn.

What Can I Do with this Degree?

Some of the most exciting and innovative advances in human knowledge are occurring at the intersections of traditional academic disciplines. The kind of intellectual skills provided by rigorous, cross-disciplinary study are increasingly recognized as a solid foundation for success in careers and graduate programs ranging from business and management to medicine. This degree program helps students develop the ability to learn in multiple disciplines, giving graduates the flexibility they need to adapt in rapidly changing work environments.

The Liberal Studies program is intended to assist students in learning more about the world through a variety of theoretical, experiential and methodological approaches. Liberal Studies students explore new areas of knowledge and new ways of thinking through an eclectic curriculum that helps prepare them to contribute critically and substantively in their lives and careers. These skills, while important to personal and intellectual growth and enrichment, are also increasingly in demand among employers who seek creative and inquisitive minds, an appreciation for and an ability to apply different methodologies to problem solving, an understanding of the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of knowledge, strong communication skills, and familiarity with the world's diversity of thought and culture.

Careers include government, journalism, politics, communication, business administration, entrepreneurship, analysis, law school, writing, medical school and many others. A degree in Liberal Studies also prepares students for graduate work in a variety of disciplines. If you have a specific graduate school in mind, you should contact them directly to find out how a Liberal Studies bachelor’s degree can prepare you for their school.

Found out more information on careers with a degree in Liberal Studies.

How Long Will It Take to Finish My Degree? 

The length of time required to complete this degree program will vary depending on previous coursework completed and the number of courses you take each semester. For example:  If you have 60 credits left to finish the degree and take 6 credits per semester (including summer) you could complete your degree in about 3.5 years.  Factors that may affect how many courses you take include your learning style, your career objectives and your other time commitments.

Furthermore, you will need to meet the degree requirements. These include that 45 credits must be completed as a declared Liberal Studies major. Degree requirements are outlined in more detail on the Curriculum page.