May 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

College of Liberal Arts

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Liberal Arts Building ~ Suite 153 ~ 260-481-6160

Janet Badia, Dean

Mission Statement of the College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts (COLA) at Purdue Fort Wayne is home to over thirty undergraduate and graduate degree programs representing both traditional liberal arts disciplines and interdisciplinary areas of study. Our core mission is to provide students a broad liberal arts education that is rich in tradition and responsive to a culturally diverse, technologically advanced, and ever-changing world.  

 How a College of Liberal Arts Degree Sets Students Apart  

Today’s world is a fast-changing one that rewards those who are adaptable, intellectually nimble, and committed to diversity and inclusiveness. COLA’s intensive focus on the liberal arts and integrated knowledge will produce graduates who are able to thrive in careers that are likely to shift, sometimes dramatically, over the course of several decades. It provides rigorous training in the written, oral, and critical thinking skills that are fundamental to success in every field. It gives students the opportunity to participate in the acquisition, development, and synthesis of knowledge within and across academic disciplines. It encourages students to understand, participate in, and influence fundamental debates over how individual people and whole societies, no matter their differences, can find ways to live well with one another, solve problems, and move toward common goals. Together, these characteristics form the foundation of productive and responsible citizenship in a diverse and increasingly complex and globalized world.  

Education in the liberal arts begins with students’ fulfillment of the Purdue University Fort Wayne general education curriculum. Through additional coursework within the College of Liberal Arts, students deepen this foundation, honing their abilities to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, apply reasoning, appreciate diversity, understand the world and human institutions, produce knowledge, and develop creative and informed solutions to current and future challenges. The COLA curriculum aims to prepare students for both the challenges and the opportunities created by the globalized society, economy, and workplace of the twenty-first century.  

Our Faculty  

Advancing the mission of the College of Liberal Arts is our award-winning faculty, who are models of excellence in scholarship, teaching, student mentorship, and service. Our faculty are teacher-scholars in the truest sense, garnering national and international recognition for their research, scholarship, and creative endeavors that inform and enrich their teaching, advising, and service. COLA faculty are student-centered, forward-thinking, world-class experts in their fields invested in the education of the people of Northeast Indiana, including their personal development as life-long learners, their civic engagement at both the local and global levels, and their social mobility within an increasingly inequitable economy.  

Academic Renewal Option

The College of Liberal Arts participates in the Academic Renewal Option for eligible students returning to PFW after an absence of five or more years.  See an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts Student Success Center for details.


Consult with an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts or in your department at least one term prior to your anticipated graduation date. Transfer students are required to consult with the Lead Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts Student Success Center prior to starting their first semester to ensure transferred courses are properly credited and to avoid enrolling in duplicate or overlapping courses. All degree-seeking students are strongly encouraged to meet with their college and department advisor at least once each term. 

Cooperative Education (Co-Op) Program

Cooperative education provides an opportunity for students to gain work experience while still enrolled in school. Check with your Department regarding eligibility for this program.

Academic Programs

The College of Liberal Arts offers a broad range of majors, minors, and certificate programs.  Each program, with its sponsoring unit in the College, is listed below.  If you are undecided about declaring a major or minor or certificate within the College, contact an advisor in the College of Liberal Arts Student Success Center who can help you choose courses to assure reasonable progress as you narrow your choices, and finally decide on a specific plan of study. If you change your major or your catalog term, your degree requirements may also change.  Information can also be found in the Program Descriptions section in this catalog.

Bachelor’s Degrees (BA, BSCJ)



Anthropology, B.A. Anthropology and Sociology
Communication with Interpersonal and Organizational Concentration, B.A. Communication
Communication with Journalism Concentration, B.A. Communication
Communication with Media and Culture Concentration, B.A. Communication
Communication with Rhetoric and Public Advocacy Concentration, B.A. Communication
Criminal Justice, B.S.CJ. Criminal Justice and Public Administration
Economics, B.A. Political Science
English with Digital Studies Concentration, B.A. English and Linguistics
English with Language Concentration, B.A. English and Linguistics
English with Language Arts Concentration, B.A. English and Linguistics
English with Literature Concentration, B.A. English and Linguistics
English with Teaching English as a New Language Concentration, B.A. English and Linguistics
English with Writing Concentration, B.A. English and Linguistics
History, B.A. History
Political Science, B.A. Political Science
Sociology, B.A. Anthropology and Sociology
Spanish, B.A. International Language and Culture Studies
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies

For details on pursuing a secondary education second degree (BSEd) to teach Economics, English, History, Political Science, Sociology, or Spanish in middle school/high school, click on the links to the Secondary Education - Second Degree Program and the  School of Education page in this catalog.  NOTE:  The BSEd as a second degree in these programs cannot be earned without completion of the bachelor’s degree in the content area from the College of Liberal Arts.


Completion of any minor requires a minimum of 12 credits in courses specified by the sponsoring department, including at least 6 resident credits at the 2000+ level or above and a grade of C- or better in each course.  Students cannot earn a minor and a major in the same program.  Minors cannot be awarded separately from a major.



Anthropology Anthropology and Sociology
Communication Studies Communication
Creative Writing English and Linguistics
Criminal Justice Criminal Justice and Public Administration
Economics Political Science
English English and Linguistics
Ethics, Professional and Applied English and Linguistics
Film and Media Studies Interdisciplinary Studies 
German International Language and Culture Studies
History History
Journalism Communication
Linguistics English and Linguistics
Media Production Communication
Medieval Studies Interdisciplinary Studies 
Philosophy English and Linguistics
Political Science Political Science
Professional Writing English and Linguistics
Public Relations Communication
Religious Studies History
Sociology Anthropology and Sociology
Spanish International Language and Culture Studies
Spanish for the Professions International Language and Culture Studies
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Interdisciplinary Studies


All certificates require a minimum GPA of 2.00 for graduation.  Minimum grades in courses required to complete a certificate are at least a C-.  Each program will specify the number of courses that must be completed in residency in order to earn a certificate.  You can see specific certificate program information in Program Descriptions in this catalog; for additional questions, contact the sponsoring department.



Civic Education and Public Advocacy Political Science
Cultural Resource Management Certificate Anthropology
International Studies Interdisciplinary Studies 
Peace and Conflict Studies Political Science
Teaching English as a New Language English and Linguistics
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Interdisciplinary Studies 

Degree Requirements and Academic Regulations

The following rules apply for the College of Liberal Arts.  Where College regulations are stricter than PFW Academic Regulations, the College regulations apply.  

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) and the Bachelor of Science Degree (BSCJ)

 In addition to the General Education Requirements and the requirements for your major found in Program Descriptions, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  1.  Successful completion of Parts A through D listed below.
  2.  At least 30 credits in upper-level courses as defined by the departments offering the courses.
  3. A grade of C- or higher in all department courses required for the major, and an overall GPA of 2.00 or higher for all courses required for the major.
  4. A sufficient number of elective credits to bring the total number of credits counting toward graduation to 120.
  5. Residency requirements for a Bachelor’s degree: registration in and completion of at least 32 credits of resident course credit at the 2000+ level or above, including at least 15 resident credits at the 3000+ level or above in courses applicable to the major.
  6. Normally, you must complete the entire final year at PFW.  However with the approval of the College and satisfaction of the resident credit requirement, you may complete the remaining requirements at another approved College or university and have the credits transferred back to PFW.
  7. You must register, either in residence or absentia, as a candidate for the desired degree during the academic session immediately preceding its conferral.

Part A:  Introduction to the Liberal Arts (3 credits)

This team-taught course (IDIS 10605) integrates the perspectives of at least two different disciplines from the liberal arts in an exploration of a specific issue, problem, or topic (e.g., place, citizenship, identity, social change). The course will be taught by two faculty members representing different disciplinary perspectives.  

Part B:  Second Semester Writing, Research, and Methods Class (3 credits)

Effective written communication is an essential skill that transcends major, discipline, or degree.  Courses that fulfill this requirement allow students to deepen their understanding of effective written communication practices, either in general or within their primary field(s) of study.  Consequently, in addition to your General Education writing course (ENGL 13100 or equivalent), you are required to complete ENGL 23301 or an equivalent second writing course approved for this purpose by individual departments and the College.  In general, these second writing courses are developed to introduce students to the types of writing they will do in their respective fields.  Approved equivalent options for majors within the College of Liberal Arts are:  ENGL 20201, HIST 21700, ILCS 30000, POL 20700 or WOST 23000. 

Part C:  International Language (12 credits)

Proficiency in another language and knowledge of the cultural norms, habits, and modes of thought associated with them is crucial to success in today’s globalized world. Students must achieve fourth-semester proficiency in an international language. This can be achieved by completing the fourth semester of a four-semester international language sequence, which is composed of two courses at the first-year level and two courses at the second-year level. The College of Liberal Arts offers courses in: Arabic, French, German, Japanese, Latin, and Spanish. Students are strongly encouraged to begin the international language requirement as early as possible. Students who have studied a foreign language in high school must complete the international language placement process before enrolling in language classes.

Students who place into and pass a PFW language course at the second-semester level or higher are eligible to apply for special credit for courses at preceding levels in the sequence. Students will need to contact the Department of International Language & Culture Studies to apply for special credits. Students who test out of all four semesters of the international language requirement may also opt to not take an additional language course but will not receive any special credits. Students may also demonstrate proficiency by placing into a higher-level course.

Non-native speakers of English may consult the Department of International Language and Culture Studies for information about demonstrating fourth-semester proficiency in Arabic, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish or the Department of English and Linguistics for proficiency in Latin.  For all other international languages, submit an application to the Director of Advising for the College of Liberal Arts Student Success Center. The application may be found by visiting the College’s Student Success Center.

Part D:  Thematic Requirements (15 credits)

Students will take one course in each of these five areas to ensure that they have an opportunity to deepen their traditional liberal arts education while also preparing for a culturally diverse, technologically advanced, and increasingly globalized and complex world. 

  1. Gender, Sexuality, Race, and/or Ethnicity:  Credits 3
  2. Conflict and Cooperation:  Credits 3
  3. Institutions and Behavior:  Credits 3
  4. Regional/Geographic Study:  Credits 3
  5. Digital Humanities/Public Humanities:  Credits 3
  1.  A single course may not be used to fulfill more than one of the five thematic requirements. 
  2.  Courses taken to fulfill the five thematic requirements must come from courses offered under at least three different course prefixes.
  3.  At least one course must come from the list of courses approved as dealing exclusively or primarily with a Non-Western culture or cultures.
  4. No credits can share between General Education requirements and Thematic requirements.
  5. Up to six credits can share between student’s Major requirements and the Thematic requirements.  In the case of a student who is pursuing a double major within COLA, that student may share a total of up to 12 credits between the requirements for the two majors and the Thematic requirements:  up to six credits can be shared with the first major, and up to six credits can be shared with the second major.
  6. No credits can share between Part B or Part C and any Thematic requirement.
  7. New courses approved and added to the Thematic requirement list in future catalogs may also satisfy current requirements as specified.

Link to College of Liberal Arts Thematic Courses  

Additional Degree Information:

Along with the PFW Academic Regulations, the following information also applies to the College of Liberal Arts:

1. Undistributed Transfer Credit: 

Undistributed transfer credit (for courses not equivalent to PFW courses) may be used to satisfy general education requirements and distribution requirements and may be counted in the degree program where appropriate. Contact the Lead Advisor in the College of Liberal Arts Student Success Center as soon as possible to confirm the application of any undistributed transfer credit you are awarded. Properly distributing transfer credit will help students avoid enrolling in duplicate or overlapping courses. 

2. Credit Restrictions: 

a. You may count no more than 4 credits in: 

  • HPER activity courses (i.e., HPER 11100, 11700, 11900, 12100, 13300, 13501, 15000, 15900, 16500, 18100, 18500, 19000, 21100, 21701, 25001, 29000) 

b. You may count no credit toward a major in: 

  • Courses that provide only surveys of career opportunities (i.e., AGR 10100, BUS 10000, EDU 30000 (except when offered as Invitation to Teaching), 21000, HSRV 10000, VM 10200) 
  • Courses designed to provide a skill not required to complete the major 

3. Graduation with Distinction: 

Graduation with distinction. To be a candidate for the bachelor’s degree with distinction, the student must have a minimum of 65 resident credits included in the computation of the cumulative GPA. The minimum cumulative GPA for graduation with highest distinction from a bachelor’s degree program shall be at least 3.95 (A = 4.00). The minimum cumulative GPA for graduation with distinction from a bachelor’s degree program shall be at least 3.80 (A = 4.00). The required GPA, calculated each spring as detailed above, also applies to degrees for the following summer sessions and fall semester.  

4. Conferring of Degrees: 

Degrees are granted after the close of each academic session.

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