Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies Associate of Arts (A.A.) Online Degree

Liberal Studies

Earn a degree that's tailored to your interests and your schedule.

In a world with an ever-changing job market, an associate degree in liberal studies will give you the broad knowledge and in-demand skills you need to thrive in wide range of careers. PennWest California's liberal studies program can be completed fully online, which means you can build a strong foundation for your future from anywhere and at any time.

 Designed for students whose academic interests span traditional liberal arts boundaries, PennWest California's accredited associate degree in liberal studies combines a range of courses in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.

Build marketable skills as a liberal studies major at PennWest California.

  • Develop the ability to think analytically, understand various cultures and their histories, and appreciate artistic responses to our world.
  • Be able to adapt to changing employment, personal and social demands.
  • Take part in internship opportunities to gain professional experience and apply classroom knowledge to the real world.


Flexibility: PennWest California's online liberal studies degree provides a flexible degree completion option if your circumstances have prevented you from taking a traditional degree route. The program is popular with adult learners trying to balance work and family obligations while pursuing their degree. Online courses make it easy to complete your college degree on a schedule that fits your life.

Customized Curriculum: Choose your courses from a wide range of liberal arts topics in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Whether you're interested in theatre or physics, sociology or computer science, you can tailor your degree to your personal and professional interests.

Lean more about applying

12 Years 
PennWest California has been consistently named one of the best colleges in the Northeast by The Princeton Review.
Of recent PennWest California graduates report that they are employed or in graduate school.
Degree icon

Degree Benefits

As an online undergraduate liberal studies major you will:

  • Establish a solid academic base upon which you can build almost any career.
  • Work with expert professors to develop new research, scholarship and creative projects.
  • Explore a range of interdisciplinary liberal arts
  • Have the power to complete coursework wherever there's an internet connection.
  • Get personalized academic support and career
  • Create pathways to career entry, enhancement or advancement.
Cap icon.

Graduate Outcomes


A liberal studies associate degree opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities. Our program will prepare you for career success in areas such as accounting, advertising, consulting, marketing, public relations and sales. Additionally, PennWest California program alumni have found work in the government, social work and education.

Liberal Studies Online Associate Degree
PennWest California alumni meets with client.

Career Resources

As an online student at PennWest California, you'll have the same great career resources as our on-campus students. PennWest California's Career and Professional Development Center connects you to potential employers through networking events, job shadowing opportunities, job and internship listings, alumni networking and more.

An online liberal studies student at PennWest California studies at computer.

A Top Quality Online Education

Quality online courses at PennWest California have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors. Our Global Online programs are consistently ranked among the Best Online Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Liberal studies students at PennWest California use a screen printer.

Why is a Liberal Arts Education Important?

"[Liberal arts] empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. ... A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills." - The Association of American Colleges and Universities.

Liberal Studies Online Associate Degree Courses

PennWest California's liberal studies courses are delivered fully online and feature a flexible curriculum. You'll explore a variety of subject areas in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, and can complete all degree requirements in two years of full-time study.

Example Courses

The liberal studies curriculum is flexible in nature. The associate degree requires a total of 60 credits (30 in general education, 24 in the major, 6 in electives). Of the 24 credits in the major, 15 credits must be of lower division and 9 must be of upper division.

The required courses in the major are to be selected from the following areas:

Humanities: art, communication studies, English, literature, music, philosophy, Spanish, and theatre.

Natural Sciences: biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, environmental science, mathematics, physical science, and physics.

Social Sciences: anthropology, criminal justice, economics, geography, history, political sciences, psychology, sociology and social work.

Liberal Studies Undergraduate Degrees


Liberal Studies Faculty


This program is overseen by the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and a faculty coordinator of liberal studies.