September 17, 2018

Liberal Arts at Purdue streamlines degree options, enhances value

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts is introducing a new program that will allow students to complete two bachelor’s degrees without extending their time to graduate.

 Degree+ allows students outside of the College of Liberal Arts to complete a bachelor’s degree in their chosen major while also adding a liberal arts degree to their plan of study. The program is open to students in any academic college on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.

“Purdue prides itself a leader in providing value in higher education. Degree+ expands upon the idea of value in higher education,” said David A. Reingold, the Justin S. Morrill Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Alongside the university’s commitment to holding tuition costs steady, Degree+ offers students more breadth in their undergraduate education by combining their studies across colleges along a streamlined path that does not require more than a traditional four-year course of study.

“While we will offer some combinations as ‘thought-starters’ for students, my expectation is that their preferences and interests will craft meaningful combinations to complete their studies and prepare them for success in their careers.”

With Degree+, majors outside the College of Liberal Arts will fulfill all University Core Curriculum requirements and all major requirements for their first degree. These students will not be required to complete the liberal arts core curriculum, only the courses specific to their chosen liberal arts major. This core waiver will make adding the liberal arts degree more manageable to students, who will receive two degrees from Purdue: a bachelor’s degree from their original college and a bachelor of arts from the College of Liberal Arts.

A student in Purdue Polytechnic Institute might combine a degree in aviation with one in political science to help them learn about policy implications for that heavily regulated industry. Or a student in game development and design might add a degree in creative writing, preparing them to craft story narratives for a game while also building its technical elements.

“Purdue Polytechnic students can benefit from liberal arts studies as a way to improve the critical thinking, creativity and logic skills that will aid their success in an ever-changing technology landscape,” said Gary Bertoline, dean of Purdue Polytechnic Institute. “I look forward to discovering what our students accomplish with this newest opportunity to enhance their technology education and earn a second degree in the new Degree+ program.”

A student in the College of Science majoring in computer science might add a degree in philosophy, exploring the logic that underlies the technology, as well as the ethical implications of advances like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“Through Degree+, our students will be able to seamlessly add a second major that will develop their communication skills and broaden their studies. Ultimately, their enhanced professional skill set will distinguish them from the competition,” said Patrick J. Wolfe, the Frederick L. Hovde Dean of the College of Science and Miller Family Professor of Statistics and Computer Science. “I look forward to witnessing the giant leaps our graduates can take by integrating sciences and the arts.”

The Degree+ program is the latest undergraduate curricular innovation from the College of Liberal Arts. It follows Degree in 3, which allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree in three years, and the Cornerstone Integrated Liberal Arts certificate program, which exposes non-liberal arts students to transformative texts and prepares them to communicate more effectively.

Interested students should meet with their academic advisor to discuss the option of adding a second degree under Degree+. 

Writer: Joseph Paul, 765-494-9541, 

Sources: David Reingold,

Gary Bertoline,

Patrick Wolfe,

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