College of Liberal Arts

Woodbury’s College of Liberal Arts provides students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to help them succeed and thrive in a rapidly changing world, no matter what career and life path they choose.

Individuals with liberal arts degrees lead some of the most successful companies and other organizations in the world today because the liberal arts provide a creative and analytical foundation for the innovation, adaptation, and positive change-making necessary to shape the future.

 

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Find out who we are

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The knowledge you need to lead

Whether you study Computer Science Data Analytics, History, Interdisciplinary Studies, Political Science, Public Safety Administration, or Professional Writing, you will actively engage in your learning process and that of others. The liberal arts are not just about listening and memorizing information. The Liberal arts are student-centered in every way. Liberal arts students collaboratively co-create their education, working closely with faculty and fellow students. This is why liberal arts students succeed so effectively in what they do–both before and after graduation.

Woodbury’s liberal arts students develop practical change-making skills and habits of mind such as these:

  • The inclination to think critically and to analyze and synthesize information thoughtfully and effectively
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • A broadened perspective that underlies creativity, empathy and emotional intelligence
  • The agility to adjust well to inevitable change and ambiguity
  • The ability to work well with an exciting diversity of identities, opinions and goals within team settings and in a diverse society as a whole

Our Majors

Computer Science in Data Analytics

Bachelor of Science | BS

In CSDA, students combine computer science, statistics, and project management with in-depth knowledge of a specific discipline to become expert analysts. This STEM program is designed to help students understand data analysis methodologies, as well as to appreciate, visualize, describe, and analyze data. Data Scientists are being employed in nearly every industry today, from social media to pharmacology to transportation and automation.

CSDA program

History

Bachelor of Arts | BA

The History program offers an interdisciplinary approach with a global perspective and insights from political science and economics. Core seminars in European and Non-European History, as well as the Modern and Early Modern Eras, are complemented by the study of more specialized topics such terrorism. A year-long pair of seminars resulting in a senior thesis, as well as opportunities for practical internships, cap the program.

 History program

Interdisciplinary Studies

Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts | BS/BA

The Interdisciplinary Studies program allows students to build their own major and, as a result, determine the purpose of their own education. By encouraging students to become collaborators in the design of your own learning, Interdisciplinary Studies students receive an exclusive academic experience which enables them to find careers that align closely with their intrinsic motivations.

INDS program

Political Science

Bachelor of Arts | BA

The Political Science program offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of political science with a global perspective and insights from historical study. Core seminars in international relations, comparative politics, political theory, and American politics are complemented by studies in topics such as globalization and terrorism. A year-long pair of seminars resulting in a senior thesis as well as opportunities for practical internships cap the program. The program also includes the study of economics.

Political Science program

Professional Writing

Bachelor of Arts | BA

The Professional Writing program at Woodbury helps students who are passionate about clear and effective writing become the information architects, document designers and cross-cultural communicators needed by industries, businesses, governments and non-profit organizations. Professional writing means making complex ideas, processes or procedures understandable. Most professional writing takes place in exciting, information-driven environments.

Professional Writing program

Public Safety Administration

Bachelor of Science | BS

The need for public safety graduates is greater than ever before and Woodbury’s Public Safety Administration program is ideal for preparing graduates for a career in criminal justice. The program offers a unique, interdisciplinary approach to the study of criminal justice and human behavior, enabling students to evaluate and address the causes of crime as well as the unique challenges facing today’s law enforcement agencies.

PSA program

Library College of Liberal Arts Generic Evergreen Student

Minors in the Liberal Arts

Adding a minor to a student’s major program tells the world, and prospective employers, that the student has broad knowledge and interests, something increasingly attractive in the job market and good for the world as a whole.  The College of Liberal Arts offers four 15-unit minors:

  • Art History
  • Philosophy
  • Professional Writing
  • Urban Studies

At only 15-units, these minors readily fit with all major degree programs across the university.  Once a student has started their lower division General Education courses, they are already on their way to completing a College of Liberal Arts minor.

Learn more about our minors

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Preparing you for your career with real-world experience

All Woodbury students, including those in the College of Liberal Arts, participate in a work experience-based internship. These opportunities provide students with the ability to test their skills and knowledge in real work place environments and provide them with the experience and networking opportunities to launch successful careers.

Alumni Spotlights

Find out more about our incredible students winning national awards, landing exciting internships and jobs, and working on inspiring projects.

For Crystal Ozonian, Interdisciplinary Studies major (class of ‘19), INDS gave her the confidence to continue a college career that had ended at the AA stage. After completing an Associate’s degree at FIDM she planned to stop school altogether. “I thought school wasn’t for me, my grades weren’t great, and I didn’t have confidence.” A family friend who knew Dr. McConnell through the Writing Program suggested Crystal meet with him. The meeting, she explained, was more like a three-hour therapy session, and it changed her self-perception as a student. She began to think she could excel in college, she just hadn’t found the right program. Dr. McConnell observed specific performance patterns in which she received As in classes that interested her, and Cs in others. He helped her develop a three-pronged major program in fashion marketing, fashion design, and, important for Crystal, sustainability. This curricular agenda enabled her to take classes necessary to prepare her for a career that requires flexibility and multiple skill sets. “I believe it’s important to be versed in more than one discipline,” Crystal states, “because someone our age is going to go through so many different jobs, and if you take one major track you won’t be as prepared.”

Crystal also points to INDS courses as important confidence-builders. Writing projects that encouraged her to explore her personal journey helped her develop a future educational trajectory, and career-mapping put her on the right path. She began to speak up, participate, and make connections with other students through group projects. Crystal graduated in 2019 with high honors and plans to attend graduate school. If she hadn’t found INDS she believes she’d still be looking for a job. Instead, she is celebrating her accomplishments with the understanding that she can reach even greater heights.

After bouncing from two universities and five majors, Nicole Greenwood, Interdisciplinary Studies major (class of ’19), was on the verge of dropping out entirely. Luckily, she met with Dr. Will McConnell who told her that the attributes that made it difficult to find the right major were qualities the INDS program celebrated. “That first meeting with Will was hugely inspirational,” Nicole states, “by the time I decided other majors weren’t for me I was in too deep, I’d have to stay in college two to three years longer and choose a major that wouldn’t recognize the classes I’d already completed.”

Nicole was concerned she’d have to focus on some interests and leave out others she felt were integral to building a strong graduating portfolio. She was ready to leave college altogether when she learned that INDS fit her entrepreneurial vision. “INDS is for students who couldn’t triple major,” she observes, but quickly clarifies that INDS is about more than just finding a major that can get you a job. “It’s about figuring out what you want to provide to the world.” Nicole’s combined studies in media technology, 3D design, and communications appealed to the solar company NRG Clean Power, which recruited her to act as a project coordinator. She eventually wants to obtain her contractor’s license and work with her research partner, INDS major Kendra Quandra, to build sustainable developments.

Gigi Manukyan HostingGigi Manukyan, a Political Science graduate (class of ’19), focused her research on genocide, mass atrocity, and conflict resolution. This led her to work with the Center for Leadership and Student UN to bring two speakers to campus: Joseph Alexander, a holocaust survivor who told of his experience in twelve concentration camps, and historian Daniel Ohanian, who discussed the impact of genocide on Ottoman Armenians and how it shapes the Armenian experience today. “There is nothing more powerful than hearing those stories, they will haunt me for the rest of my life. They made me realize the human, personal story behind genocide. You hear their emotion, and see the pain in their eyes.” She cites the Political Science program’s small size and great connection with professors as motivators for taking her education into her own hands and mining opportunities. For these two events, she gained skills in organizing a political event. She conducted background research, made connections with speakers, coordinated efforts between clubs, and facilitated outside news media to attend and report on the event (the Los Angeles Times reported on the Joseph Alexander event). After graduation, Gigi entered an internship in the NGO Post Conflict Research Center in Sarajevo with a focus on Bosnia’s nation-building and efforts to stem violence from resurging in the country. She then worked as editor-in-chief of Entertainment Scoop, an online celebrity news/ lifestyle content site for a period of time before stepping down during the pandemic to study for the LSAT.

Read more

Samantha Mazzola on left, Gigi Manukyan on right.

Samantha Mazzola, a History graduate (class of ’19), cites the program’s small size and the personalized attention she received in directed study classes as experiences she’ll always remember. “Being in such an intimate environment with classmates from very different backgrounds and perspectives really hones your diplomacy skills,” Samantha states, recalling that Woodbury’s close, interactive environment helped her forge respect for everyone in her program. She also cited an experience working in a directed study with Professor Douglas Cremer that made her college experience unique from most others. Dr. Cremer and Samantha hold similar interests in Early Medieval Europe and Catholicism, so he crafted a class around that topic, even running the readings past Samantha for her approval. This cooperative effort enabled Samantha to direct her learning, while also benefitting from Dr. Cremer’s mentorship. After leaving Woodbury, Samantha plans to pursue a master’s degree in history and has accepted an offer at San Francisco State University. Her long-term goal is to help other budding historians as a community college professor.

Lorenzo M. Antonio, Professional Writing minor (class of ’19), is a huge Dodgers Fan. In fact, he’s a fan of all L.A. sports teams and aspires to a career in sports journalism. His passion for sports started when he was five and he still loves the feeling of sitting in Dodgers Stadium, hearing the crowd, admiring the teamwork, and observing fellow baseball fans react to surprising plays. His ideal job would be splitting his time working as a play-by-play announcer for the Dodgers and serving as a sports show host (preferably on FS1). Lorenzo graduated in 2019 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, and he states that his decision to be a writing minor was “absolutely, 100%” essential to helping him build the skills needed to move in that direction. Writing helped Lorenzo express his thoughts on paper, which he could then translate into copy for his podcast, Lo-Ro Antonio’s Sportstalk Podcast  https://anchor.fm/lo-ro-antonio.  Lorenzo also has a Woodbury University Sports Center show that airs at 7 am and 4 pm every Thursday. While writing helped him become a young sports talk content producer, he recommends the writing minor to any student who will work on multiple platforms in their future careers.

Student Spotlights

Find out more about our incredible students winning national awards, landing exciting internships and jobs, and working on inspiring projects.

Duncan Anderson, an Interdisciplinary Studies student, has been on the Dean’s list every semester since transferring to Woodbury. He chose the INDS program because he wanted to specify his coursework to his interests and passions, while also obtaining an excellent comprehensive education. Duncan focuses his research on business with concentrations in music management and film marketing, while pursuing acting. For Duncan, acting is not just a vocation. After a series of misfortunate life events, he realized acting not only gave him a way to alleviate stress and explore other mindsets, but also the ability to help inspire others to see the silver lining. He says, “The flexibility of my INDS path is a huge plus because it allows me to explore a combination of particular interests. This opportunity was not available at any other college or even path of academia.”

As with most industries, Covid-19 has made it harder for Duncan to attend to his acting career, but he stays optimistic. “If you truly want something, you will stop at nothing to make it happen. Rain, shine, or pandemic, it’s game on!” he says. His advice to fellow classmates, “If you are having issues believing in yourself due to this pandemic, just know that the world has you here for a reason and you are studying what you love for a reason. All this sounds quite optimistic, but with hard work, dedication, and mastery you’re all learning in class, even online. Let’s keep our heads held high and look at the stars with our feet on the ground!”

Writing minor Jessica Ordaz published her first poem in Cultural Weekly in May 2019. Until recently, Jessica only shared her stories and poetry with family and friends. She now has three poems published and says it feels incredible knowing the general public is reading her work. The publication experience has inspired her to write more. We expect to see a lot more from her in the future. Check out her poem here:

Read her poem

When Interdisciplinary Studies (INDS) major, Faith Auon, was approached to start a radio show on WU Radio, Woodbury’s internet station, she loved the idea. Not wanting to do the show alone, she called upon two friends and now co-hosts, Ava Kramer and Niamh Heatherington, to launch the program, Undressed! The show takes a deep dive into popular culture to reveal the underlying theories and problems, whether they are political, philosophical, or societal. Faith, Ava, and Niamh begin by writing up a loose set of questions and then they dive into research. The best episodes, Faith says, “Happen when the conversation goes in a different direction than originally expected, like when we started out talking about evolving technologies and ended up debating if we would get Elon Musk’s brain chip.” Faith hopes episodes like these stimulate conversation and encourage their listeners to “form their own opinions and philosophies on subjects we talk about.”

Read more

Writing minor Nicholas Haddad published his first poem in Cultural Weekly in May 2019.  Nicholas was MORIA’s Managing Editor and is a Writing minor. He developed his poem, “Pluto,” in response to a class assignment that asked students to write about a time in their life they felt small, using the pseudo-planet Pluto as an analog of that experience. We expect to see a lot more from him in the future. Check out his poem here:

Read his poem

Mike the Poet NEW

Faculty Directory

Our faculty are accomplished, caring teachers dedicated to supporting the success of students throughout their academic journey. They share their professional expertise with students and work closely with them exploring the underlying theory and practical skills required to enter professional practice or pursue advanced study. The Woodbury experience is based on individual faculty attention, close mentoring relationships and a caring, supportive and encouraging environment.

Faculty Directory

Giving Opportunities

The College of Liberal Arts serves a diverse and dynamic group of students, provides a social- and environmental justice-oriented cultural environment for the entire Woodbury community, and maintains relationships with a broad range of community partners beyond the campus.  There are many ways that you can engage with and support these initiatives through direct involvement and financial contribution.

Giving Opportunities

Follow Us on Social Media

Connect with our students and faculty on social media.

Interview with our Dean

Listen to an interview with the Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Dr. Reuben Ellis, where he talks about the development of his career, the importance of liberal arts education, and his vision for the College on the university’s podcast, Studio 7500.

Our Events

Learn more about upcoming or past events hosted by the College of Liberal Arts. From workshops, to lectures to virtual marathons, there’s plenty to explore. Click the button below to learn more.

CoLA events

University accredited by:

WSCUC: Senior College and University Commission (formerly WASC)

 

The College of Liberal Arts is a member of:

Western Regional Honors Council