Designed, approved, and implemented by FSU’s world-class faculty

Liberal Studies for the 21st Century helps students to engage and refine their skills in the areas of critical and creative thinking as well as information literacy and fluency. FSU’s innovative curriculum allows students to work with faculty in exploring and participating in cutting-edge scholarly and creative work across a wide range of disciplines. The close cooperation between FSU’s students and faculty fosters an ecology of learning that draws upon the life of the mind while helping students to become ethical, responsible, productive, cultured, and successful citizens of the world.

The Liberal Studies for the 21st Century program at Florida State University builds an educational foundation that will enable FSU graduates to thrive intellectually and materially and to engage critically and effectively in their communities. In this way Liberal Studies courses provide a comprehensive intellectual foundation and transformative educational experience, helping FSU students to become:

  • competent analytical and flexible thinkers and lifelong learners;
  • critical analysts of quantitative and logical problems;
  • critical readers and clear, creative, and convincing communicators;
  • critical analysts of theories and evidence about social forces and social experience;
  • critical analysts of theories and evidence about historical events and forces;
  • thoughtful patrons of and participants in cultural practices;
  • ethically engaged citizens and logical thinkers;
  • effective interpreters of scientific results and critical analysts of claims about the natural world; and
  • critical thinkers, creative users of knowledge for professional practice, and independent learners.


The Liberal Studies for the 21st Century plan was initially designed by the following members of the Liberal Studies Revision Task Force:

  • Matthew Shaftel (Music), Chair
  • Karen Laughlin (Dean of Undergraduate Studies)
  • Helen Burke (English and Chair of the Honors Committee)
  • Robert Coleman (Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance)
  • David Cooper (Economics)
  • Susan Fiorito (Business and chair of the University Curriculum Commitee)
  • Ramonda Horton-Ikard (Communications)
  • Thomas Houpt (Natural Sciences)
  • Jennifer Koslow (History and Chair of the Undergraduate Policy Commitee)
  • Reginald Perry (Engineering)
  • J. Piers Rawling (Philosophy)
  • Greg Riccardi (Communications/ NAtural Science)
  • Ned Stuckey-French (English)
  • Matthew Goff and Aline Kalbian (Religion)

The plan has been approved, revised, shaped, and implemented by the members of the FSU Faculty Senate, Liberal Studies Coordinating Committee, the Liberal Studies Board, the E-Series Board, faculty focus groups, and student focus groups. In addition, there was critical input and support from Provost Garnett Stokes.


We would like to acknowledge the work of faculty and student committees at the following institutions who provided inspiration and guidance for the Liberal Studies for the 21st Century curriculum:

  • American Library Association
  • American Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Canadian Council of Chief Executives
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Ithaca College
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers
  • Portland State University
  • State University of New York
  • University of California, Berkley
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Wisconsin