The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Columbia College Chicago offers eight undergraduate degrees, each preparing students for successful careers, graduate school, and beyond.
Here are the Bachelor of Arts degrees currently available in our departments:
Art and Materials Conservation
Department of Science and Mathematics
Until fairly recently, a career in the field of art and materials conservation and preservation was generally attained through an apprenticeship with a master conservator. Now, such a career requires intensive, formal education.
The BA in Art and Materials Conservation in the Department of Science and Mathematics is steeped in science as well as the arts. Developed with the guidelines of the American Institute for Conservation, it also provides the kind of hands-on education one would expect in a degree at Columbia College Chicago. The first such undergraduate program in the Midwest, and one of only three in the U.S., the program in Art and Materials Conservation offers students intense training in chemistry, materials science, studio art, and the humanities, as well as a year of study and hands-on practice at the Lorenzo de’ Medici Italian International Institute in Florence, Italy.
Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for advanced study, for work in the field, and they also will have gained a solid foundation in the philosophy and ethics of conservation and preservation. Further, students will have gained a deep understanding of the scientific basis of art and materials conservation.
Department of ASL-English Interpretation
Students working toward a BA in ASL-English Interpretation study in a close-knit, multicultural environment in which they can pursue and contribute directly to the advancement of meaningful human communication and effective interpersonal interaction. We've assembled a core of both deaf and hearing teachers who possess broad experience as interpreters, educators, and advocates—teachers who have also developed extensive relationships with Chicago's Deaf and interpreting communities. Our undergraduate degree program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education.
Our graduates are in high demand as sign language interpreters in such fields as the performing arts, education, business, media, health care, and many others. More importantly, however, graduates of the Department of ASL-English Interpretation are educated professionals whose broad understanding of social and theoretical issues helps frame the public's understanding of the challenges and vibrancy of the Deaf community.
Creative Writing - Nonfiction
Department of Creative Writing
In the Creative Writing - Nonfiction major, students learn to employ the elements of fiction writing in nonfiction settings, allowing them to express their personal, social, ethical, and political ideas. Students develop skills that enable them to write from a personal ethos and with an authentic voice. While working toward completing the degree, students also read from the many subgenres of creative nonfiction: the personal essay, memoir, travelogue, political argument, and cultural critique. The major also prepares students to work in a variety of writing-based professions.
Creative Writing - Poetry
Department of Creative Writing
The Creative Writing - Poetry major helps students discover their own voices as poets, and the program helps students develop the knowledge and craft necessary to write and publish poetry of power and sophistication. Students acquire the skills in editing, critical writing, and professional writing necessary to find employment upon graduation. They also are prepared for entry into distinguished MFA programs, such as those at Brown University, Bard College, and the University of Iowa.
Creative Writing – Fiction
Department of Creative Writing
The Creative Writing – Fiction major is structured around the nationally acclaimed Story Workshop method of teaching writing, originated and developed by the department's former chairperson, John Schultz. The Story Workshop courses teach the writing of fiction and creative nonfiction.
The department also offers a variety of critical reading and writing classes, as well as elective specialty writing courses such as science fiction, children's writing, creative nonfiction, and publishing, on a level and scope unequaled in undergraduate programs. Graduates have published widely in all of these areas, and possess training enabling them to obtain jobs in a broad range of communications-related fields.
Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences
Cultural Studies at Columbia College Chicago explores culture in its richly varied forms and processes from an interdisciplinary perspective. The program seeks to help students understand aesthetic, political, social, and economic relationships between cultural production and reception. It also considers the civic dimension of cultural practice by viewing these practices from the standpoints of ethics and social justice. Finally, the program strongly emphasizes the active involvement of all forms of cultural knowledge and social action in the everyday life of local and global communities.
Early Childhood Education
Our Early Childhood Education (ECE) program prepares students to be creative, responsive, and reflective certified teachers of young children (birth through third grade). Based on the Reggio Emilia Approach, we emphasize the rights of the child, teacher reflection, and collaboration, as well as child development in the contexts of family, school, and community. Children are viewed expansively, as evidenced by the concept of the “hundred languages of children,” to represent the multiple symbol systems they use to communicate.
The Reggio Emilia Approach also embraces the arts and gives them a prominent role in teaching and learning. Thus, in line with the rich opportunities in the visual, performing, communication, and liberal arts and sciences at Columbia, our students also take coursework that focuses on one of the arts or an area of language and culture. This focus area enriches and complements students’ work in the classroom.
To learn more about Columbia College Chicago and how to apply, please visit our Admissions page.