Degree Requirements for the Online BA in Liberal Arts
The Liberal Arts major is an interdisciplinary degree designed to deliver the University’s signature knowledge of an integrated view of the modern disciplines in light of the knowledge and experience of consciousness. This view is introduced in the first course in the major, “The Science and Technology of Consciousness,” and then further elaborated throughout the major.
Two courses specifically look at the integration of human physiology with consciousness and the integration of physics with consciousness. Students are also required to take courses in mathematics, health, as well as the humanities and social sciences. In a final senior project, they demonstrate their ability to integrate two or more fields on the basis of their deepening knowledge and experience of consciousness.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates will be able to:
- Display improvements in perception, thinking, feeling, and overall growth of consciousness.
- Display a healthy and optimal quality of life that allows them to get through their daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress.
- Apply unifying principles within and across disciplines to synthesize ideas, integrate divergent perspectives, and understand what they have learned in light of their own consciousness.
- Evaluate their confidence in a thesis or judgment on the basis of logic, reliable evidence, ethical values, and openness to alternative assumptions and points of view.
- Respond to and express ideas, feelings, and information in speech, text, and other media.
To graduate with a degree in the liberal arts students must successfully complete 42 credits of coursework to include:
STC 108 The Science and Technology of Consciousness (5 credits)
Following instruction in the Transcendental Meditation technique, this is the first course every new undergraduate student takes at the University. This course introduces students to three fundamental sources of knowledge that can be used together to evaluate any idea: personal experience, scientific reasoning, and traditional wisdom. On the basis of evidence from all three sources, a new consciousness-based framework is introduced as a new way of viewing the world and addressing its challenges.
LA 100 Creating a Daily Routine for Maximum Effectiveness (1 credit)
PH 101 Physiology is Consciousness (4 credits)
The course will explore the new paradigm in science that the “Physiology is Consciousness.” Current concepts of mind and body will be understood in terms of this new paradigm. This course will present our facts of brain structure and function in light of Maharishi Vedic Science and the discovery of Veda and the Vedic Literature in human physiology done by Tony Nader, MD, PhD. We will examine how our brain constructs reality at every moment and how the experience of unboundedness – the Self of every individual – can transform our physiology and awaken the total creative potential of the brain in enlightenment, which is the birthright of every human being.
PHYS 310 Foundations of Physics and Consciousness (4 credits)
This course gives a deep and non-mathematical understanding of the differences between classical and quantum physics. It explains the meaning and mechanics of unification and symmetry, and the main concepts of unified quantum field theories and superstring theory. It shows that at the basis of the universe lies a completely unified field, a self- interacting entity from which all particles and forces arise through the process of spontaneous symmetry breaking. The course gives students experience and understanding of the interconnectedness between the laws of physics, the universe, and themselves. (4 credits)
MATH 130 Quantitative Reasoning (4 credits)*
Quantitative reasoning is a critical tool in the modern world for analyzing and interpreting quantitative information in the context of real-world problems and issues, including issues such as budgeting, taxation, loans, investment returns, the effects of inflation, even choosing cell phone plans. Students will develop a repertoire of number-related skills for assessing the reliability of data presented and for arriving at their own conclusions from these data. Topics include: estimation, units and conversion, basic geometric concepts, simple descriptive statistics, constructing and interpreting graphs, linear and exponential growth, and ratios and percentages. Students will develop their knowledge of calculating and presenting personally meaningful information with spreadsheets.
WTG 192 College Composition 2 or WTG 195 Writing for Professional Development (4 credits)*
FOR 431 Higher States of Consciousness (2 credits)
This course explores the unfoldment of higher states of human consciousness — the full realization of your own limitless potential — as described by Maharishi and as experienced naturally and spontaneously by Transcendental Meditation practitioners and by people throughout history. The course examines the experiences belonging to each state, the developmental processes that culture each state, pertinent research, and practical outcomes of these experiences in daily life, thereby providing an overview of the range of possible experiences on the way to full enlightenment. This course is question- and discussion-driven, with an emphasis on connecting this understanding of higher states to your own experiences.
LA 400 Senior Project (4-8 credits)
FOR 103 Health-Related Fitness (2 credits)*
This course presents the latest knowledge from Western science and the Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care program concerning the optimum daily routine for establishing the foundation for lifelong excellent health and growing enlightenment. The major focus is on the details of the ideal routine of sleep, diet, exercise, meaningful activity, recreation, and the importance of the regular experience of pure consciousness for optimum health and evolution.
One of the following Creative Thinking Seminars:
FA 204 CCTS Quest for Self Knowledge
Explore your own quest for self-knowledge in the light of the wisdom shared in mythology, philosophy, and psychology. Drawing upon the insights of scholars of myth like Joseph Campbell, we will identify the universal stages of the quest archetype: the hero or heroine’s journey as they evolve to higher states of awareness. We will culture critical thinking skills by analyzing ancient and modern worldviews, theories of consciousness and their applications, myths and movies, and your own life. In the culminating course project, create and potentially perform your own mythic stories reflecting the transformation of consciousness. We will explore these questions: What is the philosopher’s quest? What can modern psychology reveal about the mind? Why do archetypes transform consciousness? How can we apply ancient archetypes to modern life? (4 credits)
MC-W250 CCTS Power of the Word
In this course, students will be introduced to persuasive communication. Methods of evaluating and responding to arguments will be covered. Students will learn the fundamentals of effective speech, writing, and presentation, and examine those fundamentals in the contexts of storytelling, activism, advertising, and business. (4 credits)
PHYS 297 CCTS Philosophy of Science
In this course, we examine the nature and scope of the scientific method, which is the systematic, repeatable empirical approach to acquiring knowledge through the discovery and testing of hypotheses against experimental evidence. On this basis, we can understand the universality of the scientific process and appreciate the scientific character of modern science and of Maharishi Vedic Science. The important contrast between normal science and paradigm-change is studied with reference to the scientific study of consciousness and the special issues this raises. We consider whether science is in conflict with religion or whether there is, in fact, a deep underlying harmony. And finally, we explore the implications of advanced physics for the scientific study of consciousness. This course satisfies the graduation requirements for a humanities course and for a course in Creative and Critical Thinking. (4 credits)
Plus eight (8) additional upper division course credits from at least two separate degree
MGT 405 Cross-Cultural Communication (4 credits)
Ever increasing globalization makes it imperative that students understand the different cultures in their world. This course provides frameworks useful in classifying cultures and understanding cultural norms and traditions. Analyzing case studies and participating in workshops and presentations enable students to establish patterns of behavior that facilitate cross-cultural communication.
WTG 195 Writing for Professional Development (4 credits)
This course prepares students to compose and edit the kinds of writing done in the real world, whether you are a non-profit or for-profit employee, a manager, or an entrepreneur. In addition, students propose a final project for their degree which ties together conceptual frameworks from two or more fields and shows their application to a real-world challenge. Types of writing learned include reflective writing, emails, proposals, position papers, and research papers. Prerequisite: COMP I or demonstrated competence in an essay.
SL P300 Ecology of Leadership for Life-Work (4 credits)
This course aims to uncover student’s uniquely-connective places in an evolving world. With the understanding that 21st-century leadership firstly involves managing personal energies and becoming a more integrated person, in which we become more of who we already are, this course explores an ecology of leadership for life-work. A Dharma Academy, of sorts, this course aims to “wake up” students to life-work potentialities and then offer initial support to integrate life, work, and service. A guiding principle is that personal development, encapsulated in this uniquely-connective place, anchors the evolution of consciousness in ourselves, our communities, and the world, itself. Whether this is called dharma to embrace Buddhist and Hindu terms, destino in Latin American terms, purpose in Christian terms, or the telos of Greek philosophy, the cultivation of this calling occurs in layers. Layer upon layer, this course adheres to Maharishi’s advice to start with the highest first and Thoreau’s advice to build castles in the air, then to put the concrete foundation under these subtle castles. Students craft an individual inquiry that shapes the “learning territory” of their life-work.
SL P303 Integral Theory (4 credits)
Integral theory provides a robust framework to address the dilemmas of the 21st century in a sustainable manner. By empowering the whole person and the whole system, this approach gleans deeply into the relationship between self, culture, society, and nature to facilitate the development and transformation of individuals, organizations, and communities. In this course, we learn and apply the intricacies of integral theory to ourselves, in relationship, and in our service to the world. In doing so, we develop an ecology of transformative practices that support transforming mindsets, cultures, and social systems in service of sustainable change. We also learn about transformative initiatives, locally and globally, that utilize this approach to address the environmental, cultural, and social challenges of the 21st century and beyond.
SL P404 How to Create Social Change (4 credits)
We have the solutions to create a sustainable future, but it isn’t happening nearly fast enough. This course studies what works to achieve big social change to make a sustainable future happen. This is a ‘brains-on,’ practical course. The class will meet with and interview an exciting range of highly successful change-makers in industry, campaign groups, and government. Some theory of social change will also be reviewed. Working as a team, students will develop their own understanding of social change and create a definitive report on the topic. We will also look at the many opportunities for graduates to build meaningful careers in this field.
SL P101 Global Sustainability (4 credits)
How do we set about structuring a sustainable living environment that can be maintained on a global scale for all future generations? This course is about the big picture that drives the global sustainable living agenda. It provides a broad perspective on the problems we face as a species. We study what can and should be done to transform the current trends affecting population growth, biodiversity, climate, energy supply and consumption, food and water security and other threats to sustainability. We explore the shift in mindset or consciousness that is needed to take us from regarding the environment and an expendable resource to treasuring it as an entity with which we must live in harmony.
FA 384 World Art, Past and Present (4 credits)
Explore glorious traditions and contemporary expressions of world art from Indian, Chinese, Islamic, African, and Native American cultures. In the process, become familiar with major world cultures, which is valuable in today’s global society. We will discover how art mirrors both unique cultural values and universal values such as the wholeness of life in higher states of consciousness. We will analyze how world art continues to inspire modern artists. We will explore these questions: How are the worldviews of traditional cultures and the modern west fundamentally different? What is the cultural impact of contemporary world artists? What are the functions of sacred art? How are forces of nature embodied in Indian art, Taoist and Buddhist art, Islamic architecture, African masks, and Native American art?
FA 381 Western Art (4 credits)
Explore the history of consciousness through the history of western art. We will enjoy great achievements of art and architecture from prehistoric cultures, Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, and later periods. In each of these cultures, the quest for the divine created art that continues to inspire human consciousness. We will analyze how modern artists have been influenced by this art. We will explore these questions: How did sacred sites connect humanity with the cosmos? How are masculine and feminine modes of awareness expressed in mother goddesses, patriarchal gods, Mother Mary, and modern art? How do the styles of Greek art mirror stages in the evolution of consciousness? How does Christian architecture seek to create a heavenly kingdom on earth.
MC W345 Creative Process (4 credits)
In Creative Process, students study their own creative process as well as what artists, writers, and filmmakers have shared about creative inspiration. The purpose of this class is to break boundaries and rediscover an easy relationship with the inner Muse. The primary textbook is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The Syllabus Reader contains material by a wide range of authors such as Annie Dillard, Jorge Luis Borges, Eudora Welty, Ann Patchett, Patricia Hampl, William Saroyan, John Ciardi, Frank Conroy, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, William Stafford, Rainer Maria Rilke, Lu Chi, Mark Strand, Jane Hirshfield, Billy Collins, Elizabeth Gilbert, plus interviews with great authors by Bill Moyers and material from creativity experts Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg. A variety of guest lecturers working in different media will come to the class to discuss their work, career paths, and creative process. Students will keep a daily journal and engage in various creative projects during the course. As a final project, students produce a portfolio and can choose to participate in a group installation/exhibit on creativity.