Students who wish to pursue an individualized, interdisciplinary program of study that cannot be accommodated within another major at Purchase College may apply for admission to the Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts (BALA) program.

Each student works closely with two or more faculty sponsors from different disciplines to design a course of study that meets both the specialized interests of the student and the academic standards of the college.

This degree program appeals especially to students interested in constructing highly individualized and innovative major areas of study. Some examples include bioethics, Mediterranean studies, philosophy of science, and choreography of literature. Students may also work with the faculty in established programs currently offering minors, which could provide core coursework that serves as a basis for a major.


Students in this program must meet General Education requirements for the BA.

Students design a proposed curriculum for the major in collaboration with two or more faculty sponsors. This proposal is reviewed by the BALA committee, which may include faculty representatives from the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of the Arts. Although individualized in nature, all proposals must:

  1. include relevant theoretical and methodological courses in the proposed area(s) of study
  2. incorporate the teaching specialties of the Purchase College faculty
  3. demonstrate why established majors or programs of study at Purchase College cannot accommodate the student’s needs

A senior project is required of all BALA students. Approval of the proposal may be contingent upon inclusion of additional courses recommended by the BALA committee.

Representative Courses

Courses span the entire curriculum at Purchase College, according to the student’s specific area of interdisciplinary study.

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