Liberal Arts and Science (LAS), Level, and Breadth Course Review
Liberal Arts and Science (LAS), level, and breadth designations help L&S undergraduate students find courses to meet their graduation requirements. This document explains these requirements and the process by which L&S and non-L&S departments can add, change, or remove LAS, level or breadth designations.
Liberal Arts and Science (LAS) requirement: Undergraduate L&S students must complete at least 108 degree credits in LAS courses. The “C” designation is used to help L&S students identify courses that count toward this requirement.
Level requirements: Undergraduate L&S students must complete at least 60 credits in Intermediate or Advanced level work. Courses are designated with an “E” (Elementary), “I” (Intermediate), and “A” (Advanced) to help L&S students identify courses that count towards that requirement.
Breadth requirements. L&S undergraduate students must take breadth requirements that exceed campus General Education requirements. A BABS (also known as BABS07) worksheet outlines L&S requirements for both the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts for students matriculating 2007 or later.
Request to add, change, or remove LAS, level and breadth designations.
The College of Letters and Science curriculum committee determines Liberal Arts and Science (LAS), level and breadth designations. Most L&S courses are automatically assigned LAS designation, and must request level and breadth designations through the process outlined below. Academic units outside L&S may request that the course proposal be considered for LAS designation, level and breadth through the process below.
How to request to add, change, or remove LAS, level and breadth
- Submit a proposal through the Online Course Proposal System. Edits can be made in the "Designations" tab.
- For units outside L&S, include a justification as to how this course contributes to the Liberal Arts and Science. The justification should refer to the Criteria for Liberal Arts and Sciences, and can be included in the proposal form, or uploaded as an attached cover letter in Online Course Proposal system.
- Level designation. All LAS course must also have a level: Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced.
Departments usually offer undergraduate courses at a variety of levels, to progress students through introductory learning in the discipline, through to degree-level mastery expected of graduates. The level designation on a course should reflect the discipline-based depth of learning in a course, and how much the learning builds on other knowledge, skills, and experiences (usually via introductory coursework). The designation meets an L&S degree requirement designed to encourage depth of learning to compliment the “breadth” of learning across disciplines with which we often associate a liberal arts degree. Students are required students to complete at least 60 credits in courses with the Intermediate and Advanced level. L&S Curriculum Committee members recognizes the determination of appropriate level is best made in the department, however they do check to ensure that the prerequisite on the course aligns with the proposed level. Members typically expect courses with no prerequisites and lower numbers to be elementary (since they are not building on prior courseswork), and they usually expect to see sensible prerequisites on Intermediate and Advanced level courses, to ensure students are adequately prepared for more advanced work.
As a quick summary:
Elementary courses have predominantly introductory material, are usually open to all students (including first year students), and are numbered 100-299. Intermediate level (numbered 300-499) and Advanced level (numbered 500-699) courses should have sensible prerequisites to reflect this gradual mastery of material.
- Breadth designation: If breadth designation is also sought, it should be indicated on the proposal (also in the L&S designations tab). The justification section should explain how the course contributes to general principles to understanding the world through the Arts, Humanities, or the Social, Natural, Physical, or Biological Sciences. For more information, please see: What is the most appropriate breadth designation for a course my department is proposing?
- Include a syllabus that includes weekly lecture topics and subjects covered by them, readings, and method of student evaluation
- Submitting the proposal will forward it to the L&S Curriculum Committee for review.
A list of "Frequently Asked Questions about L&S Course Designations" is available. If your questions are not found in this document, please contact the L&S Curriculum Committee chair or Kimbrin Cornelius (klcornelius<at>ls.wisc.edu) for more information.