Liberal Studies Program > Current Student Resources > LSP Advising Guide

LSP Advising Guide

View frequently asked questions by faculty when advising students about their Liberal Studies Program requirements and learn about the specifics of the program.

Where can I find LSP requirements by major and/or college?

The University Catalog contains the specific LSP requirements per major. The Liberal Studies Program website lists approved courses by LSP area.​

Where can I find LSP course descriptions?

For LSP courses that do NOT have the LSP XXX code, course descriptions can be found in the University Catalog and in Campus Connect.

For LSP coded courses, the process is somewhat different and depends on the particular LSP course in question:

  • LSP 110 / LSP 111 (Chicago Quarter): Typically offered during the autumn quarter, course descriptions are updated in the spring prior to the new academic year. Descriptions for sections offered each quarter can be found under the First Year Program course descriptions.
  • LSP 112 (Focal Point Seminar): Offered during the winter and spring quarters, descriptions of the individual course sections are updated prior to each quarter and can be found under the First Year Program course descriptions.
  • LSP 120 & LSP 121 (Quantitative Reasoning & Technological Literacy (QRTL)): The QRTL requirement is desgined to help student become confident and critical used of quantitative information, developing skills in the use of spreadsheets (Excel), word processors (Word), email, presentation software (PowerPoint), and the Internet. Further information on these two courses can be found on the QRTL website.
  • LSP 200 (U.S. Multiculturalism Seminar): This requirement addressses some dimension of multiculturalism int he context of the United States. There are various LSP 200 sections that examine the contributions of at least three cultural and/or ethinic groups to the ongoing development of the American experience and American society and culture. Examples of course titles can be found on the LSP200 web page.

How do I find what courses a student has already taken or still needs to take to complete their LSP requirements?

To find information about an individual student’s progress toward meeting their LSP requirements, you will need to log on to Campus Connect.

If the student is one of your designated or assigned advisees, you will have access to their Degree Progress Report (DPR). Look in your alphabetical listing of your advisees to find the student of interest, and then scroll over to the far right in this box to find the DPR column. If the student is not one of your official academic advisees, he or she will have to personally log onto Campus Connection to gain access to his or her Degree Progress Report.​

What do I tell transfer students about which LSP requirements need to be met?

Transfer students are responsible for knowing how their transferred credit articulates to their DePaul degree requirements. Each college has devised materials that reflect this, in addition to the DPR (e.g., a credit evaluation form, a degree check sheet, a DARS report). If students change their program/plan or inter‐college transfer, these articulations may change. Students need to keep up with these changes; you are not responsible for this. Do not try to advise transfer students about LSP courses without using these supplementary materials.​

How can double majors fulfill LSP requirements?

Double‐majors are comprised of primary major and a secondary major. The primary major determines which Liberal Studies requirements the student must fulfill. No courses in the primary major may be used for Liberal Studies credit. However, up to 50% of the courses in the secondary major that count toward the primary major and/or Liberal Studies requirements can be double‐counted. If you are an advisor in the student’s secondary major, you should discuss strategies for double‐counting courses. The same strategy would also work for minors.​

What can I do to improve negative attitudes towards LSP requirements and best describe the benefits of LSP?

The Liberal Studies Program offers students opportunities for intellectual exploration, acquisition of cultural capital, and academic skill development. You can significantly improve attitudes about the value of the LSP for students if you spend time explaining advantages of the program. Below are some brief talking points you can use in discussing the LSP with your advisees:

  • Intellectual Exploration: Because of many different academic experiences built into the LSP, taking these courses serve as an efficient way for students to explore different disciplines. This is especially useful for students who are undeclared or considering a second major or a minor in another area. Even students with strong commitments to a major should be encouraged to look for creative ways to connect their domain course selections to their ongoing intellectual interests.
  • Cross‐Disciplinary Exposure: Students with broad knowledge are better equipped to become reflective thinkers and critical problem solvers. The LSP is a great way to build creative and intellectual capabilities, while developing skills essential to future workplace performance.
  • Academic Skill Development: Very few students enter college prepared for the multiple academic challenges they will face. The LSP provides reading, writing, research, and analytical skill development necessary to succeed in college and in the real world. Students should be encouraged to complete their LSP requirements as early in their careers as possible so they can benefit from the foundational expertise these courses can provided – provided their major field requirements do not need to begin in their first year.

How and when is it appropriate to have a student apply for substitution or waiver of a Liberal Studies requirement?

Several questions may arise in the area of SUBSTITUTIONS AND WAIVERS. They include:

If students take a course not approved for LSP credit, is it possible for them to substitute that course and apply it to count for LSP credit?

  • For cases in which the course taken is more advanced (e.g., at the 300 or 400 level), but still was never approved for LSP credit, it is appropriate for a student to consider a course substitution for a relevant domain area. These requests are typically granted if the course appears to meet the relevant learning outcomes and writing expectations of the domain area. To make a substitution request, appropriate documentation (e.g., the course syllabus) should be submitted to the relevant associate dean of the student’s college.

Can transferred courses be moved around to meet different requirements?

  • Transfer students typically have all of their transfer credit articulated to DePaul course work before they see you. If they have met the Illinois Articulation Initiative package, they may have only 6 domain area courses left (two of which must be in Religious Dimensions and two of which must be in Philosophical Inquiry, if they have no courses in those areas at the time of transfer), and then two other domain area electives, along with their junior year experiential learning and senior capstone requirements. They may also ask you to change the placement of transferred credit, from, say, open electives to a LSP domain or the major field. They may also ask to substitute advanced writing courses in place of WRD 103. While these are the most common reasons for requesting a substitution or waiver, there may be others. For more technical questions about transfer student credit, you should consult with your college office.

Do seniors who have not taken the Focal Point Seminar (FPS) still have to take it?

  • If the student is a non‐transfer student who failed to take a FPS in his or her first year, or did take it but failed the course, then yes, he or she must still meet this requirement. Sometimes a student will inter‐college transfer from a school such as Music or Theatre that does not require the FPS into a college that does. In such cases, the student will need to make up this requirement, no matter what his or her academic year standing is. In rare instances, the student may substitute this requirement with an approved LSP course that is of a seminar nature.

Can the Modern Language Option (MLO) be met with AP credit or other tests?

  • Each college accounts for the MLO slightly differently. You may need to consult with a professional advisor or associate dean of the college for details. See below FAQ for more on the MLO.

How does the student (or do I, on behalf of the student) request a LSP substitution or waiver?

  • For all substitution and waiver requests, students need to contact the associate dean of their home college, and provide supporting documentation. This is true even if the course itself is offered by another college.

What is the Modern Language Option?

The Modern Language Option (MLO) is available to all B.A. students who wish to study a modern language beyond the level necessary to meet the College’s language requirement and to B.S. students who wish to study a modern language at any level. Students selecting the MLO may replace, at most, two domain courses with designated modern language courses. Designated modern language courses include courses that are part of a beginning or intermediate sequence, or two advanced courses, depending on the student’s placement or degree being sought. In all cases, students should discuss the MLO with a professional academic advisor as well, to make sure these courses are accounted for correctly on their records.

Students may generally apply MLO courses to any learning domain, but not to both domains in the following pairs: Philosophical Inquiry and Religious Dimensions; Understanding the Past and Self, Society, and the Modern World; Arts and Literature and Scientific Inquiry [the MLO may not substitute for the lab science requirement]. Students majoring in one modern language may use the MLO for study of a second language at the intermediate level or above.​

How do I advise students about the various options for meeting the Experiential Learning requirement?

The most common EL course options include Study Abroad, Domestic Study, Community‐based Service Learning, Career Internships, or Independent Study in either an individual or group research project supervised by a faculty member. Because of the variety of ways in which a student can meet the EL requirement, as well as the variability among the different programs for how the requirement is to be met, many questions can arise when it comes to advising a student about his or her EL requirement:

  • How do I explain and show the ways that STUDY ABROAD courses are used toward Learning Domain or EL requirements?
    • The Study Abroad Program has a website that lists the learning domain and EL equivalencies of every course that is offered by DePaul in its programs
    • Students are of course encouraged to take DePaul‐sponsored programs, but if they choose to enroll directly into a host‐country university or in a study abroad program sponsored by another U.S. college or university, they must secure transfer credit approval from their college and from the Study Abroad Program prior to their departure. The transfer credit approval form also includes the option of using the course in the Liberal Studies Program. Forms and instructions for obtaining the approvals can be found at this webpage
  • Can any four‐credit hour course offered through DePaul’s Study Abroad Program be applied toward EL credit and is there a cap?
    • Yes, any four‐credit hour course potentially can count for EL credit. First, it is best to check the courses offered in the program to see if any meet other LSP requirements. To find out which courses a study abroad program offers, please visit the academics tab under each program on the Study Abroad website.
    • There is no cap on how much credit a student can earn from DePaul Study Abroad programs. Credit from universities abroad not sponsored by DePaul is considered “transfer credit” and is subject to the rules and limitations of the Transfer Credit Policy.
  • Is it possible to meet the EL requirement in an independent study for a course that is not among the list of approved EL courses?
    • Yes, the appropriate form must be completed and submitted to the LSP office by the end of the first week of class.
  • How does the EL requirement mesh with a student’s major field requirements?
    • Almost every department, program, or college offers courses that can be taken for EL credit, and typically these courses share that academic unit’s three‐letter code designation (e.g., PSY). (The exception to this practice are internships sponsored by the Career Center.) Some academic units require a very specific EL course to be taken by their students in order to meet degree requirements for the major, while other academic units have no such restrictions, and in such cases students may then take whatever approved EL course they so desire.
    • Note: It is also possible for a student who earned their EL credit in a study abroad experience, for example, but then also takes a course from their home department that carries EL credit to then have that course count for elective credit in his or her major. As with any petition for substitutions and waivers, this request must be approved by the associate dean of the student’s college. More information about the requirements of particular majors can be found in both the Course Catalog and on the LSP grid requirements on the LSP website.

Who should I contact if I have LSP related advising questions?

Celia DeBoer, the Liberal Studies Program Coordinator, is available to address any LSP advising questions. She may be contacted at or x54052.​