The Suomi College of Arts and Sciences (SCAS) provides academic programs that prepare students to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. SCAS programs stimulate curiosity, exercise critical thinking, hone communication skills, and promote active citizenship. Faculty within the College are committed to helping students succeed in their chosen disciplines. Students are prepared for graduate programs, and for careers that demand critical thinking and excellent written and oral communication skills.
SCAS offers Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees in Biology, Communication, Criminal Justice, English, History, Liberal Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sociology. The college hosts two associate degree programs: an associate degree in General Studies (AGS), including English as a Second Language (ESL) certificate program, and associate of applied science (A.A.S.) in Criminal Justice.
Each of the SCAS four-year Bachelor of Arts degree programs requires students to earn a minimum grade of “C-” for each course taken as part of the major.
The Biology major equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to become lifelong investigators of the living world. The program strives to develop each student’s ability to communicate his or her understanding of biology to others; create new biological knowledge through research; and demonstrate the importance and relevance of biology to society. Our faculty strives to provide an innovative educational experience involving collaborative and independent achievements in the classroom, laboratory, and field. It is our aspiration that students, not only study, but also appreciate, life, with all its inherit unity, diversity, and intricacy.
Biology graduates will be able to do the following:
Critically evaluate biological concepts and theories based on empirical evidence. (Analytic and Critical Thinking, Communication)
Design, conduct, analyze, interpret, and present biological research. (Communication, Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Critique the implications of biological discoveries and innovations on the individual and society. (Communication, Personal Perspective, Global Perspective)
The Communication major offers an interdisciplinary background in critical media studies and gives students an informed understanding of how people create meaning with and through the cultural industries. Students learn proficiency in critical analysis and oral, written, visual, and aural literacy while becoming aware of how mediated communication—theoretically and practically—shapes individual and collective identities and informs citizenship. Students will be introduced to qualitative research methods as well as theories concerning media, communication, and identity from a wide range of disciplines and will develop an understanding of our historical and contemporary relationships to communication technologies, texts, and industries. In addition to preparing students for graduate study, the communication major provides students with the analytical skills necessary to enter careers in diverse fields, including media industries; marketing, PR, and advertising; corporate communications; education; and community organizing.
Communication graduates will be able to do the following:
Develop a broad understanding of a range of topics in communication, media, and cultural studies. (Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Formulate and clearly articulate critical perspectives on the relationships of media, communication, and culture. (Communication, Creative Insight, Global Perspective)
Understand the role that mediated communication plays in relation to the distribution of power in society and the shaping of our individual and collective identities. (Personal Perspective, Global Perspective)
Analyze a variety of oral, written, and visual messages as critical consumers of messages and skillful makers of effective messages. (Communication, Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Apply qualitative methods and an interdisciplinary range of media and communication theories to the study of various communication texts, platforms, industries, audiences, and processes. (Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Finlandia’s Criminal Justice major is an interdisciplinary program of study with courses in the social sciences. The major focuses on theoretical and ethical aspects of the criminal justice system, giving students a breadth of knowledge related to the discipline. Students graduating with a bachelor of arts in criminal justice are prepared for variety of careers, including those related to law enforcement, social services, juvenile delinquency, and corrections.
Criminal Justice graduates will be able to do the following:
Develop critical thinking skills necessary to be an ethical criminal justice professional. (Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Demonstrate the ability to utilize statistical information. (Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Develop skills in written and spoken communication consistent with the needs of the criminal justice system. (Communication)
Demonstrate expertise in criminology. (Creative Insight)
The English major studies literature from a range of periods and cultures in a variety of genres and forms, and also practices both creative and analytic writing. Students develop sophisticated critical reading, writing and speaking skills, cross-cultural fluency, and a firm grounding in the humanistic traditions of moral, intellectual and artistic work. English majors will be trained to seek employment in writing, editing, print and digital publishing, as well as education, business, politics and social services. The English major is also excellent preparation for graduate school in the humanities or law school.
English graduates will be able to do the following:
Identify, summarize and classify significant works of literature and explain their importance within a global framework. (Global Perspective)
Produce original, sophisticated, clear and revised judgments on a range of literary texts and topics. (Analytic and Critical Thinking, Communication)
Summarize and analyze the reception of various texts in both their own period and the present. Relate the texts and their reception to relevant issues and themes. (Personal Perspective, Global Perspective, Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Formulate and use interdisciplinary approaches to synthesize and produce sophisticated and novel arguments with scholarly potential. (Creative Insight)
Construct and argue positions related to a range of topics in literature. Demonstrate ability to articulate the value of both the positions themselves AND the process of knowledge production and dissemination in the field of literature and writing. (Communication, Analytic and Critical Thinking)
The History major prepares students to become knowledgeable, impactful, and employable 21st century citizens. History students develop marketable and meaningful skills, including the ability to discover, collect, and prioritize data; differentiate between and decipher meaning from primary and secondary sources; construct conclusions from numerous interpretative lenses and global perspectives; convey, through both written and verbal communication, meaningful conclusions; distinguish between persuasive and unpersuasive arguments; argue persuasively; and differentiate fact from opinion. Students appreciate their place as a global citizen and their global cultural heritage. Majors may concentrate in either Cultural History or Contemporary History. Career opportunities exceed academic and teaching careers to encompass fields of government, the military, foreign relations, museum curators, librarians, private sector researchers, or as training to study law.
History graduates will be able to do the following:
Demonstrate clear and persuasive written and verbal communication relating to historical events and themes. (Communication)
Demonstrate an ability to appraise arguments and distinguish fact from opinion in an historical context as a foundation for lifelong learning. (Personal Perspective)
Locate, assess, and appraise primary and secondary historical sources. (Creative Insight)
Interpret historical events and causal relationships. (Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Explain how actions have shaped the past and can impact the future, at local and global levels. (Global Perspective)
Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary program that advances the pursuit of broad knowledge and integrative thinking in the academic tradition of the liberal arts. The major allows students to delve into several interests and maintain maximum flexibility in course selection. Instead of majoring in one particular discipline, students focus on two or three traditional liberal studies disciplines or self-proposed interdisciplinary concentrations.
Liberal Studies graduates will be able to do the following:
Explain ideas and concepts through written, verbal, and technological communication skills. (Communication, Personal Perspective)
Integrate strong critical thinking skills through discovery, analysis, and application of knowledge. (Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Utilize effective problem solving skills using the scientific method, logic, creative thought processes, and interpersonal skills. (Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Acquire a depth of knowledge in chosen fields of study with support from practical experiences outside of the classroom. (Creative Insight, Global Perspective)
The Finlandia University Art Therapy program is for students who want to help others and who also love to create art. Art therapy is a mental health profession that draws on the creative process to enhance the emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. An art therapy career requires understanding of the creative process and the healing potential of art; knowledge of human development, psychology, and counseling; and skills in visual art (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art forms).
LS: Art Therapy graduates will be able to do the following:
Develop basic skills in interpersonal counseling and effectively initiate and maintain relationships with peers, clients, and supervisors. (Personal Perspective, Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Articulate the language of art with written, verbal, and visual skill sets. (Communication)
Effectively document the creative process. (Communication)
Integrate and evaluate ideas across socioeconomic, racial, and cultural differences. (Global Perspective)
Make observations, inferences, determine relationships, and draw conclusions in the preparation of psychological reports. (Creative Insight)
Listen, understand, and critique the principles of art. (Communication, Creative Insight)
Understand human psychological development, assessment, and evaluation, behavior modification, interviewing, and clinical psychology. (Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Demonstrative the ability to use creative approaches to problem solving. (Creative Insight)
Understand and analyze the relevance of art history, theory, and criticism from a variety of perspectives, including that of art history, linguistics, information theory, technology, and the social and cultural use of designed objects and systems. (Global Perspective)
The Philosophy major is designed specifically to respond to the university’s attempt to educate the whole person and foster intellectual challenge. As such, it is flexible enough to provide a sufficient training for graduate school or for those who choose to pursue a career directly after college. Potential graduate students will be trained in how to read difficult philosophical texts, formulate logically sound arguments, and write persuasive papers on philosophical topics. Those who do not anticipate going to graduate school will gain a wide grounding in the history of philosophy, knowledge of contemporary philosophically pressing issues, and an understanding of not only how arguments work but how to critically think oneself. The ultimate goal is to challenge students to think on their own and formulate one’s own worldview.
Philosophy graduates will be able to do the following:
Demonstrate critical thinking skills by showing the ability to analyze and evaluate arguments. (Creative Insight, Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Formulate a personal worldview that is coherent, reasonable, and defendable. (Communication, Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Identify the various historical traditions of philosophy and differentiate between them. (Global Perspective, Creative Insight)
Apply knowledge from ethical and philosophical theories to everyday situations. (Creative Insight, Personal Perspective, Global Perspective)
Compare and contrast philosophies from the past and present. (Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Assess differing philosophical systems according to legitimacy and practicality. (Personal Perspective, Creative Insight)
Psychology majors will learn to observe the world and answer questions related to thought and behavior through the use of the scientific method. Psychology is a large and diverse field, and psychology majors have the opportunity select from a variety of courses representing several subfields. Upon graduation, psychology majors will be prepared to continue their education in a graduate program or work in an environment that makes effective use of the skills they have acquired as graduates of a liberal arts institution (critical thinking, prosocial behavior, team development, cultural understanding, etc.).
Psychology graduates will be able to do the following:
Demonstrate fundamental knowledge and comprehension of the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, historical trends, and empirical findings of psychology and be able to apply this knowledge when solving problems. (Communication, Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Propose and carryout an innovative research project OR apply appropriate skills during internship. Skills that will be utilized include research interpretation and design, theory use, and quantitative analysis and assessment. (Communication, Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Identify professional values that will help them optimize their contributions when working with others, including those who do not share their heritage and traditions. (Personal Perspective, Global Perspective)
Develop competence in writing and in oral and interpersonal communication skills to the point where they are able to present information to a professional audience. (Communication)
Integrate the use of psychology-specific content and skills when engaging in self-reflection, project management, and career preparation activities. (Personal Perspective, Global Perspective)
The Sociology degree program offers a global perspective on how the social world works. As a discipline, sociology covers many areas, including individual interaction, gender, race, sport, the family, the economy, and social movements. The major helps develop analytical and critical thinking skills as students apply a variety of theories and methodologies to understand and analyze contemporary social issues. As such, it provides solid training for students considering an array of careers and graduate degrees.
Sociology graduates will be able to do the following:
Demonstrate a broad understanding of a range of sociological topics. (Personal Perspective)
Analyze the relationships between society and the thinking, acting, and interaction patterns of its citizens. (Global Perspective)
Conduct and assess sociological research at a basic to intermediate level. (Creative Insight)
Defend and integrate different sociological approaches. (Communication)
Integrate major sociological theories and research methodologies. (Analytic and Critical Thinking)
The Criminal Justice associate degree program prepares students for careers in law enforcement and corrections by providing theoretical foundations and practical experiences. The Criminal Justice curriculum includes classroom and laboratory instruction.
Criminal Justice associate degree graduates will be able to do the following:
Communicate with clarity and originality using interviewing and interrogation skills to effectively deal with victims and suspects, and when testifying in a court of law. (Communication)
Observe, infer, determine relationships, and draw conclusions regarding how laws are written and their impact on the rights of individuals and society. (Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Apply investigative techniques, logic, and critical thinking skills to bring a case to its logical conclusion. (Creative Insight)
Function in a multicultural society as a mature, adaptable citizen, while meeting the needs and challenges of clients and communities. (Personal Perspective)
Create, integrate, and evaluate ideas across a range of disciplines, including sociology, politics, and science, among others. (Global Perspective)
The General Studies associate degree is for students who wish to complete a two-year college degree without concentrating in a particular area. The program offers flexibility to those seeking to obtain a better job or qualify for certain entry-level positions. The associate degree in General Studies is also intended for international students who require an English as a Second Language program to prepare for bachelor degree studies.
General Studies graduates will be able to do the following:
Research, write, and communicate with clarity using written, verbal, and technological communication skills. (Communication)
Critically examine complex problems and analyze potential solutions. (Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Perform basic computation and problem solving. (Analytic and Critical Thinking)
Recognize connections among the diverse populations inherent in a multicultural world. (Personal Perspective, Global Perspective)
Finlandia’s ESL Certificate program teaches English for academic success so students can successfully pursue a bachelor’s degree at Finlandia or another North American university. With approval of the international student advisor, the ESL program of study may be adjusted to meet individual language needs. Coursework in reading, writing, speaking, and grammar is integrated with computer work, one-on-one tutoring, conversation partners, and cultural experiences. Students will also receive help studying for the TOEFL exam.
General Studies with ESL certificate graduates will be able to do the following:
Read and interpret English academic articles, essays, short stories. (Analytic and Critical Thinking, Creative Insight)
Write with basic competence a selected text of English. (Communication)
Speak and be understood by classmates, faculty and staff in academic, co-curricular and community settings. (Communication, Personal Perspective)
Listen and comprehend spoken English of classmates, faculty and staff in academic, co-curricular and community settings. (Communication, Personal Perspective)
Integrate the four communication skills of writing, reading, speaking and listening to succeed in mainstream American society. (Communication, Global Perspective)