Symbiosis International University Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts

Program Structure

What SSLA offers

SSLA offers a four year full-time B.A / B.Sc liberal arts degree program. The student would be awarded either a B.A or a B.Sc degree depending on the particular major chosen.

SSLA’s approach to learning is distinctive, a new world needs a different educational insight…. and as Shashi Tharoor put forth ‘there is always more than one side to a story, and more than one answer to a question.’ This statement sums our approach to the learning process, which is based on critical and analytical thinking: a strong foundation and base for the emerging 21st century generation.

The Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts offers students the opportunity to study a four year full-time Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts Degree) and Bachelor of Science (Liberal Arts Degree) program covered over eight semesters. The Liberal Arts programme is styled very closely on internationally valued models and aims at offering students a wide range of courses with the freedom to pick and choose Minor and Major areas of specialization from areas previously considered to be ‘academically incompatible’. A student can combine subjects like Business studies as a Major with a Philosophy Minor or Mathematics & Statistics as a Major with an Anthropology Minor.

  • The degree awarded shall be a Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts) for those majoring in courses such as Economics, Business Studies, Media Studies, Sociology, English, Psychology or Political Science & Public Policy
  • The degree awarded shall be a Bachelor of Science (Liberal Arts) for those majoring in courses such as Biology, Mathematics & Statistics or Computer Science.

A degree in Liberal Arts, as opposed to other programmes of study, aims at creating a strong, well-rounded foundation for all students, regardless of their major and minor field of study. Students are exposed to a range of building blocks as their core courses that span diverse fields as history, sociology, anthropology, science, creative writing, and critical thinking. Our philosophy of establishing such a foundation is simple – learning is dynamic. To know this world, students must have the full range of tools to understand, recognize, critique, and appreciate themselves and their role in this globally dynamic environment. Our distinct method of instruction sets the tone for this strong foundation, as it is diverse, experiential, practical and heavily steeped in theory.  Thus, all students graduate with their preferred choices of majors and minors that is expressed as a unique combination for each student forged on a strong foundation of knowledge that spans a myriad different learning blocks. This is what makes a liberal arts’ education unique!

Following this tradition, intellectual freedom and growth is a result of practical knowledge, open-minded scrutiny and logical arguments, and it is our belief that certain forms of knowledge should be compulsory for every student. Therefore, there are 18 core courses and 8 electives which are compulsory and which every student will complete across the 8 semesters. The students therefore study:

18 core (compulsory) courses + 8 general (electives) + 1 Minor specialization subject (6 papers) + 1 Major specialization subject (10 papers) 

Specialization courses (which are in the form of Majors and Minors) shall be chosen in the 2nd semester and will be taught from the 3rd semester onwards. The Majors and Minors offered at SSLA are:

Majors / Minors


In addition to the major and minor subjects each student chooses to specialize in, he/she will also study the following core / compulsory courses and general courses across the 4 years.

Core / Compulsory Courses

The General Courses offered at SSLA are:

General Courses: Students to choose any 8

Along with the aforementioned courses, the students will also complete a two month Internship at a corporate organization/ NGO/ any other approved organization and a detailed Community Project equivalent to 2 months of study.

A quick view of a possible program of study…


Semester 1

Semester 2

  • Short Stories from around the world
  • Technical Writing: Rhetorical and Critical Writing (Core)
  • Environmental Awareness: Only One Earth (Core)
  • General 1 – choice of course from General Courses
  • General 2- choice of course from General Courses
  • Creative Writing (Core)
  • Computer Fundamentals & Applications (Core)
  • Diversity Studies (Core)
  • Multicultural World Views
  • General 3 - choice of course from General Courses
  • General 4 - choice of course from General Courses

Semester 3

Semester 4

  • Research Methodology + Preparation for RM Project * (Core)
  • Understanding India: What is India? (Core)
  • General 5 - choice of course from General Courses
  • Minor paper 1
  • Major paper 1


  • Logic (Core)
  • Quantitative Reasoning 2: (Stats) (Core)
  • Impact of Science & Technology on Human Civilization
  • General 6 - choice of course from General Courses
  • Minor paper 2
  • Major paper 2

Semester 5

Semester 6

  • Introduction to Philosophy (Core)
  • Quantitative Reasoning 3: (Math) (Core)
  • Minor paper 3
  • Major paper 3
  • Major paper 4
  • Research Methodology Project due by end of 5th semester


  • Legal Awareness (Core)
  • History of Man: From Ape to Alexander and Beyond: A Study in World Culture (Core)
  • Minor paper 4
  • Major paper 5
  • Major paper 6
  • Report Presentation and viva: Internship

Semester 7

Semester 8

  • Current Economic and Business Analysis (Core)
  • General 7 – choice of course from General Courses
  • Minor 5
  • Major paper 7
  • Major paper 8
  • Report Presentation and viva: Community Project
  • Quantitative Reasoning 3: (Finance) (Core)
  • General 8 – choice of course from General Courses
  • Minor 6
  • Major paper 9
  • Major paper 10
  • Final year seminar: Paper + presentation


Students will also study Inter University credit courses / Integrated Disaster Management Program / Audit Courses / Global Immersion Program / any other as per SSLA / SIU rules.