In U.S. News Rankings, universities are usually categorized into two different types – National University and Liberal Arts College. So what exactly is a liberal arts college and is it a good fit for you?

Overall introduction to Liberal Arts College

Liberal arts college is about gaining fundamental knowledge and skills adaptable to different situations. This means that Liberal Arts students will be exposed to a variety of subjects in different fields, rather than just narrowly focusing on a specific area. Therefore, Liberal Arts students are like global citizens, able to adapt themselves to all working environments.

What to study at Liberals Arts college?

A liberal arts approach focuses on broad-based education. You will follow one of the following fields; however, your curriculum will still be very diverse and cover a wide range of fields.

  • Humanities: arts, literature, language learning, philosophy, religion, morality, foreign languages, music, theater, speech, classical language (Latin / Greek) …
  • Social science: history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender studies, anthropology, economics, geography, computer science, business …
  • Natural science: astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archeology, zoology, geology, earth science …
  • Formal science: including mathematics, logic, statistics ...

Liberal Arts or National University?

A big difference between Liberal Arts college and National university in the US is the interaction between students and teachers. At Liberal Arts colleges, you will find yourself living in a tight-knit community and teachers becoming your mentors, and even research partners. Lecturers in Liberal Arts colleges work full-time so the opportunity to work directly with them is greater. On the other hand, at national universities, you are going to have classes that are taught not only by professors, but also researchers, assistants, and graduate students.

What will you gain from a liberal arts education?

If you are still not sure if a liberal arts education is for you, consider the following things: 

  • Wide and open career paths: Your knowledge and familiarity with various fields will leave you open to more career opportunities
  • More informed career choices: The diverse curriculum taught at Liberal Arts institutions is exactly what students need to have, being able to paint an informative picture of each career path. Without needing to go very deep, students can still attain the information needed to make the right choice. 
  • Stepping stone for your new career: The broad knowledge gained from studying Liberal Arts will help you move from your current career path to a completely new one.
  • Increased job opportunities: A recent study of US CEOs showed that 74% of them will recommend Liberal Arts colleges to students. Employers recognize that Liberal Arts graduates often have flexible skills required to adapt to all working environments.

Foundation to further your education: A graduate student with Liberal Arts background is capable of learning from many different fields. With these essential background knowledge, one can easily transition into any graduate program.

Source: Hotcourses

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