What are the “liberal arts?” by Ariel Bloomer
If you’ve been researching colleges and universities, you’ve likely encountered the phrase “liberal arts,” a term used to describe an educational model found around the world, but especially in the United States. The foundation of the liberal arts is a well-rounded education, one that includes literature, foreign languages, history, math, psychology, philosophy and science. Students at liberal arts colleges may choose a concentration from among these fields, but also take a broad range of classes. Even large research universities often adhere to a liberal arts foundation by requiring undergraduate students to take courses that touch on each of these categories.
A liberal arts education is a good choice for a student who is not ready to commit to a concentration and wants room to explore different academic paths. It is also a good option for students who have multiple academic disciplines they want to pursue, like someone who dreams of a double major in Physics and Philosophy with a minor in French. The liberal arts do not encompass trade-crafts, like masonry or carpentry, or vocational studies, like those required to become a chef or beautician. It also does not include professional studies programs, like accounting, business, journalism or law, though liberal arts alumni often pursue professions like these in graduate school.