The term “liberal arts” comes from ancient Greece. It refers to two different subjects that have some similarities. They are literature, which is stories written down or spoken aloud, and art, which is creating representations of things such as paintings, sculptures, and decorative pieces.
Both liberal arts studies focus on how to use language well (grammar and rhetoric), reasoning, logic, and concepts in order to understand what youare reading or listening to, and how to create your own ideas and thoughts on a topic or area.
These lessons apply to non-fiction books, speeches, and songs. They also apply to studying artistic styles and experimenting with new colors, shapes, and materials. This applies both to drawing and painting, and designing furniture, clothing, and other products.
Liberal arts degrees typically include courses in each of these areas, as well as others like history, political science, philosophy, and sociology. These courses can be more focused on one area or general knowledge about many ones.
History of the liberal arts
The term “liberal art” was first used in the 16th century to refer to the humanities, or studies that focus on literature, language, music, and other areas not related to professional training.
Many consider the field of study known as the humanities to be more holistic than social sciences like psychology or economics. This is because the former focuses less on practical applications and more on understanding how ideas originated and influenced people.
The term “art” in “liberal art” refers to all types of creative expression, such as writing, painting, sculpture, and performing arts. These are typically considered to be self-expressions of creativity.
Another important component of the humanities is knowledge transfer. Students learn about past civilizations through reading and studying books and media that use literary techniques and concepts. They also learn from each other when students explore different fields within the humanities.
Liberal arts degrees often require several courses outside of the classroom in subjects like business, mathematics, science, and architecture. Because these areas are still focused on learning, they are considered academic.
Studies in the humanities have been linked to improved mental health and overall happiness. Part of this comes from promoting an appreciation for beauty and culture, but another part is due to the educational benefits mentioned above.
What are they?
So what is liberal arts, then? That term has been thrown around a lot over the past few centuries. Sometimes it refers to all humanities fields (literature, art, music, etc.), sometimes just to study general topics like philosophy or sociology, and sometimes only refer to studying languages.
But no matter how you define “liberal arts”, one thing is clear – they exist to help you be a better person.
Liberal arts courses typically focus on rich stories that teach social lessons. They can inspire you, motivate you, educate you, and challenge you. And they’re memorable! Even if you forget what you learned, you’ll probably remember the experience of learning them.
Many people in today’s society don’t know how to relate to other people, so these classes usually include some topic about psychology. Others may learn something about history or politics, or even economics.
But none of those things matter unless you know why you should care about this world you live in. Philosophy, for example, explores important questions about who we are as humans, what makes life worth living, and whether there is any hope for the future.
So getting educated in the liberal arts isn’t simply an interesting field to explore, it’s a way to improve your own inner peace, knowledge of the universe, and personal growth.
Who were some famous ones?
The best way to describe an academic major in liberal arts is to think of it as “the more,” not “less.” In other words, you get much more out of these programs than they put in.
Liberal arts degrees typically focus on teaching students about different disciplines, not just literature or math or social studies. This exposure to various fields helps students develop their understanding and knowledge of how things work. It also gives them the tools to apply what they learn across areas and sectors of life.
Some examples of liberal arts majors include education, journalism, theater, art, music, religious studies, psychology, business, and many others. A student could even combine two subjects into one field!
These days, though, with technology moving at lightning speed and globalization expanding rapidly, being well-educated in several areas is increasingly important. Technology now plays a crucial role in most industries, from finance to healthcare, so knowing how to use it effectively and be able to relate what you know to something new are valuable skills.
A degree in liberal arts can prepare you for any career, whether your goal is to teach, enter the media, do creative work, invest, run a business, or go to college for yourself by learning what all schools have to offer.
What does it mean?
So what is liberal arts, then? That term has shifted slightly in meaning over time, but generally speaking, it refers to the study of large-scale topics that include literature, language, music, art, and philosophy.
Liberal arts can be studied as an undergraduate degree or as part of a graduate school program. And while some schools may drop the “arts” from the name, most use them in some form in their curriculum! (Think about it – how many students don’t take at least one English class!)
The thing about studying the liberal arts is that they each have their own unique focus, but they all share something in common: They are rich academic disciplines that enrich your understanding of the world.
They also develop other skills like reasoning, analysis, and communication. All of these things strengthen your foundation as a person who lives and works in the real world.
What are some benefits?
One of the biggest reasons why people choose to go into liberal arts is because they believe it will open up new opportunities for them.
Liberal arts degree programs typically focus on educating students in many different disciplines, not just literature or art. Students learn about humanities (things like history or sociology), natural science topics (biology, physics, chemistry) and quantitative subjects (math).
All three of these areas contribute to making you aware of other fields, and skills that can be applied to those fields. For example, studying biology helps you understand things like psychology and medicine, while learning math makes you more intelligent as you have to know how to measure, calculate and apply concepts related to numbers and equations.
By having several departments your major is focused in, you get additional exposure to all of these areas and knowledge about them. You also get to take advantage of all their resources, both internal and external, to help you grow.
Another important part of being educated in the field of liberal arts is that it cultivates logical thinking. This is an invaluable skill that most jobs require today. General studies teach you about reasoning and logic, which are fundamental to staying informed and understanding complex issues.
Furthermore, due to the nature of the education, individuals who have this type of college education are usually well-rounded and knowledgeable across multiple fields. They may not work in the same area as their bachelor’s degree, but they are still considered professional experts in their field.
What are some challenges?
One challenge that many people may face when deciding whether or not to pursue liberal arts is how expensive they can be. While it is true that attending college as a student means paying tuition, there are other costs associated with studying the humanities.
There are several things that make up the cost of educating someone in the humanities. Starting with what we mentioned before – tuition – there’s also room and board, which typically run about $15-20 per night depending on the school. Beyond that, you have activity fees such as for athletics, which can add to your bill quite heavily.
Then there are books, which even students at less expensive schools will likely be spending money on. Independent study materials can really add up quickly, especially if you’re doing research. Funding sources vary from department to department, but most universities offer student loans that can cover part or all of these expenses.
What can you do to become a liberal arts major?
The next step is deciding what department or departments you want to be in. You will have to choose from among many different fields that focus more on educating students through the study of literature, philosophy, history, social sciences, and other areas.
Some examples include teaching, journalism, business administration, medicine, science, etc. These are all pretty general so you could end up doing any one of them!
Most colleges offer several degree programs related to the humanities, and most universities offer at least one program under the field of communication studies. A good way to determine if an education school is worth it is by looking into whether they give you transferable credits for previous degrees. For example, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in something like psychology then you would receive much better student loans if you were able to go directly into a master’s degree in human services rather than having to take extra courses first.
There are also some jobs that don’t require a college degree at all. Many people start their careers as someone with only a high school diploma before advancing upwards due to their talent and hard work.
Sample topic sentences for the above topic.
The key component of liberal arts is learning how to process information you will be exposed to in your life. This includes studying languages, art, music, literature, and philosophy.
All these areas contribute similar skills that depend on knowledge of logic, reasoning, and analysis. You will also learn about history and culture through reading and listening to all these materials.
By applying these analytics and logical thinking to different subjects, you will succeed in making informed decisions. These decisions can range from which college to attend, what career to pursue, and even just personal growth.
This article will discuss more detail on the importance of this theory and some examples.