Ever since our nation’s founding, people have valued education that teaches you how to think rather than just what to think. We as a society recognize this now in an era when many schools focus more on teaching students how to process information through use of standardized tests and concepts like “critical thinking.”
However, there is a growing movement among some parents and students to teach things like politics, art, literature and history with a liberal arts curriculum no longer. These so-called “soft skills” are seen as less important than math and science literacy, but they are just as valuable in preparing young adults for success.
Liberal arts courses explore topics such as humanities (literature, sociology, anthropology), natural or physical sciences (biology, physics, astronomy) and social studies (history, economics, political science). All three areas develop critical thinking, analytical and communication skills that can be applied beyond academia.
Some argue that these non-technical skills are becoming increasingly important as technology becomes ever present in all aspects of life. For example, professionals in fields like business rely heavily on soft skills like teamwork, leadership and communication.
Campuses that emphasize only technical degrees may not offer the best opportunities to graduates looking for employment. On the other hand, students who opt for college majors in the hard sciences may miss out on key lessons in being a productive member of society.
What are degree programs like?
Many liberal arts schools offer several different degrees or concentrations. These typically require around one to two years to complete, but what they teach and how they relate to each other is very important.
Degrees that focus more heavily on subjects such as English, history, art, and social sciences tend to be cost-effective education strategies. Because these courses strengthen your reading, writing, and reasoning skills, you can transfer them into various careers. For example, writers and businesspeople benefit from strong literacy and communication skills.
Subjects such as math, science, and economics emphasize logic, reasoning, and practical applications of theory. Therefore, these areas of study often lead to jobs in fields such as medicine, engineering, or finance.
Some concentrated bachelor’s degrees allow you to pick either career path after graduation. For instance, some institutions have Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees with specializations in painting, sculpture, or music. You get to choose which field you want to pursue then!
Graduates who majored in humanitiesare not limited to just teachingeither. Public servants such as librarians and teachers are needed everywhere, so there are many job opportunitiesfor BAs.
What are the average tuition costs?
All liberal arts schools have similar pricing structures, with general education courses (English, social studies, math, science) being offered at lower cost than more specific areas like art or music. The price of each school can vary slightly due to differences in curriculum and level of academic prestige, but most students are charged around $15-20k per year for a degree!
Students that major in such broad subjects as humanities, communication, or psychology will pay less money because their core classes are typically free or very cheap. Students that focus more on hard sciences may be asked to do research under faculty members, which can sometimes include teaching undergraduate courses as well.
The cost does not usually include things like food, living expenses, or student activities. These additional fees can easily add up to several thousand dollars every month, making it difficult to afford all of the experiences you want to enjoy while attending college.
Is it difficult to get into?
One of the biggest debates about college is – how expensive are liberal arts schools? Many people believe that attending an art or music school, for example, will cost you a large sum of money every year. This is not true at all!
In fact, many colleges offer very affordable in-state tuition. Some even have totally free education! If you are looking to spend less than $20k per year, you should definitely consider an educational institution with no student fees.
The truth is, most students who attend art and music departments do not require a degree in those fields. Therefore, they do not receive as much financial aid as possible!
Liberal arts degrees like Philosophy, English Literature, and Art History can be transferred almost anywhere. A career in these areas could start your own career or take you somewhere else.
What are the jobs like?
Beyond teaching students, your school can offer you many more career opportunities. Your department may even have its own internal website with employment information or at least links to external sites where they advertise job openings.
Most schools have their own culinary facilities that prepare food for lectures and gatherings. Some also have fitness centers that offer classes in yoga, weight lifting, and other exercises.
Some universities keep student organizations active after graduation by offering paid positions as officers or members of those groups. Many have research and academic clubs that pay to promote yourself professionally within the field.
Lastly, most colleges have alumni networks that connect current professors to past graduates. If you’re interested in being hired on as an adjunct professor, this is a good way to get started!
Liberal arts education has strong ties to society and the community, so there are always ways to apply what you’ve learned to earn money.
What are the grades like?
The level of education you get in an art or liberal arts school can vary quite a bit, even within different departments. Some degree programs may be more focused, with university-level courses that require close attention and engagement. Others may not have as many requirements, and thus students can easily fall asleep studying what they were assigned.
Degree programs in art or humanities areas often focus more on creativity, so there may be less emphasis placed on academic studies. Artists and writers will sometimes be allowed to use creative language when describing their field, making it hard to tell whether someone has a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. In these cases, though, I would suggest staying for at least one semester to verify if this is your style of teaching.
Art schools usually include some sort of general fine arts course like painting, drawing, sculpture, etc., but beyond that, most disciplines offer separate courses depending on the student’s interests. This creates opportunities for students to explore other facets of the art world, and to learn about new genres and styles.
What are the lifestyle like?
Living in a community of students makes it easy to find your fit at college. There is always something going on, whether that’s through student organizations, social events, or just talking with people around you.
People come from all over the world to attend university here, so there are many different cultures and rich backgrounds. This diversity adds to the atmosphere as well as opportunities for learning and understanding other ways of thinking.
As mentioned before, most schools have at least one major club or organization available to anyone who wants to be part of them. These can range from academic clubs focused on studying, athletics, or both, to cultural groups that focus more on exploring the area where the school is located or attending events related to this location or culture.
Students also use online resources to connect with each other and stay informed about current issues and topics. All of these things combine into an educational experience that cannot be matched by only considering education as the main goal.
What are the extracurriculars like?
One of the biggest questions that most prospective students ask is how much money an education at a liberal arts school will cost. While tuition costs have increased significantly in recent years, there are many ways to reduce your educational expenses.
Most importantly, do not pay full price for a college degree. There are lots of resources available to lower-income students who want to go into teaching or social work. These can be through scholarship programs, student loans that can be paid back with financial assistance, or both.
Many colleges offer scholarships based on merit and/or need.
What are the degree programs like?
The most popular undergraduate degrees at liberal arts colleges include Bachelor of Science in Biology, Biological Sciences or Ecology, Bachelor of Art in Communications, Graphic Design, Magazine Journalism, or Media Communication, Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, Instrumental performance, Dance, or Choral music, among others.
Most students who major in these areas work after college to pursue their passion and/or career in the field. Because they are more general in nature, these majors often offer many different routes into the profession- you can be an architect, biologist, journalist, musician, etc. according to your dreams and aspirations.
These types of degrees also tend to have smaller class sizes than other bachelor’s level studies. This helps create a supportive learning environment that encourages personal development and growth. Students learn how to collaborate with peers as well as professors by interacting with each other in classes every week.
Overall, these qualities make for strong academic environments that prepare students to succeed in the workplace beyond just educating them, but also encouraging socialization and teamwork.