What is liberal arts? Liberal arts refers to a broad educational program in Western high education. Liberal arts normally takes the word art in the wider sense of an acquired learned skill rather than strictly the fine arts. The major function of liberal arts is to inculcate ideas and values through the humanities and liberal arts disciplines. It also aims at cultivating a multiplicity of experiences and insights in students as well as in citizens.
liberal arts programs incorporate theoretical and practical learning with social and personal inquiry. Liberal arts curriculum emphasizes on the cultivation of a wider range of human knowledge by widening their perspective through extensive research. The liberal arts courses offer a wide range of subjects such as politics, philosophy, sociology, literature and history, art and design, and other related fields. They are designed to develop transferable skills in all human disciplines. Transferable skills include ability to problem solve, creativity, the ability to communicate and to listen and much more.
As the name suggests, liberal arts courses cover a wide range of subjects such as sociology, English, history, geography, law, and other related subjects. Liberal Arts curriculum not only have a wider focus but also interweave theoretical and practical elements in order to prepare students for the professional world. The first two decades of study in any university usually consist of either science or liberal arts. After this period, the curriculum nowadays usually focuses more on the engineering, medical and technical disciplines. The subjects covered in the curriculum of today are almost the same as those taught in universities.
Generally speaking, liberal arts students are expected to acquire a number of soft skills while studying. Students have to be good problem solvers, creative thinkers, skilled communicators and excellent problem solvers. Learning requires a great deal of listening, writing, planning and communicating. In addition, you need to have analytical and persuasive skills.
A typical liberal arts curriculum consists of humanities subjects such as English, history, geography, philosophy, psychology, sociology, creative writing, creative art, music, dance, photography, film, literature and creative computing. Normally, humanities degrees are obtained after students have passed the general education courses. For example, you can obtain an associate’s degree in humanities if you want to major in journalism, English literature or psychology. If you want to major in engineering, you can pursue an associate’s degree in engineering, computer science or math.
Different institutions offer different types of liberal arts degrees. There are both post-secondary institutions and on-campus colleges offering such programs. You can get a bachelor’s degree in the field of education or business administration through an on-campus program. For those who would like to further their educations with higher degrees such as doctorate degrees, master’s degrees or PhDs, they can either enroll in on-campus or off-campus graduate or doctoral programs.
There are also liberal arts colleges that offer certificate, diploma and associate degree programs. These may not require full-time attendance but many students do complete these programs because it makes them more marketable and employable in the job market. Some employers even recognize this certificate, diploma and associate degree programs as equivalent to the standard university degrees.
There are many universities and colleges that offer what is considered to be liberal arts degrees. It mainly consists of general studies courses that can be related to the liberal arts fields such as history, English literature, sociology, psychology, art history and other similar subjects. Although these subjects may not be core subjects or prerequisites, these subjects are often chosen by students because of their interest and passion for the particular subject matter. Students who choose to major in these subjects are also more likely to specialize in one of the academic fields offered at the college.