School of Liberal Arts

Living on the Liberal Arts

The liberal arts provide an excellent foundation for a life well-lived: they promote critical thinking, creativity, a love of, and the skills necessary for, life-long learning. They instill empathy, imagination, and articulate self-expression. As one recent study has shown, liberally educated graduates are more likely to “be leaders, show interest in arts and culture, be viewed as ethical, and report fulfillment and happiness.” This is because the liberal arts engage, inspire, and challenge our minds, hearts, and souls. They teach us how to embrace and value the arts, understand social, historical, and rhetorical contexts and processes, recognize that all human activity and experience is deeply interconnected, and appreciate that democracy is a practice, not a given.  The liberal arts make us more human, and, as liberating arts, they make us more free.

Those with little understanding or experience of the liberal arts sometimes represent this kind of education as a luxury reserved for those who can afford underemployment. Far from it!  The liberal arts lead to excellent post-graduation opportunities and outcomes. Research demonstrates, for example, that the “soft skills” that our programs foster are those that business and the tech industry seek; many leaders in the public and private sectors have liberal arts degrees; and while humanities and social science graduates earn a little less than professional and pre-professional majors right out of college, they actually outpace them over time, earning more in their peak income years. In addition, liberal arts majors are more likely to earn advanced degrees, which significantly increase lifetime earnings.

In the School of Liberal Arts, graduates of our humanities, social sciences, and creative and performing arts programs are succeeding professionally, changing the world, and experiencing deep personal fulfillment in doing so. They are, in short, living well on the liberal arts!