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The Concept of Liberal Arts Education in America

The concept of a liberal arts education is unique to the U.S. higher education system.
By GPA Admin

The Concept of Liberal Arts Education in America

In the United States, undergraduate students attending a Liberal Arts college or a university begin by taking classes in the arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and languages regardless of their majors (chosen subject to specialize in). 

This is because the concept of the “Liberal Arts” is behind undergraduate level studies, that is, to provide an academic education that is not only well-rounded but also one that helps develop the students’ written, verbal, and reasoning skills. 

Typically, 25 to 50 percent of the students’ degree coursework revolve around their majors while the rest are Liberal Arts and Elective classes.  For example, a student specializing in Engineering will likely be required to take classes in the Humanities and the Social Sciences, and likewise, a student majoring in Art History may be required to take classes in Mathematics and the Sciences. 

To further complement the goal of a well-rounded education, the students in the examples above might take classes in Physical Education and Sports for their Elective requirements.  Electives are classes of their choosing that are not necessarily among their major or liberal arts requirements but are from areas of interest to them. 

Here you can hear from members of the Trinity Western University discuss their experience with a liberal education:


If you are unsure of your intended profession, you should consider enrolling in a liberal arts college and take a liberal arts major. Liberal arts majors and degrees are accepted by most employers, as it is assumed that graduates are smart and quick-learners, enabling them to accomplish any task that isn’t specific to a certain profession. However, if you are certain that you want to pursue a specific career path, such as engineer or doctor, you may decide to go to a college or pick a major that caters to that specific need. You can, however, get almost any major from a liberal arts college (check their website).

Our list of U.S. schools feature almost all the Liberal Arts colleges in America.

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