What Is a Liberal Arts College?

An overwhelming number of students and parents are often either confused about or entirely unaware of what a liberal arts college is. A liberal arts college is a school that aims to provide its students with a sufficient education in not just one specialized area but rather in a broad range of subjects. Liberal arts colleges are often much smaller in size than state colleges and universities. Liberal arts colleges are typically residential, meaning that most students are learning how to live away from home for the first time in their lives.

In addition to a wide variety of academic programs and majors, liberal arts colleges also emphasize extracurricular activities. Students at liberal arts colleges are often much more involved than they would be at commuter colleges because of the community nature of the campuses.

What Is the Difference Between a Liberal Arts College and a Regular College or University?

The main difference between the education of a liberal arts college and that of a specialized school is that students who attend a liberal arts college will spend their first two years taking courses that are part of a core curriculum that aims to expose them to a well-rounded education before they are forced to choose a major. While some students may already know what they want to do in life and feel that they are ready to jump into a major at the beginning of their college careers, the goal of a liberal arts college’s core curriculum is to introduce students to various ways of thinking that would not otherwise be available to them.

What Can I Study at a Liberal Arts College?

Liberal arts colleges offer many of the same programs offered at the most popular universities. Liberal arts colleges offer basic majors in mathematics, history and economics as well as science majors such as physics, biology and chemistry. In addition to these programs, liberal arts college students can choose to major in English, art, philosophy, communications and other various arts and humanities.

While liberal arts colleges offer many of the same programs as universities, a striking difference between the two is that liberal arts colleges typically do not offer any graduate programs. This, combined with the small size of the student population, enables the teachers and administration to focus all of their attention on providing the best education possible for undergraduate students.

Why Should I Attend a Liberal Arts College?

A liberal arts education is beneficial for all students. While there is a faction that may think that the only thing you need to do to succeed in the world is to learn a trade, learning how to communicate, solve problems and adapt to one’s environment has become more important than ever. Not only do liberal arts colleges offer most of the same programs as universities and state colleges, but they are almost always among the top-rated programs in the country because of dedicated, highly qualified staff and administration that are able to dedicate themselves to a smaller population of students.

Studying at a liberal arts college will challenge you to think outside the box, a trait that will be needed in any profession or career you may pursue later on in life. In addition to receiving a top-notch education in the field of your major, you will also receive a well-rounded education from dedicated professors who are among the best in their fields of study.

The community aspect of a liberal arts college must not be understated, either. The residential atmosphere at liberal arts college campuses encourages a sense of community and participation. Pursuing your education away from home at a liberal arts college is one of the best ways to take your first steps into the real world and learn how to live on your own and with others. The various extracurricular activities, sports, clubs, volunteer opportunities and community events make it easy for anyone to get involved in some way, even those who may be hesitant to do so at first.

Attending a liberal arts college is a great way to prepare yourself for the future and receive the top-notch education that you deserve.

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