What Is A Liberal Arts College?

A liberal arts college is a four-year college that provides students with a vast array of majors and specializations from which to choose. In addition to the courses pertaining to the student’s major, a liberal arts college requires the completion of a variety of general education courses. The curriculum focuses not only on imparting knowledge, but encouraging students to think critically about the subject matter.

How Is a Liberal Arts College Different from a University?

The key difference between a liberal arts college and a university is the approach to study. A university education is oriented around preparing students for the specific career or field of their choice. In contrast, the philosophy of a liberal arts college states that an education serves as more than job preparation. The goal of a liberal arts college is to produce a well-rounded scholar that is educated in a variety of disciplines.

What Should I Consider Before Attending a Liberal Arts College?

Attending a liberal arts college is often associated with a number of benefits, including:

  • Smaller class sizes and more opportunities for face-to-face interactions with professors and faculty members.
  • A focus on developing critical thinking skills.
  • A wide range of course requirements, which provides students a broader base of knowledge.
  • Exposure to a wide range of worldviews and perspectives.
  • The opportunity to interact with students that have different upbringings and interests. This is essential for developing social skills that will be necessary in a post-college career.
  • Classes are almost always taught by professors as opposed to graduate students.

Liberal arts colleges also have limitations:

  • Course options are often limited. A liberal arts college may not be a good fit for the student with specific interests and career aspirations, as liberal arts colleges do not provide specializations.
  • Funding is limited, so liberal arts colleges do not always offer the state-of-the-art facilities and equipment found in universities.

A liberal arts college provides students with the chance to receive a well-rounded education that will provide enrichment and pave the way for a successful career. While this education path is not suited for everyone, many students find that a liberal arts degree effectively prepares them for future opportunities.

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