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 studentâ€™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.