Wednesday, February 21, 2024

LIBERAL ARTS & SCIENCES

Why Liberal Arts & Sciences?

Historically, the Liberal Arts & Sciences program owes its roots to the ancient Greco-Roman education system, the so-called 7 liberal arts. For the lyocaonancient Greco-Romans, study in the seven liberal arts made one not only an informed, critically thinking citizen, but a well-rounded person. This was considered so important that Charlemagne revived the education program for the schools in his empire in the eighth/ninth century. A few centuries later, western Europeans used these areas to establish the curriculum for the first universities.  So, when you think about it, the Liberal Arts & Sciences is the very first university major.

Study in these areas provides one with the ability to think outside the proverbial box because you have a vast store of knowledge and varying perspectives from which to draw conclusions.  By extension, that same store of information and perspectives allows a student to be creative in ways not open to those focusing on a singular theoretical framework, such as History or Biology.

Employers tell universities often that they are looking for future employees that can think critically, communicate effectively, and can work well with others in a team environment. (You can see the full NACE–National Association of Colleges and Employers–report on necessary employee attributes here.) This program effectively prepares you in all of these areas and in a variety of ways which also prepares a person to be adaptable to varying situations.

The Program

Liberal Arts & Sciences is a truly interdisciplinary program with a ‘build-your-own-major’ kind of feel.  Students in this major will study everything from History to Biology, Literature to Mathematics, and Music to Philosophy. In all, Liberal Arts & Sciences majors take courses in the following areas:

  • Anthropology or Sociology
  • Art, Music, or Theater,
  • Mathematics or Philosophy,
  • Geography
  • History or Political Science
  • Life or Physical Science (Biology or Geology)

marten_de_vos_seven_liberal_artsThere are 2 Liberal Arts & Sciences majors: the comprehensive Bachelor of Arts (BA) and the comprehensive Bachelor of Science (BS). The comprehensive nature of these majors means that students do not have to have a minor in addition to the major because the minor is built into the major. This explains why these majors are so ‘large.’ The BA is 59-61 credit hours  while the BS is 62 to 64 credit hours.

There is also a 25-26 hour minor in Liberal Arts & Sciences which is a smaller version of the two majors, covering all of the same areas.

Need more information?

For more information on the program, you can consult the Undergraduate Catalog. You can also contact Dr. Dawn Gilley (dgilley@nwmissouri.edu) directly to have your questions answered.

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