Arts and Sciences Schools Colleges & Universities

Arts and sciences colleges provide a broad curriculum with opportunities for independent research.

Arts and Sciences Colleges: The Most Well-Rounded Education Money Can Buy: Are you an intellectually curious student whose academic passions range from the sciences to the humanities? Do you believe that higher education is more about learning and experimenting than it is about preparing for a specific career? Would you relish the freedom to design your own course of study? If you answered yes to the above questions and have yet to decide on a college major, take a good look at the excellent arts an sciences colleges located all over the country.

Arts and Sciences Degree Programs are for the Independent and Intellectually Curious: Students who choose to major in the liberal arts are not, as their more cynical, single-subject major counterparts might suggest, unwilling to engage in disciplined study. On the contrary, their passions run deep and inspire a craving for in-depth knowledge of varied fields. Liberal arts schools provide a well-rounded curriculum designed to sate such academic yearnings. Courses one might encounter along this path of study fluctuate not only from school to school, but also from student to student, as most programs allow their upper division students to have a hand in choosing their collegiate syllabus. An sampling of common subject choices includes:

  • • Biology
  • • Anthropology
  • • English literature
  • • Psychology
  • • World religions
  • • Gender studies

The theoretical list goes on to incorporate just about any subject from the sciences to humanities. One caveat of the liberal arts education is that variety is mandatory. While a student may excel at English, philosophy, and other humanities subjects, he must also challenge himself to study scientific disciplines as well. Students passionate about biology and environmental science are likewise asked to display the range of their abilities by taking humanities courses. Thus, liberal arts colleges should not be entered into lightly, but are rather best suited for the individual who is truly willing to broaden his knowledge base and leave behind his comfort zone.

Other qualifications the arts and sciences student must possess are curiosity, independence, a love of reading, writing, and discussion, and a high degree of self-motivation, especially critical during the independent research portion of one's studies. High school students and those individuals already working on general education can prepare for arts and sciences schools by enrolling in challenging courses from a large scope of disciplines.

Employment Outlook for Liberal Arts Graduates: One of the wonderful things about holding a degree from a liberal arts school is that it qualifies you for a potentially broad range of occupations. A few of these, along with detailed earnings information, are profiled below.

  • Postsecondary teachers: College professors are the natural graduates of liberal arts schools, extending their love of learning beyond their own education and on into the professional sphere. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects faster-than-average job growth for postsecondary instructors. English professors earn a mean annual wage of $65,860.
  • General practitioners: General practitioners are in high demand. According to the BLS, their employment is projected to grow at a rate much faster than the national average. As of May 2009, they made a mean annual wage of $168,550.
  • Writers: Fusing artistic expression with lucid communication, good writers are needed in many sectors of the economy. The BLS expects average growth for this occupation, noting that those who readily adapt to new media enjoy the best employment prospects. The mean annual wage for writers is $64,560.

The writer Karin Hansen holds a degree in English from San Francisco State University.

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