Liberal Arts College

What Is Liberal Arts College?

Let us carefully consider the meaning of both terms ‘Liberal Arts’ and ‘Liberal Arts College’.

In the scholarly world, liberal arts generally refer to subjects or skills that mean to give general knowledge and comprise the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, instead of professional or technical subject.

A liberal arts college or liberal arts institution of higher education is a college with an accentuation on undergraduate study in the liberal arts and sciences. Such colleges expect to give a wide general knowledge and develop general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum. Students in a liberal arts college generally major in a particular discipline while receiving exposure to a wide range of academic subjects, including sciences as well as the traditional humanities subjects taught as liberal arts. Although it draws on European antecedents, the liberal arts college is strongly associated with American higher education, and most liberal arts colleges around the world draw explicitly on the American model.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the top ten ranked Liberal Arts Colleges in America for 2019, by alphabetical order are: Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Carleton College, Claremont McKenna College, Davidson College, Middlebury College, Pomona College, Swarthmore College, Wellesley College, Williams College.

There is no formal definition of liberal arts college, but one American authority defines them as schools that “emphasize undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in the liberal arts fields of study. Other researchers have adopted similar definitions.

Although many liberal arts colleges are exclusively undergraduate, some also offer graduate programs that lead to a master’s degree or doctoral degree in subjects such as business administration, nursing, medicine, and law. Similarly, although the term “liberal arts college” most commonly refers to an independent institution, it may also sometimes refer to a university college within or affiliated with a larger university. Most liberal arts colleges outside the United States follow this model.



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