Understanding What “Liberal Arts” Means for Your Future

Justine Yentsch

Sometimes, it can be very difficult to explain just how important Liberal Arts are. If you go to the Wikipedia page, you get a confusing history lesson, but the Transylvania University page defines it pretty well:

“The word “liberal” comes from the Latin liberare, meaning “to free.” A better term, then, could be “liberating arts,” because that is what a liberal arts curriculum aims to do: liberate students from ignorance, preconceptions, and limitations — self-imposed or otherwise.

The “arts” aren’t just limited to subjects like sculpture, dance, or drama, either. Instead, they refer to all human pursuits worthy of intensive study and reflection, from chemistry to history to music.

By embracing all of human knowledge, the liberal arts clear the way for pioneering. Who says that a biology major can’t also study religion, or that environmental studies and Spanish have nothing to do with one another? The liberal arts enable you to draw connections between disparate fields of study, examine ideas and concepts, and challenge underlying assumptions”

Basically, what this means is that at Transylvania University, you won’t only taking classes within your major. After all, wouldn’t college be boring if all the classes you took were on the same subject? There are 5 categories of General Education courses: Intro to Critical Skills, Approaches to Learning, Cultural Traditions, Upper-Level Liberal Arts, and Writing Intensive Courses. It’s recommended to take most of these in your first two years, so then later on you could go onto the higher-level courses in your major.

Who knows? You may go into college thinking you’re destined for a certain career, but then change your mind once taking another course. A Liberal Arts education ensures that not only are you opening your eyes to a variety of subjects, but you also see the many options you have at Transylvania University.

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2 thoughts on “Understanding What “Liberal Arts” Means for Your Future

  1. I agree. The liberal arts make you think. Philosophers, people who question the status quo and seek ways to make the world a better place, often major in the liberal arts. But if you do major in the Liberal Arts, it would be wise to go on and obtain at least a Master’s level as a BA degree, sadly, won’t get you far in terms of finding a job in your field. At least with a Masters, one can teach.

  2. Good point! The best thing about a Transylvania education is that your degree is a Bachelor’s of Arts in whatever discipline you’re perusing. For example, Justine is majoring in Neuroscience but gets all the perks of a liberal arts education in addition to the science she needs for her desired career. It’s the best of both worlds!

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