Liberal Arts are the cornerstone of university education in the United States. Every profession and field of study requires students to have demonstrated breadth of knowledge, critical thinking and analytical writing. The liberal arts provide exposure to humanities, languages, art, music and the social sciences. The liberal arts by definition avoid locking students into specializations early in their career and encourage them to explore widely and demonstrate an aptitude for many different disciplines. A true liberal arts curriculum also allows students to take sufficient courses in mathematics and science to develop an appreciation for these disciplines.
Most commonly offered degrees in the liberal Arts
The liberal arts degrees are generally offered at the undergraduate level so that they can be a foundation for graduate study in different fields. Liberal art degrees generally do allow students to specialize in one area of study but it rarely comprises more than a half of their courses. The remaining half of the courses is a mix of classes from different subject areas including electives that can be from any area.Some of the most common specializations in the liberal arts include economics, psychology, political science and history. These specializations are distinguished by providing strong preparation for business or law school as well as the writing skills that may prove invaluable for careers in journalism, advertising or public service.
Specializations Available in liberal Arts
As discussed above, the liberal arts by nature do not aim to force students to specialize too early in their careers. But that does not mean that students cannot pursue a concentration. The quantity of courses that can be counted to your major can vary from a third to a half of your total courses.
At the same time, it is not unheard of for liberal arts majors to use the flexibility of their degree program to complete two undergraduate degrees in four years. Common combinations in the liberal arts include economics and mathematics, economics and politics, history and politics and English and history.
As students begin to pursue graduate degrees they are expected to adopt areas of specialization. If you pursue graduate studies in history, you may specialize in Asian, European or American history or even in a specific period such as the Medieval Age.
There are other graduate degrees that derive inspiration from many of the liberal arts. A common choice is the masters in fine arts that allows you to get training in creative writing, literature and art. There is also a growing emphasis on integrating the study of the liberal arts with the humanities.
Career opportunities and salaries for students of liberal Arts
Average salaries of students in the liberal arts tend to be lower than those of engineering students at about $35,000 a year. But that doesn’t mean there are not good career paths for students of the liberal arts. Many graduates of liberal arts programs are able to secure lucrative and satisfying careers in journalism, advertising, public service and government.
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