Why Arts and Sciences?

The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville is composed of three academic divisions: Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences. These divisions house the studies traditionally known as the liberal arts. As a student pursuing a degree in the College, you will establish foundation in the liberal arts by taking basic courses in English composition, oral communication, quantitative and logical reasoning, arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, history of civilization, and cross-cultural studies or foreign languages.

You will also have the opportunity to specialize--major or minor--in one or more of the many programs offered by the College culminating in the awarding of a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree. Advanced degress are also available in many liberal arts fields: Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Liberal arts courses and degrees are also the springboard for admission to many professional schools at both the undergraduate level (Allied Health, Business, Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Pharmacy) and the graduate level (Business Administration, Dentistry, Education, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Veterinary Medicine).

Why get a liberal arts education?

A liberal arts education is a life-long endeavor and has as its goal the development of the intellect in each of us to its full potential. The skills and knowledge you acquire through a liberal arts education will serve you in every aspect of your life. Those skills and knowledge include:

  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Analytical thinking
  • Complex problem solving and decision making skills
  • An understanding of the past as a key to understanding the present to improve the future
  • An understanding and appreciation of different peoples and cultures
  • Aesthetic appreciation

Is there a market for liberal arts graduates?

Employers are showing increased interest in liberal arts graduates. The reason for this interest can be found in the philosophy of a liberal arts education -- the development of the whole person. Liberal arts majors tend to be flexible and adaptable and able to learn new skills quickly. The skills acquired through a liberal arts education are transferable to many different careers and occupations.

The College of Arts and Sciences provides many opportunities for career preparation. For example, in addition to choosing a major, you will also be able to pursue any of the minors offered by the College or by other units such as Business.

What about career-oriented experience?

Cooperative internships are a valuable way to gain work experience in your major field. Degree credit may be awarded by your major department. Summer Study Abroad programs are conducted by the International Center and selected academic units. You can earn up to six hours of credit towards your degree for your successful participation in one of these programs.

Leadership development is an important part of the whole person. Opportunities to develop leadership experience are available through participation in student government, clubs, organizations, and publications.

Articles about the value of a liberal arts education (in order of most recent)

What is the Value of an Education in the Humanities(NPR.org, 2/3/2016)

Tech Companies are Hiring More Liberal-Arts Majors than You Think(Washington Post, 8/26/2015)

Viewpoint: 4 reasons the liberal arts degree is underrated(USA Today, 8/21/2015)

Starving for Wisdom(New York Times, 8/16/2015)

2 College Presidents, on Higher Education(New York Times, 7/29/2015)

That Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket(Forbes, 7/29/2015)

Liberal Arts Majors Are 'The Most Desirable Employees'(Forbes, 4/13/2015)

What the ‘Liberal’ In ‘Liberal Arts’ Actually Means(Washington Post, 4/2/2015)

Forget the MBAs. Hire Liberal Arts Majors(Inc.com, 2/20/2015)

We Don’t Need More STEM Majors. We Need More STEM Majors with Liberal Arts Training(Washington Post, 2/18/2015)

New College Grads: Who Employers Want To Hire(CBS News, 1/20/2015)

Skills Employers Want(Forbes, 11/12/2014)

Richard Cohen: The Actual Value of A College Education(Washington Post, 10/6/2014)

There Is Value in Liberal Arts Education, Employers Say(U.S. News, 9/22/2014)

Employees Who Stand Out(Forbes, 9/5/2014)

Why Top Tech CEOs Want Employees with Liberal Arts Degrees(Fast Company, 8/28/14)

Higher Education Is More Than A ‘Return on Investment’(Washington Post, 3/14/2013)

See All You Can Do with a Degree in the Liberal Arts(My College Guide, 2013)

How do I get started?

Academic Advising Center
College of Arts and Sciences
(502) 852-6487