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Liberal arts colleges fostering curiosity, communication skills and creativity

New College of Florida
Source: New College of Florida

Liberal arts colleges offer curricula “that ‘liberate’ the mind and move beyond mere professional training, while at the same time ensuring that the student is able to focus on one academic subject that serves as the bulwark of this intellectual exploration,” says Mark Montgomery, founder and CEO of Great College Advice.

These colleges offer bachelor’s degrees in arts and sciences, in majors ranging from studio art and music to mathematics and chemistry. Students are trained to expand the capacity of their minds to think critically and analyse information effectively. 

For those who want to study subjects that interest them, pursue a passion like music or the arts alongside their major, prepare for a diverse set of careers, or customise their major with a specific life goal in mind, a liberal arts college could be an excellent choice.

Here are four institutions that offer all of the above and more. 

New College of Florida

New College of Florida

Source: New College of Florida

This is where faculty members and students engage in in-depth exploration of ideas and subject matter. This is where students have the freedom to chart their own academic course. This is where students prepare for their future careers. This is the New College of Florida.

As Florida’s “honors college for the liberal arts,” it has one mission: to provide an undergraduate education of the highest calibre to leading students from around the world. Set on a beautiful 110-acre campus on sunny Sarasota Bay, NCF offers undergraduate programmes — with more than 40 areas of concentration (majors) and over 300 courses — and a Master’s in Applied Data Science degree.

Here, there are numerous opportunities inside and outside classrooms that spark personal growth and career-readiness. In small classes — the current student to faculty ratio is 7:1 — students receive personalised attention.

At the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO), students prepare for their dream careers, graduate school, and to apply for grants and fellowships or the Peace Corps, amongst others. Support of all sorts are available, be it in writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, career planning, networking or finding internship opportunities. The CEO matches each student with a career counselor even before they set foot on campus.

It’s an ecosystem that nurtures success. Four out of five NCF 2020 undergraduates had more than three internships or experiential learning opportunities prior to graduation and all students from its graduate programme in data science have secured a full-time job in data science within three months of graduation.

Life at university has more to offer than just classes and students at NCF are known to be prolific both in academics and athletics. There is a complete range of recreational, competitive sports, representative, and leadership activities to take part in. NCF is a great place to launch a life — to learn more, click here. Scholarships are available for international students.

Bard College

Bard College

Source: Bard College

Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year residential college of the liberal arts and sciences. Committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse, the college trains tomorrow’s thought leaders by instilling curiosity, a love of learning, and idealism. 

Located 90 miles north of New York City, its main campus in the Hudson River Valley features state-of-the-art facilities like the Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Centre for Science and Computation and the Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Centre for the Performing Arts.

With a mission to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education, Bard College offers bachelor of arts, science, and music degrees, with majors in nearly 40 academic programmes; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programmes nationally and internationally. Alternatively, graduates can choose from graduate degrees in 11 programmes. 

“We have an incredible array of options and opportunities for students to get involved  in and a vibrant campus life that invites students to be ambitious,” says David Shein, Dean of Studies. 

Support, intellectual and social connections, and networking opportunities are offered to students the moment they arrive on campus. With a dedicated faculty and world-class facilities, they promote the highest standards in health and physical fitness through its athletic offerings such as soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, kickball, badminton, and squash. 

DePauw University

DePauw University

Source: DePauw University

DePauw University provides students with the intellectual tools to understand, examine and develop solutions to the problems affecting our society and the human condition.

This is a university that builds a bridge between knowledge and experience. From teaching and learning to research and engagement, a DePauw education is rigorous — every aspect is geared towards creating students who can improve the world. Education here will broaden and deepen your interests through an exciting variety of majors, minors and pathways.

Here, students have a community that values critical thinking, encourages self-discovery and embraces all walks of life. In this open, collaborative and innovative environment, faculty, staff and students thrive as individuals and as a community. “DePauw is not DePauw without the culture and vibrancy of its student body,” says President Lori S. White. 

A unique combination of intellectual challenge, social engagement and nationally competitive athletics opportunities is offered here through a selection of sports such as basketball, cross, country, football, golf, tennis and so forth. Its student support services are available all year-round to answer questions and help students reach their academic, personal, and professional goals. 

Haverford College 

Haverford College

Source: Haverford College

Located just outside Philadelphia, Haverford College boasts academic rigour, an Honour Code, and a beautiful arboretum campus. The college aspires to be the exemplary comprehensive institution that focuses on diversity, inclusivity, and multiculturalism. 

Here, students evolve into well-rounded, expansive thinkers as they interact closely with world-class faculty and a diverse student body — each a collaborator in learning, in research, and in service. Programmes range from engineering and education to theatre and dance. Through lectures, small group projects, independent studies, internships and more, graduates leave Haverford with the intellectual skills of perception, analysis, interpretation and expression.

With 23 varsity teams and club options including badminton, crew, golf, soccer, ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and rugby, there’s something for everyone at Haverford College. That’s not all, as students will also find numerous opportunities to immerse themselves in the college’s lively campus arts scene.

“The unmatched support that I received from friends, teammates, coaches, faculty and staff gave me everything I needed to pursue any professional opportunity I want to,” shares alumnus Brandon Jenkins who is now working in Los Angeles for Rothschild & Co. in mergers and acquisitions.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International