As the old adage goes — when it comes to making a living, education teaches us how; when it comes to making a life, it’s the liberal arts that does the teaching. Critical thinking, communication, creative problem solving, self-expression, innovative research, and a commitment to lifelong learning are all skills and qualities a liberal arts degree emphasises. These are central to a bright future, a great career and a well-lived life.
According to Business Insider, people who have majored in English, sociology, history, and everything in between have been hugely successful in business, government, and technology. Kamala Harris? Political science major. Oprah? Communication major. Even Harvard’s most famous dropout, Mark Zuckerberg, studied psychology before leaving for greener pastures. Sesame Street may be teaching children lessons in STEM, but it’s diverse perspectives that fast-track growth in today’s world.
Businesses worldwide are excited about AI and automation, and liberal arts graduates are sharing the same interest and enthusiasm without worry — research shows it’s their skill set that is the least likely to be automated. These graduates remain in demand and thriving, with successful tech giants today hiring more and more humanities and social science majors to understand consumers and drive sales. These leaders are aware of the fact that it takes an expert in human relationships to connect with customers and build strong, ethical cultures.
These demands go to show that liberal arts is needed to push humankind forward and assist in bringing along the next great wave of innovations through hard and soft skills. Here are four liberal arts colleges in the US that are nurturing these skills and more:
A top tier liberal arts college located in Waverly, Iowa, Wartburg College is open to all students looking to discover meaning and purpose. It’s a small college with many big advantages. If you learn better with personal access to your professors through small class sizes and on-campus activities, Wartburg is the place for you.
The school has 1,564 students, 20% of which are international. The campus is known as a place to build relationships and all students to grow their network in a tight-knit, welcoming community. Together they work hand-in-hand towards joining a diverse alumni of 22,000 who are currently excelling in 50 different states and 70 countries. Wartburg College comes in at #3 in the nation for financial aid according to LendEDU in 2020-21 and over 90% of its students are currently enrolled under some form of scholarship .
Wartburg offers more than 50 academic majors in liberal arts and professional areas such as business administration, education, music, journalism and communication. Most graduates go on to acquire satisfying jobs in the fields of their choice, while some pursue higher education at top graduate and professional institutions. The college offers a liberal education that allows students to not only excel in their chosen fields but to also develop the critical thinking skills necessary to explore the ethics of decision-making, community engagement, effective communication, cultural competence and collaboration.
Multifaceted and robust, Wartburg College is also well recognised as a top choice for international students interested in pursuing a STEM education with comprehensive programmes in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, computer science and mathematics. To find out more about Wartburg and its immersive offerings, click here.
Located just outside of Philadelphia, Haverford is a leading liberal arts college that is well-known for academic rigor, Honor Code and beautiful campus with breathtaking surroundings. About 98% of the college’s 1,353 students are currently enjoying life on campus as they pursue an education that allows them to collaborate and explore.
Founded in 1833 and ranked among the top 15 National Liberal Arts Colleges, this historic and established community is located in one of the US’s greatest metropolitan areas, within close proximity to its extraordinary consortium partners. Look to one of three Academic Centres to receive funding for your student research projects, join the Innovations Programme to be encouraged and nurtured in entrepreneurship or sign up for the Whitehead Internship programme which funds summer work for industry exposure.
It is expected of all Haverford students to be involved in research. The college views learners as trusted colleagues in and out of the classroom that are capable of independently shaping their own paths. High-level research experience, hands-on opportunities, the requirement of a thesis and more produces graduates that push boundaries of several disciplines at a time. From astrophysics to classical languages, students here select from an extensive lineup of majors to design their futures, graduating as well-rounded, expansive thinkers.
DePauw University in Indiana is a fully residential liberal arts college — this means engagement is something that is practiced at all times. Conversations are had and opinions are shared all over campus, from seminar tables to dining halls to student lounges. It’s an unrivalled, collaborative adventure waiting to be experienced alongside faculty members, local community members, alumni, and dorm-room peers that are eager to make lifelong connections and impactful partnerships that often extend to careers.
DePauw ranks #4 nationally for students studying abroad and financial assistance is offered to qualifying students, making the experience accessible to those that wish to get out of their seats and actively respond to the world’s greatest challenges. International opportunities here open doors to over 100 countries, providing access to change-driving experiences that shape passions while advancing communities. From courses in South Africa that cover life after Mandela, public health initiatives in rural Ecuador to immersion studies in Italy, there’s something for every student looking to make a global impact.
Since 1837, DePauw has maintained its identity as an involved and interconnected campus with over 100 student clubs and organisations that keep students engaged with full academic calendars. If you can’t find a group here that suits your interests, fear not because you could always just form your own.
Bard College continuously builds on its 160-year history as a competitive and innovative liberal arts and sciences institution with a mission that expands across the country and around the world, ultimately to meet broader student needs. While 1,900 undergraduate and 600 graduate students are enrolled into Bard programmes, nearly 1,200 are pursuing education in Bard’s early colleges and 2,500 at its global affiliates.
Collectively among almost 6,000 students, 17% are international students or dual citizens that are enjoying a personalised touch to teaching with a ten to one student-faculty ratio. Among many distinguished faculty members are four MacArthur Fellows, a soprano, journalist, composer, poet and more. Over the years, four recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature have shared their knowledge to students at Bard.
Located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, the college believes that a liberal arts education offers students both breadth and depth of learning. Here, undergraduate students here get to select from approximately 35 stand-alone programmes in academic divisions such as the arts, languages and literature, science mathematics and computing, social studies and interdivisional programmes and concentrations.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International