Liberal Arts Education

8 minute read
Liberal Arts Education

To put it simply, Liberal Arts Education was originally conceptualized by the Ancient Greeks who believed that by studying this discipline, individuals will be imparted with certain skills and abilities which are essential for them to actively participate in civic society. It was the ultimate pool of knowledge for humankind and ensured that every civic individual has to acquire education in a holistic manner. This popular discipline of earlier times evolved massively and in the digital era, it significantly resurfaced again in the Western continent especially Europe and the US. If you are aiming to explore multifarious and interdisciplinary subjects blended together in a simplified area of study, then Liberal Arts Education is the right field for you. This blog explores what Liberal Arts Education is, the top courses and colleges you can explore as well as the career scope it encompasses.

What is the Liberal Arts Education?

The Ancient Greeks basically included three major disciplines in Liberal Arts Education, i.e. Grammar, Rhetoric, and Logic which were further extended with the addition of Astronomy, Arithmetic, Music, and Geometry. With modern times, Liberal arts education expanded into the study of an assorted range of foundational and specialized areas of study ranging from Psychology, Comparative Literature, and Creative Writing to Metaphysical Philosophy, Music, and Film Studies, amongst others. Students pursuing a course in this field get to learn about different theories, and principles to become better at shaping reflective arguments and be able to effectively articulate their thoughts and ideas in a persuasive manner. Liberal arts help the students understand the way of the world and is not limited to restricting students from studying ideas and opinions but actively encourage the scholars towards formulating their own conceptions.

History of liberal arts education in a nutshell

Liberal arts education was viewed in classical antiquity as being crucial for a free person engaged in civic life. At the time, this would have meant having the capacity to take part in public discourse, defend oneself in court and on juries, and serve in the military. Grammar, rhetoric, and logic—collectively known as the trivium—were the only three courses addressed by liberal arts at this time.

The quadrivium, or the addition of four more topics, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy, resulted in the medieval liberal arts curriculum having seven subjects in total.

The quadrivium, which was considerably more challenging than the trivium, was meant to get pupils ready for the more rigorous study of philosophy and theology.

The goal of a liberal arts education was to create virtuous, ethical, well-versed, and highly articulate individuals.

To develop well-rounded individuals with general knowledge of a wide range of subjects and mastery of a range of transferable skills, the core objectives of the traditional liberal arts curricula remain, even though modern liberal arts curriculums allow students to study a much wider range of subjects.

What is modern liberal arts education?

What, then, does a liberal arts education look like today? A typical liberal arts degree program is interdisciplinary and covers issues in the humanities as well as the social, natural, and formal sciences. There are many areas today that come under the broad definition of the category. The specific subjects that liberal arts degree programs at various colleges contain vary. Nonetheless, it is commonly acknowledged that the liberal arts spectrum encompasses the following areas:

  • Humanities: Humanities include music, theatre, speech, and classical languages (Latin/Greek), as well as art, literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, and ethics.
  • Social Science: History, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender studies, anthropology, economics, geography, business informatics, and other social sciences are included in this category.
  • Natural Sciences: Astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archaeology, zoology, geology, Earth sciences, etc. are all considered to be natural sciences.
  • Formal Sciences: Logic, statistics, mathematics, and other formal disciplines are included.

The devoted study of only one of the aforementioned areas is also referred to as “liberal arts education” (for example, a student studying a BA in Philosophy could be said to be undertaking a liberal arts education). Yet, the phrase generally refers to degree programs that seek to offer a wider range of information and abilities.

Benefits of Liberal Arts Education

Steve Jobs once said, “Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing.”

Here are 5 major benefits of pursuing Liberal Arts.

  • There are endless opportunities and many job opportunities. With newer fields emerging, liberal graduates have a huge scope.
  • Students who graduate from this field learn a lot of creative skills and are competent in many domains.
  • A degree in liberal arts can never be in vain. Students can always explore technical and scientific fields and use their knowledge to combine science and social studies. 
  • It is important to understand that while STEM courses are essential in their own way, a degree in liberal arts is what keeps civilization stable. 
  • Students build a strong sense of social responsibility and acquire various transferable skills and build on critical thinking skills.

Before pursuing a degree, it is essential to have a clear roadmap of the courses available to choose from. The first stage of developing a proper understanding related to a program is to know the different options available. Take a look at the following list of various degrees in liberal arts education at undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctorate levels.

Undergraduate Courses

Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science – Anatomy and Histology Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science – Microbiology
Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science – Immunology and Pathology Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – Digital Cultures Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science – Neuroscience
Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – Film Studies Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – Applied Mathematics
Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – French and Francophone Studies Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – Cell Pathology
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences in Political Science Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences – Astronomy Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – Geophysics
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences in Communication Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – European Studies Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science (Honours) – Jewish Civilisation Thought and Culture

Postgraduate Courses

Master of Teaching (Secondary) – Liberal Arts and Sciences Master of Arts in World Languages and Literatures – Spanish Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy – Food Policy
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies – Gender and Diversity Studies Master of Fine Arts in English – Creative Writing Master of Arts in Liberal Arts – Social and Political Thought
Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies Master of Arts in Humanities with Classical Education Master of Arts for Teachers in Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures
Master of Arts in Latin American Studies Master of Science in Information Studies/Master of Arts in Middle Eastern Studies Master of Arts in Rhetoric and Philosophy of Communication
Master of Music in Performance – Multiple Woodwinds or Brass Master of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy – Communication Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts – Dramaturgy

Doctorate Courses

Doctor of Philosophy in Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought Doctor of Philosophy in German and Scandinavian Studies Doctor of Philosophy in French-Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education
Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies – Asian Religious Traditions (ART) Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Economics
Doctor of Philosophy in Education – Curriculum and Instruction Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design Doctor of Philosophy in Catholic Healthcare Ethics
Doctor of Philosophy in Film Studies Doctor of Liberal Studies Doctor of Philosophy in History – Early Modern European History

Top Colleges & Universities

Once you are familiar with the wide range of Liberal Arts Education courses, you must also research about the top colleges and universities offering these programs. Here are the popular academic institutions in the world which you must consider for pursuing a course in this field:

Top colleges in India 

With abundant courses, there are various colleges and universities in India that offer degrees in liberal arts. Here are the top colleges for pursuing liberal arts in India.

  • Loyola College, Chennai
  • Christ University, Bengaluru
  • St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
  • Miranda House, Delhi
  • Hansraj College, Delhi
  • Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi
  • Hindu College, Delhi
  • Ramjas College, Delhi
  • Madras Christian College, Chennai
  • St.Xavier’s College, Kolkata
  • Fergusson College, Pune
  • Presidency College, Kolkata
  • Stella Maris College, Chennai
  • Symbiosis Society’s College, Pune

Eligibility Criteria

The requirements to apply for a course in liberal arts are not complex as it encompasses a vast range of foundational areas thus welcoming students from diverse streams. Here are the general eligibility requirements you must know before applying for Liberal Arts Education programs.

  • There are numerous courses available in Liberal Arts for students with varied educational backgrounds, like, Economics, Engineering, Pharmacy, etc.
  • If you are aiming to study this degree abroad, you will be required to submit language proficiency test scores like TOEFL or IELTS are mandatory requirements.
  • You will also have to provide admission essays like Statement of Purpose (SOP) and Letters of Recommendation (LORs) as part of your application to a foreign university.

What can you do with a Degree in Liberal Arts Education?

Liberal arts education graduates have a vast pool of knowledge across several subjects and areas of study and thus can explore a large number of job opportunities. These profiles require students with varying skills and one can choose the job one is most suited for and finds interesting at the same time. Here are some of the career choices popular amongst students of liberal arts.

Job Prospects

With a wide range of opportunities, students can explore various jobs based on their field of expertise. Here are some of the popular job prospects after pursuing bachelors in any liberal arts subject.


Liberal arts degree jobs are now available in a diverse range of fields as compared to earlier times. The salary varies depending on your majors, skills, and job position. The average starting salaries for liberal arts majors range from ₹2,72,890- ₹4,00,890 annually.


What is the purpose of a liberal arts education?

A liberal arts education builds students to become freethinkers, open communicators, knowledgeable citizens, and instil creativity and critical thinking.

Is a liberal arts education worth it?

A degree in Liberal arts is always worth it as it offers students specializations in various fields, lucrative jobs, and many opportunities to explore their niche.

What are examples of a liberal arts education?

Creative Writing.
Global Inequality.
Women Studies.

Thus, we hope that this blog helped you understand all the essentials of Liberal Arts Education, from the courses offered to the career scope in this area of study. Interested in studying Liberal Arts? Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu and we will assist you in picking the best course and university as per your interests and preferences! Sign up for a free session with us today!

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