What is liberal arts?

A liberal arts education is the study of academic areas including science, social science, languages, the arts, history, philosophy, literature, and math. It’s not technical training for a single field. Rather it’s an intellectual grounding in many fields.

A key thing to remember about the liberal arts: it’s not what you study—economics vs. English vs. physics—it's the result. Liberal arts teaches you to be an excellent verbal and written communicator, to think critically, and to be a pro-active problem solver.

It’s a foundation for you, but also for society, preparing you to serve, lead, and—yes—change the world.

lecturer in the classroom

I Want to Be a Lawyer, Banker, Artist, Physicist, Tech Pioneer, Anthropologist (fill in the blank). Why study liberal arts?

CEOs worldwide will tell you that their best employees are liberal arts graduates. They are looking for smart people who can connect ideas, write well, and look at problems from many sides. That level of flexible, skilled thinking comes from the liberal arts. You could major in many areas, including biology, chemistry, English, or sociology—all of which are liberal arts majors—if you want to be an architect, researcher, start-up founder, doctor, performing artist, or anything.

lecturer in the classroom
lecturer in the classroom

Lifetime Value

A big part of all professions is solving problems, connecting ideas, and communicating well. Liberal arts trains you in these skills. Many of our graduates go on to further study, but a grounding in the liberal arts will help you see the big picture, find innovative solutions to thorny problems, and relate well to people you deal with in whatever career you choose.

Which Majors Are Liberal Arts?

  • Is biology a liberal arts major? Yes!
  • Computer science? Yes!
  • What about econ? Yes!
  • Political science? Math? Psychology? Yes, yes, and yes! All of the 80+ majors offered at Emory are liberal arts majors.
Professor sharing a rare book from the Rose Library