What does liberal arts mean anyway?

Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by to take the time to learn about what it means to attend a liberal arts college like Scripps. Above is a video of us, the summer interns, speaking about our experience, but we thought we would take the time to highlight some key points from the video as well!

Liberal arts can be a somewhat confusing and unknown term for most folks—while the term may sound like it has to do with being liberal or focusing on the arts, it’s not! Instead, liberal arts is an education focused on classical learning objectives rather than purely professional. In this sense, the education you receive at a liberal arts school is going to be versatile and broad, giving students the opportunity to explore a wide array of subjects!

Receiving a liberal arts education means learning to think in a way that helps you digest and understand the material you’re given in classes, rather than just learning skills for a specific career. This gives students the opportunity for flexibility with their future plans! The skills learned within each major at Scripps can be translated and applied to a variety of post-college opportunities: graduate school, fellowships, and traditional careers.

Students who are attracted to liberal arts schools like Scripps are passionate and interested in different subjects. We feel that it is important to take a holistic approach to our education to have a better understanding of how our world works and be better prepared to take on life after college.

Liberal arts schools also create a space for exploration. Not having to declare a major until the end of our second year at Scripps is intentional! It’s expected for students to take different classes in many subjects to learn more about themselves and any other possible undiscovered interests. Scripps encourages students to step outside of their comfort zone by requiring everyone to fulfill general education requirements in Fine Arts, Letters, Natural Science, Social Science, Race and Ethnic Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies, Math, and Foreign Languages.

Liberal arts schools also tend to be smaller and mostly, if not entirely, focused on undergrads—which means students get the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with classmates and professors. Overall, being at a liberal arts school comes with many benefits that enhance, challenge, and encourage students to better prepare us for life after undergrad!

Cheers! – Aby, Keila, Siena, Nathalie