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Is it possible to study physics, English and medicine at the same time? Liberal Arts Academic Education in the USA


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Is it possible to study physics, English and medicine at the same time? Liberal Arts Academic Education in the USA


Study science, music and business in one program? Easy! We will tell you where the most interesting programs are that combine the incompatible, and why such education is in the price.

What is Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts is a multidisciplinary bachelor's degree : students in this course can study several subject areas, and their specialization does not limit them in any way. The first two years of the Liberal Arts program are devoted to the study of various directions, but, as a rule, by the end of the second year, the student understands what he would like to do after university and what profession he will master. Those who want to focus on several areas choose a dual specialization: traditional (Biology + Physics) or specific (Physics + English + Medicine). Liberal Arts graduates according to statistics:

  • 23% of all American Nobel laureates with a university degree
  • 27% of the number of American presidents
  • 14% of tenured law professors at Harvard University.

Benefits of training:

  • The opportunity to get acquainted with several professional areas and make an informed choice in favor of one or two specializations
  • Preparation for work in several professional fields
  • Liberal Arts University Diplomas Are in Demand Among Employers
  • Strong base for Master's studies.

A History of Liberal Arts Traditions from the Ancient Greeks to the Present Day

The idea of a multidisciplinary education with an emphasis on soft skills is not a product of modern times - on the contrary, the traditions of Liberal Arts are rooted in ancient history. Even the ancient Greeks followed the ideas of interdisciplinary education. At that time, the most important skill of an educated person was considered to be the skills of participating in debates and defending oneself in court. There were only three subjects in the program - grammar, rhetoric and logic, soon they added geometry, arithmetic, music and astronomy. The main task of such training is to form an educated and intellectually developed person who is versed in many subject areas and has a variety of skills.

In the modern context, Liberal Arts programs include numerous subject areas - humanities, natural sciences, exact sciences and social sciences. At universities, the set of subjects may vary, and the final decision on what to study is up to the student. But usually the range of the program includes the following disciplines:

  • Humanities = literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, ethics, modern languages, music, theater, rhetoric, classical languages (Latin or Greek)
  • Public = history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender sciences, anthropology, economics, geography, business, informatics
  • Natural = astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archeology, geology, earth sciences
  • Exact = mathematics, logic, statistics and others.

Despite the fact that the "liberal arts" program is associated with Greek tradition, most of these programs can be found in the United States.

Principles of Learning in Liberal Arts Institutes

  • First year students study in groups of up to 6 people and work closely with teachers
  • The main task of teachers is to teach students to think critically
  • Teachers act as coordinators: they set difficult tasks for students and help to immerse themselves as deeply into the material as possible, to realize their own attitude to the problem
  • An interdisciplinary approach is not only a way to study topics, but also a type of interaction. According to the interdisciplinary method, students from different cultures and specialties can participate in the classes. For example, students of business directions will study the problem of climate change from an economic point of view, students of the Faculty of Biology will consider it from the point of view of protecting flora and fauna, and students of political science will give another look at the problem.

According to Georgetown University research, liberal arts university graduates are employed for most of their lives, do not suffer from unemployment, and the value of their degree remains evident for years.

Why is interdisciplinary education the main trend today?

In the 21st century, multidisciplinary skills are gaining in importance: statistically, by 2030, we will change professional fields every 5 years, and 30% of jobs will be changed under the onslaught of technological progress. Already today, adaptation skills, the ability to work in a team, creativity and the presence of emotional intelligence are considered the most popular among employers. Experts are increasingly talking about the need to change the classical model of education and focus on the breadth of knowledge and a variety of professional skills.

Taking into account all the trends, dual programs will be an excellent solution, in which you can study several priority areas at a fairly high professional level. As a safety net, creative students, for example, can choose the field of music and business, students interested in science can choose biology and physics.

It seemed that this was impossible in principle, but no - everything is real, and Liberal Arts Universities (or "Free Sciences" Universities) are a vivid confirmation. The flexible program of universities will allow you to acquire multidisciplinary skills and feel confident in the future.

Universities with Liberal Arts programs are ideal for different students:

  • Determined with a scientific field and seeking to obtain a comprehensive education
  • Those who have no idea what they want to study at the university
  • Students who are interested in several scientific areas
  • For those who want to study two related specialties, for example, business and STEM
  • Creative students: at the institute they will be able to study a dual specialization, for example, "Music + Business". This direction will be a compromise for parents and a reliable safety net.

Drew University Liberal Arts as an example

A private educational institution has been open since 1867, the campus of the university is located in Madison, New Jersey. The university specializes in interdisciplinary learning and embodies all the ideas of the Liberal Arts programs - students study in small groups, in training, the emphasis is on an active student life and innovation.

Program cost:

  • International Year One = $ 41,880
  • Undergraduate = $ 41,880
  • Master's degree = $ 29 664.
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Kuban State University, Russia (World Economics); Westminster University (Business & Management).
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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