The programs in a university have a variety of different goals. Some departments teach students skills that are directly applicable to specific jobs.
Other departments, those in liberal arts, have somewhat different goals. They usually do not focus directly on job skills (though liberal arts can make learning job skills easier). Consider: theology is one of the liberal arts, but not pastoral counseling; likewise mathematics is a liberal art, but not accounting; and so forth. The liberal arts are more interested in helping individuals understand themselves, other people, and the world around them.
Characteristics of liberal arts students include:
- An awareness that liberal arts study tends to be beneficially abstract and theoretical;
- A commitment to developing tools of critique and critical reasoning;
- An awareness of the importance of developing moral or narrative imagination;
- A commitment to developing both contemplative and creative skills;
- An awareness of the potentialities flowing from informed appreciation of the arts.
Liberal arts disciplines promote such traits and achievements not by description or enactment of established procedures. Rather, they seek ways of telling stories, or of conceptualizing events and themes that offer models for various and therefore valuable ways of thinking about the self and its relation to the social and natural worlds.
Among its other application requirements, the Master of Liberal Studies Program calls for a "BA or BS degree from an accredited institution," with:
- A major, or significant coursework in liberal arts disciplines, and
- A minimum GPA of 3.00 from the degree-granting institution (Provisional admission with a lower GPA may be possible.)
Major in a Liberal Arts Discipline...
The liberal arts have been defined as "Academic disciplines, such as languages, literature, history, philosophy, mathematics, and science, that provide information of general cultural concern." The liberal arts may thus be thought of as distinct from professional or technical education, although degree programs vary in content and nomenclature from institution to institution. For example, the Metropolitan State majors in liberal arts disciplines are:
Computer Information Systems
Significant Coursework in Liberal Arts Disciplines...
This would typically mean at least 20 semester credits of highly successful upper division coursework in some combination of the disciplines listed above, or any of the following:
Information and Computer Sciences