Message from the Dean of Arts and Sciences

Shirley Peterson

Shirley Peterson

Welcome to the Arts and Sciences Division.

We might regard the Liberal Arts degree as preparation for anything, rather than training for something specific. While this may be somewhat overstated on both counts, it does speak to the general purpose of the Liberal Arts: to better prepare us for life which, after all, does not always follow a job description. The skills and depth of understanding we bring to any task will determine how well we perform, whether we end up as teachers, scientists, historians, artists, or business tycoons. Unless we live our lives in complete isolation, which is increasingly impossible, we will have to interact with fellow human beings. We will also be called on to evaluate the world around us, which grows more complex every day, and to make important decisions based on those evaluations. To that end, we need to understand our common humanity and to be flexible enough to pivot from one task to another with clarity and purpose. A Liberal Arts education promotes intellectual inquiry and communication skills across many disciplines at increasingly sophisticated levels of proficiency. Its research-based curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, aesthetic analysis, scientific and historical proficiency, oral and written communication, and civic, ethical and moral responsibilities. This breadth of inquiry is accompanied by the depth provided in nearly forty majors. With an eye toward future employment opportunities, Liberal Arts students can also look into Animation, Applied Theater, Cytotechnology, Visual Effects, Graphic Design, Public Relations, Professional Writing, Advertising, Public History, Adolescence Education, Pre-Law, Paralegal Studies, Environmentalism and Forensic Science. Minors in a wide variety of academic and professional areas, along with internship opportunities, complement their Liberal Arts credentials. Ultimately, Liberal Arts majors compete well in the job market because they are grounded in the marketplace of ideas. Everyone changes jobs at one point or another, but your education follows you throughout life. Make yours as versatile and rewarding as possible with a foundation in the Liberal Arts.

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