In a bachelor of liberal arts degree program, you can learn about the humanities and gain a wider scope of knowledge to impress employers. Earning a BLA will give you a diverse skill set that could put you on a path to a host of different careers.
Read on to find out the historical and modern meanings behind the term liberal arts, what skills you could gain in a BLA course, which programs are the best, and your possible career prospects.
What Is a Bachelor of Liberal Arts?
A bachelor of liberal arts is often confused with the use of the term “liberal” in politics, but in the case of liberal arts, it is associated with subjects like history, philosophy, and art. The phrase liberal arts originally referred to the liberating arts because it was intended to set people free through knowledge and creativity.
It is traditionally composed of seven arts. The first three deal with the mastery of language and communication and the last four concern mathematical principles of numbers and shapes in motion. Below are the seven original liberal arts:
Modern liberal arts have taken on a new shape based on this foundation, giving students a more well-rounded education. Students will take classes in a broad range of subjects.
For example, a student who wants to complete a science or business major will also take a range of humanities subjects to give them a broader understanding of society and the world. Today, in liberal arts bachelor’s programs, students can choose from a variety of subject areas, including:
- Foreign Language
- Social Science
- Performing Arts
- Computer Science
What Skills Will I Gain From a Degree in Liberal Arts?
A liberal arts degree is favored by many employers, as they have found that candidates with a bachelor of liberal arts degree are capable of completing a wide range of tasks. Here are some of the top skills acquired while studying for a degree in liberal arts:
- Critical thinking
- Communication and presentation skills
- General knowledge
The Best Liberal Arts Programs
These are the best bachelor of liberal arts programs available at colleges and universities in the United States. We have compiled a list to suit all preferences, from full-time or part-time programs to online or on-campus.
The BLA program at the Harvard Extension School is an online course in which students are required to complete 128 credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In the program, you can choose from a range of concentrations in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. The course is designed for adults looking to gain skills to further their careers.
Oregon State University
Oregon State’s College of Liberal Arts offers a wide range of bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees in the liberal arts. Some possible paths include art, media, technology, economics, language, and philosophy. The credit requirements vary by course, but most BA and BS degrees require 180 credits.
University of North Carolina Greensboro
UNCG’s bachelor of liberal bciences degree with a humanities concentration is one of the best online BLS courses, in terms of value for money. The tuition cost for 15 credits is $2,790 in-state and $10,471 out-of-state. The university offers specific courses such as a BA in Philosophy, a BS in Entrepreneurship, and more.
University of Massachusetts
UMass Lowell’s on-campus courses require a minimum GPA of 2.20, and students can choose two areas of concentration in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. Possible subjects include writing, art history, gender studies, health studies, psychology, political science, and more.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois offers a vast range of BA and BS liberal arts and science degrees, ranging from astronomy, biochemistry, computer science, and chemistry to literature, languages, and more. Its student population is among the most diverse in the country and it is among the top-ranked universities in the Midwest.
Liberal Arts Career Prospects
Due to the range of topics students study in a liberal arts bachelor’s degree, graduating students have a wider variety of career prospects.
Below are just some of the possible careers and salaries that graduates can look forward to, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Whether working in print or online news, BLA students will have the writing and communication skills needed to succeed in this field.
Due to the liberal arts BA’s requirements to study political systems, this is also a great potential career for graduates. Furthermore, the verbal communication and presentation skills gained from a BLA will give students who studied politics the ability to work for a political party, as a policy analyst, or even to run for office.
BA recipients who are interested in archiving and learning about art and art history may want to go on to become a museum curator or manager.
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Those interested in literature and creative writing can go on to many different creative writing careers, from writing novels to producing online content, and more.
Physicists and Astronomers
Liberal arts students who are fascinated with mathematics, stars, the planets, and the movement of energy and matter may go on to develop research and make discoveries in this fascinating field. However, you will need to go to graduate school and complete a PhD to move forward in this career.
Is a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree Right for You?
BLA degrees have very versatile and exciting programs for those interested in pursuing higher education. It will give you a more extensive range of skills than a standard bachelor’s degree, as you explore a wide range of topics. Whether the degree is right for you depends on your outlook and career aspirations.
Ask yourself: Do you want a broad range of knowledge, or would you prefer to specialize in one area of study? Imagine your future career and ask yourself if it would benefit you to learn multiple disciplines.
For example, if you want to be a content writer, a BLA would be a great way to learn creative writing, computer science, and humanities, making you a stronger, more well-rounded candidate for the role.
We hope the information published on this site has given you insight into whether getting a bachelor of liberal arts is right for you. Remember to do your research, and have fun learning, no matter what you decide to do.
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