About the College of Liberal Arts | College of Liberal Arts | SIU

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About the College of Liberal Arts

One with many.

student and mentorAcademic diversity. The essence of a traditional university education. The College of Liberal Arts represents both. We offer more majors, minors and specializations than any other college on campus. Our strength comes from within. Our departments, our faculty, our students, refuse to be confined within narrow definitions.

We reach across typical boundaries to create new approaches to old questions, to ask new questions, to find answers to questions that haven’t even been asked yet. Our students have the power of many behind them. And with that power, they learn to stand out as individuals.

Psychology students"Liberal Arts" refers to fine arts, social sciences, and humanities. That includes majors such as anthropology, linguistics, sociology, theater, foreign languages, literature -- and many more.

We are the starting point for the careers of economists, psychologists, artists, criminologists, paralegals, legislators, geographers, and countless more professions cultivated from a solid liberal arts education.

These areas are often called “disciplines.” So when we say we are a college that values “interdisciplinary study,” we mean that you’ll find fine arts in our social sciences and social sciences in our humanities.

students with lab suppliesIt also means that we’ve created minors that maximize the individual strengths of our faculty, bringing professors from different departments together to offer interdiscipinary minors that help you target your major. (Most of our majors are also available as minors.)

The same spirit of building from within inspires our Independent Programs. Our Independent Programs provide students the opportunity to expand specific interests into other areas. And our University Studies program allows for maximum customization as students build their own majors.

archaeology studentLiberal Arts is a major part of the University Core Curriculum. That’s because much of what you expect from a university education, CoLA delivers. With a foundation in the liberal arts, you can build a career almost anywhere.

You’ll find our students performing in Carnegie Hall; studying how climate change might affect Midwestern agriculture growing seasons; creating and translating business marketing campaigns in Madrid; presenting individual, faculty-mentored research at national conferences; and seeing their work published in journals and magazines.

student in MRI machineInitiative is always rewarded. So when someone asks you, “What will you do with a liberal arts degree from SIU Carbondale?” you can answer, “Anything I want."