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

Southern Illinois University



Photo Slideshow

students with survey equipmentstudents using virtual reality headsetsanthropology classcups that say College of Liberal Arts

About the College of Liberal Arts

One with many.

Academic diversity. The essence of a traditional university education. The College of Liberal Arts represents both. Our strength comes from within. Our programs, our faculty, and 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. 

"Liberal Arts" includes the social sciences and humanities. That includes majors such as anthropology, linguistics, sociology, foreign languages, literature -- and many more. We are the starting point for the careers of countless 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 humanities in our social sciences and social sciences in our humanities. It also means that we’ve created minors that maximize the individual strengths of our faculty, bringing professors from different programs together to offer interdisciplinary minors that help you target your major. (Most of our majors are also available as minors, too.) Our University Studies program allows for maximum customization as students build their own majors. Liberal 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 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. Initiative is always rewarded. So when someone asks you, “What will you do with a liberal arts degree from SIU?” you can answer, “Anything I want."