The stream of liberal arts emerges from the ancient Greco-Roman world where liberal arts was considered essential education for a free individual active in civic life. In the modern scenario, the term refers to programs that aim to provide a broader spectrum of knowledge and skills in a plethora of disciplines. The prime aim of liberal arts is to develop well-rounded individuals with general knowledge of a wide range of subjects and with mastery of a range of transferrable skills.
Thus, a typical liberal arts degree program is interdisciplinary, covering topics within humanities, as well as social, natural, and formal sciences. While humanities include art, literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, ethics, modern foreign languages, performing arts, etc., social sciences include history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender studies, anthropology, economics, etc. Similarly, natural sciences include astronomy, chemistry, physics, botany, archaeology, geology, zoology, earth sciences etc., and formal sciences include mathematics, logic, statistics, etc.
The best destinations to pursue a liberal arts degree across the globe are:
United States of America
The United States of America is definitely the best destination if you want to pursue liberal arts at the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level.
Universities such as the University of Chicago, Princeton University, Yale University, Columbia University, University of California at Berkley, University of Pennsylvania, University of California at Los Angeles, Stanford University, Harvard University and, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are among some of the Top 50 Universities for Liberal Arts.
With degree options in all 4 aspects of liberal arts, that is, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and formal sciences, high quality of education and top-notch research opportunities, make the US a paramount destination for pursuing a liberal arts degree!
Similar to the US, the UK is also a hot destination for pursuing a liberal arts degree. From arts and humanities to natural and life sciences, all top universities in the UK offer liberal arts degrees at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Universities such as the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, University College London are amongst the top 20 universities in the world for a liberal arts program. Other UK universities such as the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London, Durham University, University of Warwick, University of York, University of Manchester are world-renowned and are ranked in the top 50 universities in the world for a liberal arts degree.
Known as one of the best places to study abroad, due to the excellent research and academic opportunities available, and, the low cost of education, Germany is a great destination to pursue a liberal arts degrees. Universities such as Humboldt University of Berlin, LMU Munich, Free University of Berlin, Heidelberg University, University of Tubingen, University Freiburg, University of Cologne, University of Gottingen are recognized worldwide for their scholars and work produced!
German Universities are also prominent for providing immense research opportunities along with good career opportunities, thereby, making the country one of the best to study in!
French Universities such as Paris Sciences et Lettres- PSL Research University Paris, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Paris- Sorbonne University, are widely known for their Social Science(s), Arts and Humanities degrees. With excellent education and world-renowned teaching, these Universities have eminent personalities as their alumni. Paris has also been ranked as one of the most student-friendly cities in the world! However, French universities offer limited or no degrees in natural and formal sciences.
With a positive and liberal international outlook, Australian universities such as the Australian National University (ANU), University of Melbourne, University of Sydney are ranked amongst the top 50 universities in the world for a liberal arts degree! These Australian universities offer a variety of courses ranging from arts and humanities to social sciences, natural sciences, and formal sciences.
The Netherlands is located in Europe and boasts of a vibrant and cultural environment, ideal for students. Universities such as Leiden University, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, University of Groningen, Radboud University Nijmegen offer a range of English-taught degree programs across all the aspects of liberal arts. Additionally, Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is ranked exceedingly well in the Quality of Living Survey, making it a prime destination for students from all over the world.
Singapore is one of the best countries to study in. With one of the best education systems in the world and excellent quality of living, more and more students are flocking to Singapore, especially for their master’s and doctoral thesis.
The National University of Singapore (NUS) is Singapore’s flagship university, which offers a global approach to education and research with a focus on Asian perspectives and expertise. NUS offers multidisciplinary courses across different streams of Liberal Arts making it a top destination for liberal arts.
Similarly, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore is a research-intensive university offering excellent courses in social sciences, arts and humanities, formal science, and natural science. NTU offers both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, as well as doctoral courses, with a specialization in natural sciences.
Counted amongst the Top 15 universities in the world for liberal arts, the University of Toronto is among the world’s most prestigious universities. Offering a wide range of courses in arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and formal sciences, the University of Toronto all boasts of attracting top-notch research scholars pursuing under-graduation and post-graduation degrees. The University of British Columbia is another well-ranked university. With its excellence in research and teaching and commitment to student success, it has emerged as a leader in applying learning research to improve teaching practice.
Still unsure about pursuing a career in Liberal Arts? Read more here.
Written by: Shagun Sethi