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Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Minor

Learning Without Borders

Why Go Interdisciplinary at SVC?

Because real world problems are not packaged according to major, and neither are many careers. “We’re on the cusp of a hybrid model where the most valuable employees are interdisciplinary” (Forbes, 2020). Liberal Arts at Saint Vincent challenge students to engage timely issues that draw from the wisdom of traditional disciplines but defy standard disciplinary divisions.

In our age of siloing, this is needed more than ever!

By bringing together different fields of study into a dialogue on a chosen theme, you will develop the inquiry and critical thinking skills central to the liberal arts tradition, and the crucial ability to engage different perspectives.

Recognizing connections among the parts provides a better sense of the whole, while a better sense of the whole in turn gives greater meaning to the parts. This is one of the most fulfilling and important aspects of learning, of learning without borders.

What Can I Do With a Major in Liberal Arts?

The better question is, how does the Liberal Arts major foster career-readiness?

The interdisciplinary job-candidate is well-prepared for many career options by means of acquiring “T-shaped” skills: both depth (vertical bar) and breadth (horizontal bar) in their learning. While specialists learn a lot about a little, and generalists, a little about a lot. T-shaped learning combines both, which is the aim of the SVC major in Liberal Arts.

According to Tim Brown (CEO of tech firm IDEO), employers do not only seek candidates with specialized knowledge, but also those who have “the disposition for collaboration across disciplines.” Interdisciplinary students can consider problems from different perspectives and have confidence in projects and tasks outside of a confined body of knowledge.

The Liberal Arts major also prepares students for graduate studies in a variety of fields, and specifically fields related to one's interdisciplinary track (see Liberal Arts degree requirements information about interdisciplinary tracks).

Curriculum Requirements

  • Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts

    Liberal Arts Major Requirements (36-39 credits):
    LA 225 Truth and Interpretation – 3 credits
    LA 325 Senior Seminar – 3 credits
    Interdisciplinary Track – 30-33 credits*
    Total – 36-39 credits

    *Up to 15 credits from a primary major can count toward the Liberal Arts credit requirements.

    Interdisciplinary Track Options

    All interdisciplinary tracks are comprised of courses from at least three different disciplines. Students who have already declared a primary major are encouraged to pair with Liberal Arts as a secondary major to add interdisciplinary breadth to their current program.

    In consultation with the program director, students will either self-design an interdisciplinary track or choose one of the following pre-designed tracks:


    Bioethics (32 credits)

    • Biology/Health Science (12 cr.)
    • Philosophy (12 cr.)
    • Chemistry (8 cr.)


    Business Ethics (awaiting development)

    • Business Administration/Management
    • Philosophy
    • Economics


    Citizenship and Globalization (awaiting development)

    • Politics
    • Sociology
    • Literature 


    Digital Humanities (33 credits)

    • Communication/Theoretical Foundations (15 cr.)
    • Humanities (9 cr.)
    • Digital Applications (9 cr.)


    Environmental Ethics (32 credits)

    • Natural Science (10-14 cr.)
    • Philosophy (9-12 cr.)
    • Chemistry/Environmental Science (7-8 cr.) 


    Faith, Reason, and Science (awaiting development)

    • Theology
    • Physics/Natural Science
    • Philosophy


    Health, Development, and Wellbeing (33 credits)

    • Biology (12 cr.)
    • Psychology (9-12 cr.)
    • Anthropology/Health Science (9-12 cr.)


    Human and Artificial Intelligence (awaiting development)

    • Computer Science
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology/Biology


    Information Ethics (32 credits)

    • Computer and Information Science (11-14 cr.)
    • Philosophy (9-12 cr.)
    • Communication (9-12 cr.)


    Language and Culture (30 credits)

    • Anthropology/Cultures electives (15 cr.)
    • Foreign Language (6 cr. beyond 204)
    • History (9 cr.)
  • Requirements for a Minor in Liberal Arts

    Liberal Arts Minor Requirements (15 credits):
    LA 225 Truth and Interpretation – 3 credits
    Tier II Core Courses (independent of Core requirements)– 12 credits
    Total – 15 credits

Program Highlights


How You Will Succeed

  • Participate in an academic community to learn and develop “T-shaped” interdisciplinary skills that prepare for success in both personal and professional living.
  • Work with a committed and knowledgeable faculty who focus on student success.
  • Complete a research project directed by two faculty members which fosters multi-perspective engagement, interdisciplinary research, critical thinking, and communication skills.
  • Become career-ready in a wide variety of areas that value collaboration, independent thinking, innovation, etc.
  • Pursue professional studies in medicine, dentistry, chiropractic, physical therapy and nursing.
  • Pursue specialized graduate studies in any area related to your interdisciplinary track.

Liberal Arts as a Second Major

When pairing the Liberal Arts major with an additional major (or minor), up to 15 credits can be counted toward an interdisciplinary track. This pairing lowers the additional credit load of the Liberal Arts major to approximately 20 credits.   

Select Student Curricula and Major-Pairings

Major 1: Philosophy
Major 2: Liberal Arts (Information Ethics Track)
Minor: Cybersecurity

Major 1: Public History
Major 2: Liberal Arts (Language and Culture Track)
Minor: Chinese

Major 1: Philosophy
Major 2: Liberal Arts (Environmental Ethics Track)
Minor: French

Capstone Project

At the end of the program, students will complete and present a project that concentrates on a culturally relevant issue related to their interdisciplinary track and that demonstrates the benefit of a cross-disciplinary approach to the issue.

Both LA courses contribute to this project:

  • In LA 225 Truth and Interpretation, majors will decide on their focus issue and construct an interdisciplinary research plan.
  • In LA 325 Senior Seminar, the bulk of the research and writing is conducted, with close faculty advising.

Students are encouraged to adapt portions of their written project into more publicly accessible formats, for example, video, website, or portfolio that can be made accessible online to help raise public awareness about their issue.

Liberal Arts Faculty

The Department of Liberal Arts is comprised of a group of committed interdisciplinary faculty who expertly assist majors through their interdisciplinary tracks.

Eric Mohr, Program Director

Elaine Bennett, AHSS School Dean

Doreen Blandino
Modern and Classical Languages

Jason Jividen
Political Science

Andy Julo
Curator, Saint Vincent Art & Heritage Collections

Annie Laurie Nichols

Jeannine Pitas

Michael Robinson

Student Learning Outcomes

Completing a Liberal Arts major enables students to:

  • Synthesize perspectives across multiple disciplines
  • Develop effective written communication skills
  • Develop critical thinking and analysis
  • Develop information literacy