Liberal Learning at IU

A liberal arts education begins with the premise that one's world and one's self are worth knowing. To understand our world, we must know something about its physical, biological, cognitive, social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions. The liberal arts provide these perspectives on knowledge to serve as the basis for a full and effective professional and personal life. No better preparation for success in the professions exists than a strong liberal arts education, and our experience demonstrates that the liberal arts help develop the rigor of mind needed for advanced study in any field and for the pursuit of a richer life through the enlargement of mind and spirit.

By its very name, a liberal arts education suggests that broadness of study is a primary concern. It inspires openness and breadth of mind, regard for values unlike our own, and respect for the creative processes of diverse disciplines. The liberal arts emphasize cultural, social, and biological change and assess the impact of technological progress on the world's environment. They generate appreciation and understanding of many societies' past accomplishments and provide the basis for future insight and enterprise.

The liberal arts education of the College of Arts and Sciences provides the fundamental knowledge, skills, and experience essential for a full, rich, and rewarding life. Such an education taps many of the capacities that we as human beings possess. It offers us fuller lives, in understanding and expressing ourselves and in relating to others.

The arts and sciences are pre-professional in the best sense. They serve as a foundation for many professions, many ways of earning a living. More than training for today's occupations, a liberal arts education offers students the foresight and flexibility they will need as they move on to careers and technologies not yet known or imagined.

Finally, a liberal arts education develops the qualities of mind that are needed by informed and responsible people. Any decision or action—whether personal or professional—informed by knowledge, rationality, and compassion makes the greatest contribution to a better world.