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March 26, 2012 / NextStepU

Major Monday-Liberal Arts

Are you finding it hard to decide on what you want to declare as your college major? If you are interested in learning and exploring new ideas throughout your college career without having to decide on a specific career path, you might want to consider a major in liberal arts!


According to the College Board, the liberal arts major is offered at both the associate’s (2-year) and bachelor’s (4-year) level. Typical courses include a variety of core classes including biology, English literature, environmental science, music history, psychology, statistics and world religion. After taking the required courses, students will often meet with a professor or advisor to come up with an independent study program that incorporates all of their many interests. This final project is usually a culmination of all the different subjects a student has taken throughout the course of his or her college career and allows for self-directed research that many liberal arts students desire.

What to know before you apply

When students are looking for colleges to apply to with a liberal arts major, they should investigate as to whether the major is housed in its own department or if it is pulled together by different departments. Students should also know what core classes are required as well as what other courses are available since they will often be determining their own course schedule. Students should be self-motivated, interested in a variety of subjects and willing to accept they will likely have to take some courses in areas that they do not particularly excel in.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common occupations of students with liberal arts degrees are in the management, sales and teaching industries. The average starting salary of a management trainee is $39,535, whereas sales associates averaged $38,894 and teaching salaries started at $33,261 as of 2007.

Looking for colleges with a liberal arts major? Search for schools using NextStepU’s College Match!

Laura the Intern
Message me on the Community Boards! (I’m InternLaura)


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