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Why Liberal Arts & Sciences?

"What can you do with a liberal arts and sciences degree?" We hear this question often. But the question really should be, "What can't you do with a liberal arts and sciences degree?"

Academic Cross-Training

Change may be the one constant in your career path. The average U.S. worker will change careers three to five times in their lifetime. As a liberal arts and sciences student, you'll have an upper hand. Your degree, more than any other, gives you the best preparation to take on the challenges you will face in the evolving workforce.

In our programs, we train students in fundamental skills through a curriculum we like to describe as academic cross-training. Students are required to take a broad variety of classes. Our goal is to build your strength throughout. You will be challenged to enhance your strength in your major by pursuing studies in other disciplines. Math majors will take English classes and English majors will take math classes. The reward is a broad base of knowledge that makes our students savvy, agile and adaptable.

Employers Want Your Skills

The basic curriculum for all our majors emphasizes skills in analytical thinking, collaboration, communication, creative and critical thinking and experiential learning. These are the same skills that employers report are most valuable in their employees.

Consider these results from a survey of employers by The Association of American Colleges and Universities in 2010.

Skills Desired by Employers

Employers Valuing Skill

Written & oral communication skills


Critical thinking & analytical reasoning


Complex problem solving


Teamwork & collaboration


Innovation & creativity


Research skills


Students in the College gain these very same skills, through research assignments, essays, class presentations, group projects, internships, community service and volunteer work, and even working with professors on their research.

The same survey also found a need for knowledge in science, international affairs and cultures, and how the U.S. fits into the bigger picture worldwide. The College is the top source at KU for courses in these subjects, as well. By requiring students to take courses in a variety of disciplines, we ensure you will have the knowledge you need to succeed.

Endless Possibilities

With a degree in the liberal arts and sciences, you're not tied to one career path. Our graduates have gone on to be judges, astronauts, artists, authors, doctors, politicians, teachers, scientists, researchers, and much, much more.

Just look at the paths of some of our alumni.

  • Bill James graduated with degrees in English and economics. He went on to revolutionze the role of statistics in baseball recruiting. The system he developed was adopted most famously by the Oakland A's, as portrayed in the movie "Moneyball." His skills in economics led to his interest in statistics, but it was his skills in English that allowed him to write a book that brought his new idea into popularity.
  • Deanell Reece Tacha graduated with a degree in American studies. Tacha served as a federal judge for more than two decades. She credits her degree with giving her the best preparation for her career, as it allowed her to study multiple aspects of the United States, from politics to history to economics.

A liberal arts and sciences degree empowers you to determine your own future. You will graduate with a depth of knowledge that will propel you in ways you might not have even considered yet. Join us and explore the possibilities.

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
Graduates of the College have won Emmys, discovered new species, and been named to Forbes' "most powerful women" lists
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times