Liberal Arts | Major

Liberal Arts or liber ars (liber is Latin for free, ars is Latin for craft, skill, or art) is a broad term that can encompass the study of history, literature, writing, philosophy, psychology, economics, creative arts, and more. As a discipline, these subjects are intended to give you general knowledge and the ability to learn any subject — instead of specific skills needed for a technical profession.

About the Liberal Arts Major

Liberal arts majors at Southern Virginia University read, study, and investigate the main issues in a range of disciplines (such as history, literature, art, philosophy, and the sciences) and become well practiced in critical thinking, reasoning, and judgment. Students also gain an appreciation for the historical and cultural contexts that frame our contemporary world and its problems—a valuable perspective for all in our day. Those in the liberal art major learn to write well, study widely, learn broadly, and examine every perspective.

One of the great advantages of a liberal arts major is its versatility, providing the skills to see and make connections across disciplines, examine how different issues are represented, and provide a wide range of viewpoints. Students may mold their programs of study to include specific areas of interest within the context of the major requirements, and many often double major or have multiple minors or concentrations. This mix of programs is excellent preparation for a career or graduate program in law, business, medicine, education, public service, the arts, and many other fields.

Learning Outcomes

  • Capability in critical and reflective thinking.
  • Comprehension of cultural past and present and basic history of Western ideas, art, literature, politics, and the major figures, events, and movements.
  • Ability to write persuasively and analytically in proper and effective English.

Getting Started in the Liberal Arts Major

  1. Enroll

    Begin by taking Reason and the Self (LIB 110), America and the Enlightenment (LIB 120), and Classics of Western Literature (LIB 130) in your first year

  2. Contact Your Advisor

    Get in touch with Professor Scott Dransfield to discuss your interests and goals

  3. Declare

    Turn in a completed Declare Major form to the Registrar’s Office


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Alumni Success

Dalon Hampshire (‘21)

Master’s in New Testament Studies at Duke University

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Kailey Simmons

Kailey Simmons (’17)

Actress at Tuacahn Center for the Arts

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Faculty Contacts:

“The liberal arts major is built from a collection of disciplines. It provides a very customizable and multidisciplinary education that can be applied to any career path, and students have the opportunity to combine all their academic interests into one major while still pursuing their chosen field.”

– Professor Scott Dransfield