Online Colleges for Liberal Arts and Humanities
The Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory says the term "humanities" refers to "literature, languages, philosophy, art, history, theology, music" and similar subjects, as opposed to the natural sciences (like biology) or the social sciences (like economics). The humanities are the core of a traditional liberal arts education, which also includes some math and science. The mission of university humanities departments is lofty; they teach "what it means to be a human being," according to one scholar quoted by The New York Times. But you'll find that quotation in a 2009 article pointing out that because the humanities are "not intended to prepare students for a specific vocation," their purpose is being questioned in this time when college grads are entering a tough job market. Still, getting a broad-based education in the liberal arts & humanities remains a great investment in your future.
Online Liberal Arts & Humanities Degrees and Careers
Most colleges and universities award many degrees in the liberal arts & humanities. Online schools also have diverse offerings in the liberal arts/humanities, and Jon Meacham, author and former Newsweek editor, has praised these programs as "accessible and more affordable means for people to better their minds and their lives."
Whether you major in a specific branch of the humanities, such as English, or earn a more general degree like the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies, you'll graduate with a broad-based education that employers value. Meacham has pointed out that the multi-subject approach of a liberal arts education equips you with top-notch writing and verbal communications skills and encourages cross-disciplinary thinking. With a degree in liberal arts and humanities, you could work in public relations, editing, and more. In 2009--according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics--editors earned a mean annual salary of $58,440 and public relations specialists earned $59,370.
Why Students Go to an Online Program for Liberal Arts & Humanities
There are many reasons for students to choose to pursue their liberal arts degree online versus a traditional campus. Below is one students story for why she wants to obtain her English degree and how online classes are helping her do so.
"Imagine a young woman on the way of achieving her dream of being the first in her family to graduate from college, in a field that she thought would bring her much success. In her first semester, she missed placement on the Dean's list by a few points. In the first semester of her second year, something tragic happened. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia. My struggle with mental illness has made my journey toward academic and professional success a struggle. After three weeks in a psychiatric ward, a close examination of my life revealed that my choice of major, business administration, was not my passion. My passion had always been in liberal arts, specifically English and literature.
Unfortunately, I did not receive the guidance nor the encouragement to pursue my passion. However, I always finish what I start. I did graduate with a "C" average. I now want to share my passion and give the guidance and encouragement to future college graduates. This is the reason I want to earn my Bachelor of Arts in English. After many years of working jobs that were not fulfilling and many hospitalizations because of the resulting stress, I made a decision to pursue a career in which I could make a difference. I also wanted to pursue a field that I would enjoy.
I truly believe in the saying that if one does something he or she enjoys, he or she will never work a day. I have been stable for the past three years. I have gained strength, perseverance, and insight during this time. As a college English instructor, my wish will come true. I always knew that I had the ability to not only pass a course but I also have the ability to achieve excellence. Online classes have given me the opportunity to prove my ability. Although the curriculum is convenient, it is by no means a curriculum to take for granted. One has to be dedicated, disciplined, and organized. Most important, one has to allocate the time to do the work.
The curriculum has been a challenge; it also has been enjoyable. I have learned so much, including the tools and knowledge to improve my writing skills. I have met the challenge presented to me, and I have surpassed it. I now have a 3.85 grade point average. I plan to continue to work to the best of my ability, maintaining my "A" average."
-LaShea (New Jersey)
How to Find More Information About Online Colleges for Liberal Arts & Humanities
Below are a number of online colleges that offer programs and classes for liberal arts and humanities. You can also choose one of the program options on the right to narrow down listings of colleges. If you want to learn more about a specific program or college you can choose one of the options below, and after filling out some information, we will put you in touch with a representative who will answer any questions that you could have.