Like “Experiential Learning” being considered the education norm in India, there is another norm for the students, and this norm is called Liberal Education. It is a multi-disciplinary and broad-spectrum approach that is now very popular in India’s universities and colleges. It is basically a new wave in the form of a 3-year degree that includes skill development and knowledge in various domains and subjects. When it comes to studying liberal arts courses, several prestigious colleges and universities provide liberal arts education. If you want to explore diverse fields, and study liberal arts subjects, this blog is for you. Read on further to know about various subjects offered in liberal arts courses. Also, learn about the top liberal arts colleges in India.
What is Liberal Arts?
Liberal Arts education is a traditional program covering four major areas: Social Science, Natural Science, Humanities, and Arts. Students take up the study of Liberal Education immediately after school. This would help build a base for students to expand their knowledge and make their career in diverse fields. When it comes to liberal studies, most colleges and universities generally provide students with courses such as Bachelor of Arts (BA), where students get to choose their minor and major liberal arts subjects.
Liberal Arts colleges have holistic programs designed to cover several disciplines, helping students to learn skill transferability, curiosity, and employability. Most colleges have a foundation period where the subjects are introduced, and students can decide and pick a combination that suits best to their interests and career goals. This comprehensive and flexible approach ensures that every student learns how to think critically and communicate effectively. Besides, the course is designed to help students build all-round skills such as research skills, analytical skills, problem-solving skills, oral skills, and writing skills.
Liberal arts subjects
An education in liberal arts is comprehensive and diverse. When it comes to choosing courses or liberal arts subjects, students can choose from various disciplines. The most popular fields and liberal arts subjects in various Liberal Arts colleges include:
- Political Science
The list does not end here! The liberal arts colleges offer interdisciplinary programs that allow students to pursue their choice of disciplines without giving up on any of their preferred liberal arts subject domains.
Top liberal arts colleges in India
If colleges are affiliated with India’s government universities, they offer a three-year course with an optional diploma/certificate year. The beauty of Liberal Arts is that students can combine subjects of their interest that might have otherwise been considered “academically incompatible.” One can experiment with the possible combinations without any limitations. While students can pick Business Studies as their Major, their Minor can be a subject from an entirely different study vertical, say Anthropology!
This provides students with an edge over others at their workplace. For example, a unique combination like Economics and Biology provides a student with deeper insights and understanding of both subjects. Furthermore, it creates more opportunities accessible to them – such as working in Pharmacare, Health Policies, and Writing subject, and so on.
Traditional courses are unidirectional; it is imperative for today’s students to have diverse skill sets. The array of liberal arts subjects offered at Liberal Arts Colleges in India have now made this diversity a possible achievement. If you want to study liberal education, here is a list of top liberal arts colleges that will work as a guide to pursue liberal arts in India.
Bennett University, Greater Noida (UP)
Bennett University is one of the top universities for Liberal Arts Courses and offers admission to students to the three-year BA in Liberal Arts. One of the most interesting facts of pursuing a Liberal Education course from this university is that it allows students to determine, manipulate, and make their curriculum through several electives at their disposal. They can select a major to specialise in as they can choose interdisciplinary courses and electives. Students can choose their majors from Psychology, Marketing, Journalism, Advertising & Public Relations, Business Studies, Literature, Political Science, Computer Science, and Finance.
SRM University – School of Liberal Arts and Basic Science (SLAB)
The School of Liberal Arts and Basic Science (SLAB), which comes under SRM University, offers advanced liberal arts and basic sciences courses. SLABS provides opportunities to study and develop a skill set in multi-disciplinary programs, including Science, Commerce, and Humanities. The degree offers courses that are broadly divided into two different categories, including Foundation and Major Courses.
At the well-renowned university in Chennai, after completing the three-year course, the students will receive honours in BA, BBA, B Com, BSc depending on the subjects they choose. Students can choose any subjects from English, Economics, History, Psychology, Business Studies, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Journalism and Commerce.
Ashoka University, Sonepat
Established in 2014, Ashoka University is recognised by the UGC to award degree courses to students. It offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral courses in various fields, including Liberal Studies, Science, Arts, Humanities, etc. The university has students coming from over 27 counties across the globe. Also, the university’s major program is its Young India Fellowship that is specifically designed to match the present-day industry needs.
Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University – School of Liberal Studies, Gandhinagar
Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University is one of the oldest and few private universities located in Gandhinagar that offers postgraduate courses in Liberal Arts. Established in 2007 by the Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI), the university has been recognised by UGC and approved by the All India Council of Technical Education. PDPU’s SLS offers a wide array of courses, including engineering, management while doing liberal arts. The university provides several short-term courses that cover new academic fields such as Heritage, Psychology, Socioeconomics, and Dynamism in India’s politics.
FLAME University is considered to be the pioneers of Liberal Education in India. The university deals with various disciplinary courses and specialisations. Besides, it aims to expose students to multiple domains, which allows them to grow personally and professionally. The multidisciplinary nature of the university’s courses enables students to take up studies in cognate disciplines such as Social Science, Humanities, Physical and Natural Science, and Performing Arts. Besides, FLAME University also allows students to take up major-minor combinations, open elective courses, and experiential learning courses.
KREA University’s School of Interwoven Arts and Science is offers a variety of liberal arts courses. The university provides students admission in various undergraduate courses like literature, social sciences, humanities, arts, and sciences. The students of Liberal arts complete a three-year BA and BSc (Hons) and have an option to do a fourth year of advanced studies. There is an array of courses to select from literature, arts, sciences, humanities, etc.
Azim Premji University, Bengaluru
Azim Premji University is one of the prestigious academic institutions offering various Liberal Arts courses to students who have cleared their grade 12. The interdisciplinary areas that students study include Development, Sustainability, Society and Development, Education and Media, along with the undergraduate-level program.
There are multiple specialisations to choose from at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to get a degree in B.A, B.Sc, B.Sc B.Ed (Dual Degree Programme) and MA in Education, Development, Public Policy & Governance, Economics. At Azim Premji University, there are several exciting career opportunities for a Liberal Arts graduate. For students who are keen to study liberal arts subjects, this university offers several exciting career opportunities for a Liberal Arts graduate.
Apeejay Stya University
Established in 2010, ASU is a private, international, and co-educational university that aims at providing a platform of global learning by enhancing research and innovation across several domains. The university puts its major focus on following a trans-disciplinary approach of learning across all the disciplines of education. It also includes the liberal arts technique of teaching to enable students to think and analyse critically.
Apeejay Stya University allows students to choose their majors and minors from various courses as the scope of liberal arts in India is increasing. These courses include Design, Journalism and Mass Communication, Integrated Biotechnology, Pharmacy, Business Management, Law, and Education. When it comes to studies and education at Apeejay Stya University, it instils a unique strategy to educate, making it a university with a difference.
Loyola College is one of India’s top colleges, located in Chennai, that offers various courses, including Arts, Science, Management, and Commerce. It is known to be one of the aspirants’ best options to tune their career with outstanding knowledge on a particular subject and discipline. Besides, at Loyola College, practical experience is accompanied by ethics and moral values.
Students from all parts of the country compete for limited seats in various undergraduate and postgraduate courses. When it comes to education, quality and discipline are the two significant factors considered at Loyola College, making it a pioneer institute. The college has various departments in the School of Excellence, and these departments include Commerce, Economics, Human Excellence, Life Sciences. Media Studies, Computation Studies, Physical Sciences, Physical Education, and Service Learning.
Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts
Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts (SSLA), located in Pune, is a constituent school of Symbiosis International University, accredited by NAAC with an ‘A’ Grade. The school follows a distinctive learning approach and offers students an opportunity to study a four-year full-time B.A./B.Sc liberal arts degree program. The school offers various courses like Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Psychology, Dance, and several languages. Apart from the cores that are compulsory for holistic learning, students can also determine and customise their curriculum in majors, minors, and electives.
Delhi College of Arts and Commerce
Under the prestigious University of Delhi, the College of Arts & Commerce boasts humanities and arts programs. The fields include Journalism, Commerce, Economics, English, Political Science, History, Advertising, Marketing & Finance. Along with the major discipline, the student must opt for a minor from another domain that compliments it. For example, a student of Economics may opt for a minor in Human Resource Management or Math, whereas a student of English might choose a minor in Spanish.
Gargi College is filled with culture that influences societies. Dance, music, theatre, marketing, and so much more are part of their Liberal Arts course. All about exposure, at Gargi, a student pursuing an MA in Economics can be part of the fine arts society. The college has both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Also, the colleges offer The Ability Enhancement Compulsory Course (AECC) and Skill Enhancement Course (SEC) provided in the BA Programme. Other disciplines include Computer, Economics, Math, Political Science, ESB, German, Philosophy, etc.
Birla Institute of Liberal Arts and Management Sciences
BILAMS’s modern approach seeks the students to achieve a relevant education. Courses offered include Business Management, Accounting & Finance, Fashion Design, Interior Design, and Mass Communication. There are also short-term courses offered by BILAMS, such as Game Development, Travel & Tourism Management, Digital Marketing, Visual Merchandising, Event Management, and Content Writing.
Vidyashilp University (VU), Bengaluru
Vidyashilp University (VU), Bengaluru, offers an interdisciplinary approach to emerging academic domains. Its curriculum provides students with in-depth domain knowledge, an understanding of its application across contexts, and real-world exposure. Vidyashilp University focuses on creating a transformative experience that focuses on student interests to nurture conscientious leaders. The University also offers means-based and merit-based scholarships to knit together a diverse student community for a comprehensive learning experience.
Sai University (SaiU), Chennai
Sai University (SaiU) is an interdisciplinary university aimed at setting a global benchmark in liberal education. SaiU offers an unparalleled undergraduate ecosystem with programs in liberal arts and sciences, computing and data science, and law. SaiU students have the unique opportunity to cut across these disciplines and develop a holistic view of the world. SaiU is the only Indian university to have international faculty that comprise more than 30% of our faculty strength. Our undergraduate offerings coupled with access to the finest international mentors prepare SaiU students to become impactful changemakers in a rapidly changing world. Our governing board comprises industry stalwarts such as Co-Founder of Infosys – Mr Narayana Murthy, Former Chief Justice of India – Justice Venkatachaliah and Former Chairman of ISRO – Dr Kasturirangan.
Liberal Arts is not a new concept in India anymore. As you can see from the list of liberal arts subjects and colleges above, it is slowly being more accepted, moreover, even encouraged. If you are daunted by the newness of this multidisciplinary education and wish to explore this field of study, get liberal arts career counselling from Mindler. Our expert Career Coaches will help you understand everything about Liberal Arts. Besides, you will get to know about the various doors it can potentially open for you.