Why Should I Study Liberal Arts?
It is often true that although the professors in one discipline are well acquainted with the methods and subjects of their particular field, they are far less familiar with the methods and subjects of other disciplines. In an interdisciplinary program, such as the undergraduate Liberal Arts degree or the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, the professors are encouraged to find the intellectual connections that exist with other disciplines. The goal in these courses is to use the questions asked within each discipline–which are sometimes remarkably similar in nature and scope–to develop an interdisciplinary methodology rather than simply combining multiple disciplines into one course. The enriching and stimulating exchange of ideas that scholars typically experience when they cross their discipline-specific boundaries indicates that there is something more to interdisciplinary studies than a simple combination of fields of study. It is this `something more’ that we hope to capture in our interdisciplinary programs.
It is also worth noting that just as funding in the sciences and humanities alike is increasingly aimed at interdisciplinary projects, there is an increasing awareness among executives in large corporations of the value of employees who can talk across boundaries. In fact, it is becoming common place for large corporations to advertise for people who are not isolated in one particular niche, however relevant to the concerns of the company, since it is often those who can communicate to those outside their field, and who can understand alternate perspectives, that allow the company to move in necessary, but often unanticipated, directions.