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Liberal Arts

Every MassArt degree program includes at least nine Liberal Arts courses, designed to provide context, insight, and fresh perspectives for students pursuing the arts.

Freshmen seminars on a range of topics in the humanities and social sciences guide students in paraphrasing, summarizing, analyzing, and evaluating simple and complex texts.

Our writing courses teach the basics of delivering coherent, purposeful, creative, and clear text—a fundamental skill for anyone who will craft an artist’s statement, fill out a grant application, articulate a critique, and so on. Our goal is to help students think critically, write effectively, and develop informed, flexible minds.

Literature and film criticism teach students to discern complex layers of idea and meaning in verbal or cinematic art.

Study of social sciences such as psychology and anthropology helps students to understand individuals, cultures and societies, history, and human behavior within the matrix of time.

Natural science teaches what testable theory and experiment reveal about the physical world in order to gain an understanding of scientific method and principles.

Mathematics teaches logic and skills applicable to material and structural calculations in design projects.

Learning outcomes

Taken as a whole, the Liberal Arts curriculum is designed to teach students to:

  • Think, speak, and write clearly and effectively
  • Communicate precisely, cogently, and effectively
  • Know facts, terms and persons important to an art or discipline 
  • Understand the experimental and descriptive bases and logical methods for determining truth in the natural sciences
  • Undertake analysis in a scientific discipline
  • Explain, defend, and critique opposing points of view 
  • Undertake cultural and historical analysis from a variety of perspectives
  • View moral and ethical problems from a variety of perspectives
  • Respect, understand, evaluate, and undertake research in a variety of disciplines
  • Understand and experience arts (such as literature, film, and music) other than visual arts and design
  • Synthesize critical thinking, liberal learning, and studio practice
Literature, Writing, and Film Courses >
Math and Science Courses >
Requirements >

Meet Liberal Arts Faculty