There are a variety of majors that students can choose from when attending college. Some students know exactly what they want to study, while others are undecided. One option for undecided students who wish to learn something not offered as a specific major is to study liberal arts and sciences.
Liberal arts and sciences is a broad term that refers to a course of study that includes the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.
- Students Completing in 2015: 301,104
- Number of Schools Offering: 1,655
This page refers to the field of study at the following degree levels: Certificate, Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and Doctorate.
Number of Students Completing
Percent of Students Graduating With This Major Has Risen in the Last Five Years
The percent of students completing this major has risen 4.1% overall in the last five years, from 286.3 completions per 10k total graduates five years ago to 297.9 completions per 10k in 2015. Given the current trend, we expect Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies to hit 300.3 completions per 10k.
- Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies hit an all-time high in 2002 with 300.7 completions per 10k and an all-time low in 1989 with 240.0 completions per 10k.
More broadly, the percent of completions for all Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities majors has risen 7.0% in the last five years, from 852.9 completions per 10k five years ago to 913.0 completions per 10k now.
More Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies Majors Received Their Associate’s Degree
Of the 301,104 students completing the major in 2015:
- 80.9% received their Associate’s Degree (243,468 graduates)
- 9.4% received their Postsecondary Certificate (1-2 Years) (28,331 graduates)
- 8.3% received their Bachelor’s Degree (24,909 graduates)
Number of Schools Offering
The number of schools offering this significant exhibits an overall upward linear trend, growing at about ten schools every year. If this trend continues, we would expect the number of schools offering Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies to hit 1,665.
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies hit an all-time high in 2015 with 1655 schools and an all-time low in 1991 with 1289 schools.
Popularity Rank: 2
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies is the 2nd most popular major, a high rank compared to all majors. This number considers the number of students completing and the number of schools offering the major. This major has:
- Significantly more students completing the major than the average across all majors (301,104 vs. 389 graduates)
- Especially more schools offer the major than the average across all majors (1,655 vs. 36 schools)
Slightly Higher Percentage of Women
In 2015, 301,104 students were completing Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies majors. Of that total, 186,870 were female, and 114,234 were men (62% female and 38% male).
- Consistent with the trend for all Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities majors
- 62% female and 38% male
- Consistent with the trend for all majors
- 59% female and 41% male
Students Completing This Major are Predominantly White
Nationally, more White students complete this major than any other ethnicity (53.7%). This trend is:
- Consistent with all Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities majors
- 53.7% White Students
- Consistent with all majors
- 57.6% White Students
This refers to 301,104 graduates completing the major.
Sources NCES, Online College Websites, and BLS