The College of Arts and Sciences centers its considerable human and technological resources on the individual student and that student’s learning. In the Mathematics Technology Learning Center, students use computer-based instruction to learn at a pace suited to their individual needs. Technology used in other courses encourages active, not passive, interaction with course materials. The college seeks to educate self-reliant young men and women who know themselves and contribute significantly to their professions and communities.
Undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences have remarkable access to opportunities for research and creative activities under the guidance of a faculty member. The opportunity to move from synthesizing information and ideas generated by others to creating new ways of knowing is a remarkable intellectual leap and one that many students in A&S take. The College sponsors undergraduate research days that encourage students to share their experiences.
Endowed by Winton and Carolyn Blount and assisted by many other donors, the Blount Undergraduate Initiative is a four-year program that offers students in the College of Arts and Sciences a unique opportunity for an enriched undergraduate liberal arts education in a lively and enjoyable community of scholars. All entering freshmen in the College of Arts and Sciences, regardless of their academic interests, are eligible to apply for admission. With courses and other activities, the program emphasizes the connectedness of knowledge and the importance of faculty-student learning partnerships. See the Blount Undergraduate Initiative section of this catalog.
Virtually all of the programs of study of the college emphasize interdisciplinary study. Whether a student’s interest is American studies, studio art, or biology, the ability to draw together learning from different fields, to integrate it and to use it later to analyze and solve problems in one’s profession, community, and own life is the key characteristic of a liberally educated person. Interdisciplinary learning is especially important to students’ experiences in New College. New College seminars that are open to all students and the New College depth studies are hands-on experiences with interdisciplinary learning.
Any sense that a student can be “just a number” evaporates in a learning community. In the College of Arts and Sciences, these take different forms, some being residential and others not affecting the choice of residence hall, but all fuse common academic experiences with out-of-class community. The College emphasizes the importance of these for freshman students especially.
Citizenship is global. As the College prepares students for citizenship, this fact is emphasized across the curriculum. While the college has strong language programs, including the unique Critical Languages program in which students can study the languages of many parts of the world, global citizenship affects all of the disciplines of the college. College of Arts and Sciences faculty lead many of the University’s summer study abroad programs and direct semester-long programs as well for students in the College.
Many students enter the College of Arts and Sciences undecided about their academic direction. The College encourages these students to explore the resources of the college and the University during their first several semesters in order to make informed choices. The University General Education Requirement, which includes virtually all of the introductory courses in the disciplines of the College, enables students to meet degree requirements while determining those fields of study that fit best with their talents and what they think is important.
Many College of Arts and Sciences graduates go on to medical school, law school, dental or optometry school, physical or occupational therapy programs, or other health-related or professional study. Arts and Sciences majors provide excellent preparation for all of these programs and the College’s pre-professional advising programs are very supportive. Student organizations, including Alpha Epsilon Delta, the pre-medical honorary in which UA is the alpha chapter, are also important parts of pre-professional preparation.