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Liberal arts and sciences in the 21st century

Liberal Arts and Sciences

A liberal arts and sciences programme traditionally provides a well-rounded education in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. It is undertaken in a spirit of free inquiry in order to both heighten your awareness of the human and natural worlds you inhabit and to support your personal development. The emphasis lies on acquiring the academic skills, knowledge and intellectual tools that will help you be successful in any career or future field of study that you choose.

"Many of our students will later be in a position to make important decisions, whether in business, government, policy or academia. The scientific way of thinking and approaching life could be valuable if not crucial for their success." Prof. Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf

Why a liberal arts and sciences education?

Today's society is in a constant state of flux, and future leaders need to be flexible, creative thinkers, able to cope with the complexity of the issues facing the world. A liberal arts and sciences education is an excellent foundation in this context.

In addition to factual knowledge, a liberal arts and sciences education prepares you to become a multilingual, informed and engaged global citizen with well-developed intercultural competencies that enable you to read intelligently, think critically and write effectively on the processes shaping our world.

The AUC programme reflects this through its extensive curriculum. Apart from the disciplinary courses in sciences, social sciences and humanities, the Academic Core courses provide the necessary academic skills, while the ability to choose electives allows you to be exposed to fields outside of traditional majors.

You will learn to make complex connections across disciplines, cultures and institutions; become more creative in your problem-solving approaches and abilities and be more perceptive of the world around you. You will learn how to inform yourself about the issues that arise in your life, personally, professionally and socially, and to transform such knowledge into practical and ethical action.

The student body at AUC is international, as is the faculty, and students are encouraged to study abroad for a semester in their second or third year.

In addition, the frontiers of knowledge, both in academia and the professional world, now call for cross-disciplinary enquiry, analysis and application. New pathways across the traditional dividing lines between liberal arts, sciences and the professional fields are needed. Students need to integrate and apply their learning by addressing the 'big questions' in science and society. AUC provides a framework through which you will learn to connect analytical skills with applied experience by putting knowledge to use.

The AUC programme reflects this, aiming to create an academic community that is rooted in the very best traditions of the liberal arts and sciences, but actively oriented to the demands and challenges of the 21st century.

Below you can read more about liberal arts and sciences education, and about the role, characteristics and cooperation of Liberal Arts and Sciences Colleges in the Netherlands.