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US universities where tomorrow’s top critical thinkers, creatives and communicators are made

College of Arts and Sciences
Source: University of Cincinnati

The liberal arts prepare students for more than just fulfilling lives, but careers too. Just look at the CVs of many of today’s most successful CEOs, scientists, humanitarians, artists, and other successful professionals.

Oprah Winfrey studied Communications. Anne Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox, earned a BA in Journalism and English. Kenneth Chenault, American Express’s former CEO of 17 years, studied History. US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas majored in English literature.

Central to their success are the skills to think critically, creatively and communicate effectively — all of which are highly relevant in today’s job market. They are set to stand out in a labour market, where 44% of surveyed executives think Americans lack soft skills.

So if you want a university that can give you an edge in harnessing these critical 3C’s, check out these four US universities.

The University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is among “the top tier of the Best National Universities,” according to US News & World Report. Join a class at the College of Arts and Sciences and the reason for this national recognition is clear.

Firstly, UC pioneered co-operative education. Today, 100% of UC students participate in innovative experience-based learning, including UC’s top ranked Co-Op & Internship programme. Here, students have many opportunities to learn while doing — they can travel the world, commit to a cause, or challenge themselves to an internship at one of the area’s Fortune 500 companies to gain the skills employers are looking for.

Secondly, at this thriving, Research 1 institution, students can work side-by-side with internationally renowned professors. They can explore options in the natural sciences, social sciences or humanities, cultivating new skills in creativity and critical thinking.

Finally, students who need additional English language support can access the 1+3 Accelerated College English (ACE) programme. Students can take an equal number of both academic and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to improve their reading, writing, and speaking skills. After the first year, they can fast-track into a chosen academic major. There are no extra tuition or fees; scholarships and personalised academic advice are available.

University of Tulsa

Over 100 full-time faculty members. 42 degree programmes. 96% job/graduate school placement. 365 Presidential Scholars since 1991. An alumni body that includes author Rilla Askew, Emmy-winning student director Chase Chambers, Chief of Operations at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center Monte Hawkins, author S.E. Hinton, actor Wesam Keesh, actor and producer Julius Tennon, actor Wade Williams. Winners of competitive awards such as: Harry S. Truman Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarship and The Vance and Betty Lee Stickell Student Internship.

College of Arts and Sciences

Source: University of Tulsa

These are the features that define a liberal arts degree at the University of Tulsa. With a Henry Kendall College of Arts and Sciences education, you’ll enrich and expand your conceptions of the world. You’ll learn how to ask compelling questions, address complex problems with creative solutions, engage respectfully and knowledgeably with diverse people and cultures. In short, you’ll contribute to the advancement of society in meaningful ways.

In the past five years, 288 Arts & Science students traveled abroad to more than 42 countries. “Studying abroad has been one of the best experiences that could’ve come my way at this time in my life,” says Alex Isaak, Media Studies and Creative Writing student. “It’s given me the freedom to come into my own while also challenging me.”

“Going abroad served as an opportunity for me to improve my language skills and grow as a person. It also served as a reminder as to how small the world really is,” says Megan K. O’Neal, Environmental Policy and Political Science student.

University of New Mexico

At the College of Arts and Sciences, the largest degree-granting college at UNM, students receive a broad-based education in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and humanities. Here, they gain the knowledge that is fundamental to the intellectual and educational activities across the entire campus, connecting them to the past and preparing them for the future.

College of Arts and Sciences

Source: University of New Mexico

“Arts and Sciences is our largest college, and the home of important teaching and research activities. The rest of the university relies critically on the intellectual heft of A&S,” says Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs James Holloway.

One of the programmes that best reflect UNM’s liberal arts offerings is its Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Programme. Launched in 1972, it’s the oldest in the country and was part of the civil rights movements of the time.

The programme focuses on intersectional analyses of women, gender, and sexuality —  examining how race, Indigeneity, nation, disability, age, and more intersect with gender and sexuality. Award-winning faculty members create dynamic classroom spaces for diverse learning styles —  making it the hub of feminist, queer, and transgender studies at UNM.

“Women Studies has historically been one of the main programs at UNM that has centered our non-conforming gender and sexual students, but now our name reflects that work. Our new name also reflects our enduring centering of intersectionality; to paraphrase a famous feminist slogan, ‘our feminism is nothing without intersectionality!’” says interim director Amy L. Brandzel.

Oregon State University: College of Liberal Arts

If you seek an education that prepares you to embark on a lifetime of learning and to adapt to a rapidly changing world, head to the College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University. Here, you’ll find major programmes leading to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees, with options, in 17 areas.

College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts prepares students to tackle the enduring and contemporary issues facing our world. Source: Oregon State University: College of Liberal Arts

You can also gain a second degree in International Studies. At the postgraduate level, CLA offers master’s degrees in Public Policy, Applied Ethics, Creative Writing, Applied Anthropology, English, Hispanic Studies and History of Science, PhDs in Applied Anthropology and History of Science.

Whichever programme you choose, you will explore critical methods and crucial insights of the arts, humanities and social sciences. The goal is to prepare you to tackle the enduring and contemporary issues facing our world, as well as to thrive in challenging careers and forge a life of achievement, courage, contribution and meaning

What sets the College apart is its people. Specifically, its team of 336 expert faculty taking on the world’s biggest issues from social justice to food insecurity. This dynamic intellectual community conduct symphonies, design in virtual reality and study the past to forge solutions for the future.

You’ll join them in this academic home of 4,478 students. Expect a personalised experience paired with a robust liberal arts college experience, with one faculty member for every 15 undergraduate students.

The College also guarantees you’ll graduate in four years. Alumni can be found in successful roles in various fields, such as medicine, technology, the arts, media, law, policy, education, business and more.

*Some of the institutions featured on this article are commercial partners of Study International