Central Liberal Arts Goals
Active Citizenship & Community Engagement
The development of consciousness about one’s roles in and active engagement with the communities in which one is involved. Building an awareness of how communities impact individuals, and how, in turn, individuals impact, serve, and shape communities.
"One of the most influential classes I took was a first year TAP class Street Children taught by (Professor of Anthropology) Jonah Steinberg. The class examines the desperate experience of children around the world who are abandoned by society . . . That opened my eyes to the importance of global and community health. Jonah had this phrase ‘If other people have to live it, we should have to learn about it.’ That’s always stuck with me.” - Lauren Trumble '19 (biology, pre-med)
The continuous pursuit of knowledge to benefit one’s personal and professional growth.
"I realized that what was rewarding to me about philosophy was not actually answering the big questions, but the process philosophers used to get there . . . From my first day of law school and through almost 15 years of practice, I have applied the tools I learned as a philosophy student, and I get much the same pleasure applying those tools to my legal work as I did applying those tools in my studies." - Rachel Wertheimer ‘93 attorney (philosophy)
The active engagement in the process of exploring possible careers, gaining meaningful experience, and building skills that help one excel after college and lead to employment or other successful post-graduation.
"I work very closely with press and media in my internship—I think these interactions will prove to be really valuable as I continue my current trajectory as a journalist.” - Shanti Boyle '21, 2018 Intern at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Liberal Arts Core Competencies
Intercultural/Global Fluency & Foreign Language Skills
The ability to value, respect, learn from, and communicate with diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations and religions.
“As a lawyer with an international focus, I have been able to work seamlessly with clients around the globe by being cognizant of the distinct cultures and histories that have shaped their laws today. The depth of knowledge and insight into world affairs I developed as a history major has been invaluable to my career today.” - Bibal Sultan '07, attorney (history)
Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making
The ability to recognize ethical issues arising in a variety of settings or social contexts and to act accordingly by assessing one’s own personal and moral values and perspectives as well as those of other stakeholders and integrating them into an ethical framework for decision making.
"I think studying philosophy has helped me be a better person, both in my professional and personal life. I learned that it is much easier to pick apart the ideas of others than it is to come up with good ideas of your own, and I think that humility has made me kinder." - Kari Dalane '16, (philosophy) Ph.D student in public administration and policy at American University.
Analytical & Critical Thinking
The ability to explore issues, ideas, knowledge, evidence, and values before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion. Building awareness of one’s personal biases.
"The program is a crash course in critical thinking, complex writing, intense reading, and always interesting group discussion. I can truly say that 'Understanding Critical Social Problems' has greatly prepared me for the rest of my college career and beyond." - Student in a recent CAS Social Science Scholars course
Quantitative Reasoning/Applied Data Interpretation
The ability to apply basic mathematical skills to the interpretation of data to solve a disciplinary problem.
“I've learned that science is not a series of isolated Eureka! moments. Instead, good science takes time and involves failure, troubleshooting, discussions, re-evaluations, and—yes—frustration. Good science is always challenging; that’s what makes it fascinating." - Student in a recent CAS Life Science Scholars course
Creative Expression And Innovation
The ability to generate new, varied, and unique ideas; make connections between seemingly unrelated ideas; propose alternatives without being constrained by established approaches; and to take risks and overcome internal struggles to expose one’s creative self in order to bring forward new work or ideas.
“You can find a lot of people with nice equipment and an education in filmmaking who don’t necessarily know how to tell a story. You can learn how to use equipment by watching tutorials and just experimenting. What’s harder is to create convincing narratives. The social science background I had at UVM was essential to that.” - Filmmaker Tyler Wilkinson-Ray ’13 (anthropology)
Teamwork, Collaboration & Leadership
The ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships based on the needs, abilities, and goals of each member of a group.
“My research involvement in Professor Schneebeli’s group has been a life-changing experience, and that’s not an exaggeration. I really feel like part of the team—they include me in conversations and treat me as a person who can contribute ideas and suggestions." - Natavan Dudkina '19 (biochemistry), Yale Ph.D. program in chemistry
Written, Visual, & Oral Communication
The ability to listen and observe with objectivity and communicate effectively in writing, visually and orally.
"UVM offered a place in the philosophy department where I was forced to think. The honors thesis I did at the time was one of the hardest things I did in my life. Analytical thinking, storytelling and writing are all things you can learn well here if you apply yourself." - Eric Lipton '87, New York Times Reporter
Information & Digital Literacy
The development of the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and effectively use the information.
"Learning how to design experiments, research scientific literature, and use a variety of analytical instruments at UVM has set me up for a smooth transition from academia to industry. With the skills obtained from my UVM experience, I can use the same approach to answering scientific questions to create better, more consistent products for our customers." - Dan Depuccio '16, Materials Scientist at Superior Technical Ceramics