A Liberal Arts Education?


After looking through the wide range of blogs from past semesters, I came across a blog post titled, “Class Options at Bucknell” from the second semester of 2013. The post was an expression of what seemed to be a widespread feeling of frustration among upper class management majors at that time that could not take the classes offered in the new curriculum that interested them. The author explained that while he or she appreciated a liberal arts education, he or she would rather take a marketing class that he or she was interested in over a “random religion class that [he/she] was not very interested in.” While my situation is completely different than the author’s, I found the post relatable and thought I would comment on my view on class options at Bucknell.

I understand that there are challenges in having an accredited business school as part of a liberal arts university. There are many requirements that must be satisfied in order to earn a BSBA. I accept that I hold the responsibility for choosing my major. This is a choice that I do not regret. However, over my four years at Bucknell, some of my favorite classes have been the liberal arts classes that I have taken, including my freshman seminar, Blue Highways: Life as a Journey, and Religion and American Politics. Both these classes influenced my thinking and my values incredibly.

After I took those classes I wanted to take more classes in those areas. Unfortunately, I had already filled up the requirements for those areas and did not have enough electives left. While I continued to follow these interests in work and reading outside of class, it was frustrating to not be able to take classes I was interested in taking. As a finance major, I would argue that taking two separate math courses was somewhat redundant to the math I was doing in some management courses. I would have much preferred to take a creative writing class, a film class or an additional language course. I truly appreciate the liberal arts education that Bucknell stands for; I only wish that I were able to take full advantage of it.

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One thought on “A Liberal Arts Education?”

  1. I always question the idea of how liberal our liberal arts education is, given the number of courses we are required to take within the School of Management plus all of the CCC requirements. The CCC requirements help us get an idea of different disciplines and look at the world from different points of view, but does choosing courses really have to rely mostly on fulfilling these requirements? I know that MGMT 102: Quantitative Reasoning for Managers, wouldn’t even count for the Quantitative Reasoning requirement (even though name of the requirement is embedded in the course name!) until recently, which made some of the School of Management students take statistics courses, which was essentially the same thing as MGMT 102. Instead, these students could have taken a class of their interest in another area. I believe that having requirements is a good idea, but shouldn’t there be more wiggle room for students to further pursue their areas of interest?

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