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View Poll Results: Mathematicians, scientists and engineers: would you say that you have a "liberal arts degree&qu
Yes 1 5.00%
No 19 95.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:17 PM
 
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I'm curious as to whether or not people who have degrees in mathematics, science or engineering think they have a "liberal arts degree". The American system of higher education is a "liberal arts education" in which the vast majority of student take classes in a wide variety of disciplines. But does this translate to having a "liberal arts degree" or do you think of a "liberal arts degree" as meaning philosophy, sociology, humanities, etc?
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:49 PM
 
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I think of liberal arts as philosophy, sociology, humanities, etc. I don't think anyone with a B.S. has a liberal arts degree.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge
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Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I'm curious as to whether or not people who have degrees in mathematics, science or engineering think they have a "liberal arts degree".....
Nope. Mine says B.S. Now if I seperated out my minors, then those in themselves may be seen possibly liberal arts as they were a structured minor rather than some requirements that needed to be met.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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No way, both my major and minor are science (computer science and mathematics). I always considered the liberal arts stuff useless other than being able to impress your friends with a wide range of knowledge in useless information. I did learn and still retain a lot of information in music, american literature, theatre and american history but about all it is good for is spitting out answers when jeopardy is on.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:10 PM
 
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I agree with you all. The reason I asked is because I was having a discussion with someone who claimed that virtually every degree at the majority of American universities is a liberal arts degree because everyone has to take classes in subjects like English, history, etc. as part of their education. While this is certainly the definition of "liberal arts education" going back to antiquity, my opinion is that there is a distinction between the structure of education and a "liberal arts degree" which most people consider to be in areas like philosophy, humanities, sociology, etc. Until today, I had never heard of someone referring to a science degree as a "liberal arts degree".
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Blue Ridge
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Originally Posted by dijkstra View Post
No way, both my major and minor are science (computer science and mathematics). I always considered the liberal arts stuff useless other than being able to impress your friends with a wide range of knowledge in useless information. I did learn and still retain a lot of information in music, american literature, theatre and american history but about all it is good for is spitting out answers when jeopardy is on.
Its depends on the tracking of your courses. If they follow the theoretical track then it leads to a BA. If it follows an applied track then it leads to a BS.

An example is as follows:

BA vs. BS, Mathematics Department, University of Florida
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I agree with you all. The reason I asked is because I was having a discussion with someone who claimed that virtually every degree at the majority of American universities is a liberal arts degree because everyone has to take classes in subjects like English, history, etc. as part of their education. While this is certainly the definition of "liberal arts education" going back to antiquity, my opinion is that there is a distinction between the structure of education and a "liberal arts degree" which most people consider to be in areas like philosophy, humanities, sociology, etc. Until today, I had never heard of someone referring to a science degree as a "liberal arts degree".
Yeah, your friend's definition of "liberal arts degree" is way too liberal.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:25 AM
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Location: Ohio
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Nowadays, the umbrella term that includes the degrees for those professions is STEM. S.T.E.M. is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It's not part of liberal arts.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by War Beagle View Post
I agree with you all. The reason I asked is because I was having a discussion with someone who claimed that virtually every degree at the majority of American universities is a liberal arts degree because everyone has to take classes in subjects like English, history, etc. as part of their education. While this is certainly the definition of "liberal arts education" going back to antiquity, my opinion is that there is a distinction between the structure of education and a "liberal arts degree" which most people consider to be in areas like philosophy, humanities, sociology, etc. Until today, I had never heard of someone referring to a science degree as a "liberal arts degree".
Well they do have a point to a certain extent. It irritates me to no end when I hear on tv about how far Americans are in science and math education compared to the rest of the world. What they fail to ever mention is that most other countries around the world do not shove useless liberal arts down the throats of those who are good at and interested in mathematics and science. Most of them have science based programs for those students and they spend the majority of their time studying those subjects instead of wasting time with literature.

Can you imagine how good some of our students would be at math, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science or programming if they didn't spend 70% of their school day on literature, sociology, history, etc?
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:19 PM
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Location: Ohio
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Originally Posted by dijkstra View Post
Most of them have science based programs for those students and they spend the majority of their time studying those subjects instead of wasting time with literature.

Can you imagine how good some of our students would be at math, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science or programming if they didn't spend 70% of their school day on literature, sociology, history, etc?
I'd be OK with that much specialization, but only if we could make it a law that the people who opt out of humanities can't vote in elections. Well-rounded equals well-informed.
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