Imagine working through the poli-sci courses in your liberal arts degree in the place where Abraham Lincoln worked to unify a nation with decisions still affecting us to this day. Think of what it would be like to stand where George Washington once stood, at his Mount Vernon home, a sketch book open, drawing the Potomac.
Look across the reflecting pools of the National Mall and realize how your liberal arts courses in natural history, biology and anthropology could get you an internship at the Smithsonian. Or see history studies come alive all around in the very streets where patriots once walked, just a stone’s throw from where you could be challenging the status quo in the halls of congress yourself one day if that’s where your ambitions take you.
Washington, DC is where liberal studies students will find their place. It is the place where a nation was built.
Going to school and living in the District puts the liberal arts student at a significant advantage. A hub for not only politics and history but also for the arts and sciences, Washington, D.C. offers no end of opportunities for liberal arts and sciences students to realize their full potential.
Become Part of the Film and Performing Arts Scene in Washington, D.C. with a Degree in Liberal Studies
Alive with arts, the city is waiting for everyone to savor what is great about the District. Rhythm in the Park is a performer’s dream with a weekly drum circle, tight-rope walkers, and other performing artists.
Home to some of the greatest performances the world has ever seen, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is home to the Washington Ballet. Renowned for his choreography of a number of works, George Balanchine’s impression remains deeply embedded in the acclaimed company. As a student artist in dance, being a member of the Washington Ballet is a dream that’s within reach.
You could be rehearsing for a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra where international dignitaries will be there to hear brilliant music flowing through the symphony halls. Hours of practice and the renewed appreciation you develop for music in your liberal arts degree program all comes together here, at the right time, at the right tempo.
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington has expanded its scope beyond song through the Artwork for Portraits Project. Calling for submissions in visual arts, music and dance, chosen works will be featured throughout the GMCW’s reach beginning in June of 2024, about the time you could be graduating from your liberal arts program.
Each artist whose work is featured will receive $2,500, and you could be there as part of the team that makes it all possible. The GMCW presented online shows during the pandemic demonstrating collaborative and high-energy solutions. The goal of brightening the world, engaging and uplifting the community-at-large demonstrates this musical company’s commitment to the arts at all levels.
For liberal arts students shining in the arts, fellowships up to $10,000 from The Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program. The fellowships are intended for those who make a powerful impact on the D.C. arts scene.
The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and several other contributors offer support to build a positive arts and culture climate in Washington, DC. Helping promote the arts and empower artists to overcome the financial difficulties associated with Covid-19, the foundation has distributed nearly $2 million in funding to 89 non-profits in 2021. Working toward a vision of service to the community through a nonprofit arts organization, the liberal arts student can draw from all the skillsets they developed in the course of earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree to serve the community through the arts.
Join the Scientific Community in Washington, D.C. with a Degree in the Liberal Arts and Sciences
The greater Washington, D.C. area is an epicenter of scientific research and development. With nearly 30,000 scientists and support staff working on projects at any given time, finding your place within the R and D community gives meaning and purpose to your liberal arts studies. Engineering tech, biology and life sciences, and computer tech sciences all have a home here and are waiting for you to share your expertise.
Help establish better health in communities through nutrition sciences. Get young ones excited about earth and space studies. Professionals – from science policy analysts to environmental impact consultants – are all in high demand in Washington, D.C., and all those positions are accessible with a liberal arts degree with the right concentration.
How a Liberal Arts Education in Washington, D.C. Can Prepare You to Work in the Social Sciences
With a liberal arts bachelor’s or master’s degree earned through one of the world-class colleges in D.C., you could build a lasting legacy while having an immediate impact on the current generation and the generations to come.
D.C.’s city schools need social workers, psychologists, and counselors. Mental health providers are highly sought after for work with veterans, the homeless, and other disenfranchised groups. Compassionate, gracious, and integrative care is emblematic of the liberal arts graduate and is in high demand here.
Colleges of Liberal Arts in Washington, D.C. Offering Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees
American University American University Park Neighborhood
Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, AU recently received their largest grant ever—a $15 million from the National Science Foundation. Researchers will focus on the challenges of, and solutions for, food waste. The country’s first carbon neutral university, politically active and service-minded students hail from all 50 states and 140 countries. A low student-faculty ratio of 11:1, U.S. News & World Report ranked AU number 8 for Best International Business, 79 for Best National Universities, and 46 in Most Innovative Schools.
Every day, we prepare changemakers to shape our changing world. AU promotes student thriving in a diverse, inclusive environment that supports innovative minds and the purposes they courageously pursue.
Students of AU’s eight schools and colleges can participate in an active student life. An internationally acclaimed Model United Nations team, 240 student organizations and Greek life aid in creating well-rounded people. Eight student-run media organizations featuring a record label, magazines, newspaper, and a radio station help spread the message AU students want to share. The AU Eagles have 11 different sports teams,22 intermural teams and 24 club sports teams, so keeping active is easy.
Rooted in the liberal arts tradition, the performing arts program seeks to develop “artist-scholar-citizens.” Performances, workshops, and exposure to all components of theatrical work instill an ability to think creatively, respect diversity, and consider perspectives more broadly. Sarah McBride (’13), Delaware state senator and political activist, exemplifies AU’s motto of Challenge Accepted. The former AU Student Government president began her career as the first openly transgender women in the White House. McBride said that AU imbued in her a “deep passion for social justice.” She works relentlessly for the LGBTQ+ community’s rights. She seeks every opportunity to promote a high quality of life for all the constituents and for the Delaware communities beyond her district.
George Washington University Foggy Bottom Neighborhood
This famed Jesuit university opened its doors in 1792 and is the oldest Catholic university in the country. Sitting atop a hill in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., the historic university is known for world-class research, arts and sciences, and for guiding students in creating a strong holistic life balance. Housing options feature suites, apartments, or a living-learning community. Or opt for the Capitol Applied Learning Lab. Students live in the heart of DC and intern by day and take courses at night. An NCAA Division 1 school, the Georgetown Hoyas have a full slate of athletics. Students can get involved in community service and activism with more than100 student groups to choose from. Theater troupes, debating societies, student-run businesses and sailing teams also bring energy to the Hilltop.
At Georgetown, you’ll be part of a community that has valued social justice and service for centuries. “Contemplation in Action” is in our DNA and grounded in the Jesuit tradition of people for others.
A distinguished list of alumni includes Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, and Fulbright Scholars, elected officials, royalty, and international heads of state. Actor Bradley Cooper (’97) graduated originally considering a career in diplomacy. The former rowing team member found his true calling while at Georgetown when he began acting with a university theater group.
Hoyas are taking action by minimizing the carbon footprint of the school, lobbying at the national level for environmental policy changes, working to strategically impact the planet and improve changing climate conditions.