There simply is nowhere else in the country where the arts and sciences come together as successfully as they do in Western Washington, where global giants of the tech industry have grown out of innovative ideas and the talent it takes to make them a reality. That melding of creative and scientific disciplines has given rise to the world’s most successful companies, generating billions in revenue and forever changing the way all aspects of business and commerce are done.
You might be sipping your Starbucks right now, reading this on the laptop you bought off Amazon, and thinking about how the greater Seattle area is sort of America’s poster child for the liberal arts.
It’s the fastest-growing urban center in America, a cosmopolitan area with international connections around the Pacific Rim. This is where high-tech aerospace corporations like Boeing and Blue Origin design both the hardware and the software that will soon make space accessible to anybody that can cover the cost of the ticket.
And at the same time, between its majestic beauty, enduring connection to Native American culture and oppressive rainy season, this place offers something that pulls at the heartstrings of creative types, inspiring some of the best in modern art, independent film making, music and performing arts found anywhere in the world.
Education is valued here. According to the Census Bureau, in 2020 nearly 40 percent of residents held a bachelor’s degree or better, and almost 15 percent have advanced degrees. Maybe it’s no surprise then that Seattle routinely comes in at or near the top of the list when it comes to the most well-read cities in the country. It’s a place where the liberal arts and sciences are brewed right into the culture.
Despite being one of the hottest destinations for both tourism and technology, Washington remains a little off the radar for most of the country. Tucked away up here in the corner, it’s easy to go to sleep on what is happening in the Pacific Northwest. This is a place where you can take in everything that a bachelor’s or master’s degree in liberal studies can offer, and put it to good use blazing trails to new frontiers in the arts and sciences.
Become Part of the Film, Media and Performing Arts Scene in Washington with a Degree in Liberal Studies
Something about the rain seems to provoke creativity and artistic expression here. From the unique perspective of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, written by Orcas Island resident Richard Bach, to the sounds of hometown hero Jimi Hendrix and later with Seattle’s grunge and punk scenes – new art flows out of Washington in waves.
Sleater-Kinney was the name of a road near the practice space used by a band composed entirely of students of Evergreen University in 1994. It became the name of their band, and the band became one of the most influential rock groups of the 2000s worldwide.
Whether you are here to study groundbreaking artists like them, or to become one yourself, a liberal arts college in Washington can give you all the tools you need to do it.
Join the Scientific Community in Washington with a Degree in the Liberal Arts and Sciences
All you need to say is “Redmond” in any corporate conference room in the world and you’ll immediately see how important the science and technology community in Washington state is. Everyone there will know immediately what company you are talking about and how it affects the business and corporate strategy.
Microsoft reshapes and continues to dominate corporate technology around the globe. The company was one of the first to realize that innovation doesn’t just come from hard technology research, but also the contributions of the liberal arts. MSNBC was a result of one mashup launched by the company; today it’s one of the largest cable news networks in the country.
But with a legacy of industrial pollution, from Kaiser’s heavy metal smelters to the mysterious radioactive wastes of the Hanford Site where the plutonium for the world’s first atomic bombs were brewed, Washington has environmental challenges that only the sharpest interdisciplinary liberal arts and sciences grads can solve.
How a Liberal Arts Education in Washington Can Prepare You to Work in the Social Sciences
You don’t have to go further than the streets of Seattle to see that Washington has a real need for well-educated liberal arts graduates interested in the social sciences. The rocketing salaries of the tech industry and booming real estate prices have resulted in unprecedented numbers of homeless residents. Devising compassionate, ethical, effective responses is a key need in the state today.
Understanding the elective and legislative processes of American democracy is key to putting those responses together. Yet in a country that seems ever more deeply divided, it’s going to be up to liberal arts graduates to overcome our differences.
That electoral divide is a fascinating state of affairs for liberal arts students interested in political science and social cohesion. Colleges of liberal arts in Washington have a ready-made laboratory for deep and important questions of political identity rocking the nation today.
Washington was also one of the first states to legalize the sale and consumption of marijuana for non-medicinal use. Social scientists and students of social policy are tracking the massive experiment in drug legalization in real-time to see the implications for national policies. With a liberal arts degree with a concentration in the social sciences, you could be at the forefront of studying and creating radical social change here in the Evergreen state.
Colleges of Liberal Arts in Washington Offering Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees
Almost any college here can put you close to both the urban excitement and natural wonders that the Evergreen state has to offer. These Washington liberal arts colleges specialize in liberal studies, putting the liberal arts and sciences front and center for students with vision, leadership qualities, and intellectual curiosity.
Antioch College Seattle, WA
Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, there’s no university that is more plugged in to the thriving intellectual and cultural heart of Washington state. The online liberal arts master’s program draws students from around the country, with a customized course of study to fit your expectations and interests. Either way, you’re attending a school whose programs are designed to meet societal needs, bringing a fresh perspective to a growing city and building inclusion, sustainability, and innovation.
Seattle Pacific University College Seattle, WA
Study abroad for credit or study in the thriving, artistic, multicultural Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle—both are exciting options for SPU liberal studies students. You don’t have to walk by the statue of Jimi Hendrix every day to understand how this Christian school managed to attract both the founder of Gravity Payments (the socially conscious company that committed to paying every employee at least $70,000 per year) and the inventor of Prozac. On top of the customizable general studies degree, SPU offers a unique honors-level accelerated course of study in liberal arts. The degree is offered as a dual-degree option so you can still major in another field while fulfilling your intellectual curiosity and enjoying the close-knit dialogue and collaboration of the liberal studies program here.
Whitworth University Spokane, WA
Whitworth offers a traditional liberal arts education on a quiet, wooded campus that is plugged in to the natural world and perfect for contemplating the bigger questions in art and science. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best Value as well as the Best Regional Universities in the West, Whitworth is a well-kept secret even within the state. But the school’s recognition of the complexities of innovative thinking and ethical approaches to science and technology are long-standing outgrowths of the Christian ethic the university was founded on.