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What is a "liberal arts" education?

In our liberal arts program, students are broadly educated in the social sciences, the natural sciences and the humanities, as well as trained in a particular academic field of specialization called a concentration. Students take one course in each of the eight areas of the General Education Program, which is designed to broaden each student’s intellectual perspective, while selecting a field of concentration from more than forty academic departments. Students will usually take about half of their courses in their concentration, one-quarter in the General Education Program, and one-quarter student-chosen electives. The only specific course that is required for all students is a one-semester writing course, although each department has certain courses that a student must take to earn a degree in that field. Programs are, therefore, quite individualized for each student. Whatever a student’s curricular choices, every undergraduate learns to read, write, and think critically — skills important to any endeavor. For detailed information, consult the course catalog at www.registrar.fas.harvard.edu.