By: Abbey Morelli, Staff Writer
Furman University is an accredited, private, liberal arts college. Access to this model of education, with dedication to the liberal arts, gives due recognition to the Humanities and its relationship to other disciplines. This is an essential part of the Furman experience, and one which we should all recognize.
Last semester, I took Dr. Simmons and Dr. Inabinet’s Humanities course for the Ultimate Questions general education requirement. The course is focused on a combination of philosophy and its association with the sciences. The main course of discussion was whether one could stand without the other and further the influence of the humanities
on those studying on a science-oriented career path. In many ways, the course sought to bridge the gap between STEM and the humanities and emphasize the importance of connecting the two.
This course is an example of how a liberal arts educations allows for more variation in class schedules and better academic awareness. Being required to take classes outside of one’s major increases one’s knowledge, encourages critical thinking, and exposes students to new ideas. Having the opportunity to explore a broader range of classes and subjects can result in happier students, as they are more likely to find a subject they truly enjoy and dabble in others that interest them. Liberal arts allows for major changes and delayed major declaration, which ensures that students commit to a major that will set them on a career path that is right for them rather than one the declared under pressure. This also makes it possible to continue studying at one college even if you switch majors, whereas you may have to transfer if a school has limited spots in another department.
Furman Engaged is proof that students at Furman University are studying different, interrelated subjects. Furman’s undergraduate research conference includes poster presentations, paper readings, student films, oral presentations, and accounts of travel studies and internships. This allows students to display what they have been working on over the course of the semester. It is a way to physically see what students are passionate about and how they will represent Furman in the future. The interdisciplinary focus of Furman Engaged demonstrates our university’s commitment to undergraduate research and the liberal arts.
Attending a liberal arts university where the sciences and humanities interrelate prepares students for interdisciplinary fields after college. Educating students in various subjects gives them more academic and intellectual freedom. Ultimately, I am deeply appreciative of Furman’s liberal arts education, as our graduates can truly say that they gained the full, academically comprehensive college experience.