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Liberal Studies

“What is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.” — Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 1790

What is Liberal Studies?

The words “liberal” and “liberty” have the same Latin root; both are about freedom. The purpose of the Liberal Studies program at Holy Cross College is to help students attain an understanding of what liberty really means. True liberty is not freedom from authority, freedom to do whatever we feel like doing, because we sometimes feel like doing things that we should not do. True liberty is freedom to become excellent, to actualize our full potential as human persons, to orient ourselves toward the proper end of human life.

Liberal education involves understanding the nature of human persons and the kind of life, in community with other persons, that leads to true happiness and human flourishing. This is accomplished by studying the history of human civilizations, great literary works of diverse cultures, theories of ethics and politics, and more. Liberal education liberates us from exclusive focus on the material world and elevates our intellects to the contemplation of spiritual reality. The pursuit of truth, in a world that increasingly doubts the existence of objective, universal truths, frees us to live virtuous, fulfilling lives.

While the Liberal Studies program is fully relevant to contemporary life, it understands that the search for answers to life’s most important questions did not begin yesterday. Intelligent people have been thinking about truth, beauty, and goodness, about human nature, forms of government, and the good life, for millennia. The project of expanding our knowledge begins by considering the wisdom of the ages, books that have been judged to be classics, ideas that have stood the test of time.

Prepare for more than a career, prepare to lead a successful life

Pursue knowledge in a wide range of areas, and you will become a deeper thinker, a better writer, a more considerate communicator. You’ll also separate yourself from the competition in today’s highly competitive job market.

As a Liberal Studies student at Holy Cross, you’ll have the freedom to create a study program based on your personal interests and professional ambitions. No matter how you craft your educational experience, you will benefit from:

  • Lively discussions with accomplished faculty and peers in small classes (average class size: 12)
  • Meaningful internship and service opportunities (100 percent of Holy Cross students intern and serve)
  • The ability to pursue a second major—and still graduate on time

Students in the Liberal Studies program may choose from a variety of courses in History, English, Philosophy, and Politics. Upon graduation, they are well prepared for challenging graduate programs of study, as well as thought leadership in a wide range of professions. Since the study of what it means to live a good life is not separate from but is fully harmonious with the study of how to earn a living, Liberal Studies majors and minors are encouraged also to pursue other majors or minors, such as Elementary Education and Business.

Liberal Studies Major Requirements

Liberal Studies Minor Requirements

Faculty major academic advisor

Professor. Mentor. Partner in intellectual exploration. Dr. David Lutz will help you connect your curiosity with the needs of the world.

David Lutz, Ph.D.