Ready to Launch Your Legacy?

Learn what a Liberal Arts degree can do for you.

The College of the Liberal Arts is the place to find your place.
Unlimited options and unwavering support to prepare you for life and any career you choose.
It all starts here. 

Meet our community

Get to know some of our talented Liberal Arts students, alumni, and faculty members. These stories highlight the diverse backgrounds and accomplishments of our community and the impact they are making.

Luisina Kemanian-Leites spent her fall semester in Chile in a program focused on politics, social justice, and language. In addition to taking classes, the Paterno Fellow interned at a school working with students who were immigrants from vulnerable communities.
Catherine Delage, a 2018 Comparative Literature and Japanese alumna, currently lives and works in Japan as a manga translator. She credits her majors and resources in the College of the Liberal Arts for her success. “I admit I was pretty lost about how to go about achieving my goals after university, but the guidance I received was irreplaceable. I couldn’t possibly hold the Career Enrichment Network in higher esteem.”
A rendering of the currently under construction Welch Building.
The Susan Welch Liberal Arts Building—the first new Liberal Arts building at Penn State University Park in more than fifty years—will be an innovative hub of social science teaching, research, and outreach activity when it opens in fall 2024.
Samantha Escobar leans against a pillar in front of Old Main
After receiving two Liberal Arts scholarships, Samantha Escobar applied for an internship at the University where she’s able to give back by helping donors invest in the lives of other students.
“I would not be here had it not been for Mr. Merritt. He has helped me from a financial standpoint and has alleviated the burden of finances for me and my family,” said Michael Garza, a second-year student double majoring in Criminology and Sociology. “I also meet with him at least once a semester to discuss where I’m at in my academic path and go to him if I have any concerns or need any advice.”
Janae Sayler and her fellow MCLA members
Janae Sayler is co-founder and president of Minorities in the College of the Liberal Arts, a student organization dedicated to “bridging the gap between everyone—minorities and allies—not only networking-wise, but through community that makes the University smaller.” Janae is a fourth-year student majoring in Psychology and Advertising/Public Relations with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies.
Professor of English Hester Blum at the Holmiabukta glacier
Through the spring of 2024, the College of the Liberal Arts’ theme, “Moments of Change: Creating a Livable Planet,” is focusing on the ongoing work of Liberal Arts students, faculty, staff, and alumni in support of sustainable futures. Professor of English Hester Blum’s fourth-year seminar this semester studies the impact of the climate crisis on human communities—specifically at the two “ends of the Earth.”

Pursue your passions

The College of the Liberal Arts is home to nearly 150 undergraduate majors, minors, integrated undergraduate-graduate degrees (IUGs), associate degrees, and certificates.
There is truly something for everyone.

Explore by Interest

A liberal arts major helped recent graduate John Miller develop a greater worldly perspective, improve his communication skills, and see how people experience life in different ways—traits that have benefitted the Paterno Fellow on his unique path to medical school. Read his story.

Explore by Discipline

Students in the humanities study how people process and document the human experience. Most majors in the humanities build widely transferable skills that employers appreciate and go on to be writers, counselors, event organizers, social media managers, fundraisers, travel bloggers, and more. 

Explore humanities majors 

The social sciences examine the relationships between individuals and societies, as well as the development and operation of societies. The critical thinking, research, and analytical skills gained in a social science major help prepare graduates for diverse job titles, including economist, psychologist, political scientist, historian, postsecondary teacher, museum curator, and social worker. 

Explore social science majors

Intercultural communication, critical thinking and reasoning, cultural adaptability, information and trend analysis, and the other skills that drive the global economy, are in high demand today. Language graduates find jobs in tourism, international development, marketing, policy making, journalism, government, and more. 

Explore language majors

Mark your calendar

The College of the Liberal Arts hosts more than 200 events
throughout the year for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the community.
Visit our events calendar to see the full list of upcoming events.
Below are the annual student events.

Five Liberal Arts students stand on the Sparks Building patio during the Paterno Fellows Orientation.

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Rock Ethics Institute research associate Yael Warshel is poised to receive a book award at the International Communication Association’s annual meeting for her pioneering work in the book “Experiencing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Children, Peace Communication, and Socialization.” Her book, a critical examination of peace communication interventions and their effects on children in conflict zones, has received international acclaim, with this being the book’s second major accolade.

Penn State University Libraries’ Open Publishing program recently launched a new Open Access monograph. “The Future of Foster Care: New Science on Old Problems,” edited by Yo Jackson and Sarah Font, is a collection of expanded conference proceedings from the 2019 conference of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, a national leader in research designed to influence public policy that better protects vulnerable children from abuse.

P. Gabrielle Foreman, Paterno Family Professor of American Literature and professor of African American studies and history at Penn State and a 2023 MacArthur Fellow, embarked on a decade-long creative endeavor that culminated in her recently released edited volume, “Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake.”

WPSU uncovers the stories that unveil the triumph, grit, caution and legend that make up the history of the commonwealth in a new digital series titled “Past PA.”

Janet van Hell, a longtime Penn State faculty member in the College of the Liberal Arts’ Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Language Science, was recently promoted to distinguished professor of psychology and linguistics.

Liberal Arts Professor of English and Asian Studies Xiaoye You’s new book on rhetoric in early imperial China offers insights into how ancient rulers built and maintained an empire, and what that may reveal about contemporary issues.

Nearly 100 Centre County high school students visited Penn State’s University Park campus on April 12 to participate in the fourth annual Language and Linguistics Day hosted by Penn State’s Center for Language Science.

The Penn State Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction recently hosted its fourth annual conference in the HUB-Robeson Center at the University Park campus. 

An interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers have received a $442,750 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, to support a multi-faceted, three-part study that observes how gay and bisexual men search and find HIV prevention information — specifically information about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a medicine that when taken as prescribed, is very effective at preventing HIV.

Two Penn State professors — one in history and the other in art history and anthropology — have collaborated on a three-pronged project that will spark conversation and awe about the art, culture, science and history of Andean peoples.