From the Dean

Doctor Elizabeth Dunn

Welcome to the School of Liberal Arts! The new School of Liberal Arts at Oneonta emerged out of a desire to pull together an essential set of related disciplines—about half of the total liberal arts programs offered by Oneonta College with the other half in the School of Sciences. Like bookends, these two schools support liberal learning, our General Education program, and provide a critical foundation for all students.  

Liberal arts disciplines compel us to learn and practice some of the most challenging skills and content that higher education has to offer. Understanding the human narrative—both how to create it and how to receive it—is just one example. Ethical reasoning, aesthetic sensibilities, social and political understanding, problem solving and research, the ability to imagine a past different from the present; all are practiced in the liberal arts. The list is long and essential. Humanities and social science, fine and performing arts, prepare you to live a full life as a productive professional while supporting your growth as a human being who is self-aware, creative, and curious about the world. 

Consider declaring a major or minor in the School of Liberal Arts, either as the focus of your education or in tandem with professional majors and minors. We offer 17 majors and numerous minors, many with applied tracks and courses, in the Departments of English, Art, History, Communication and Media Studies, Political Science, Music, World Languages, Philosophy, Women’s and Gender Studies, Theatre, and Africana and Latinx Studies.

The school features award-winning teachers, connections to successful alumni, and academic honor societies, including: 

Lambda Pi Eta (Communication)
Sigma Tau Delta (English)
Phi sigma Iota (Foreign Languages and Literatures)
Phi Alpha Theta (History)
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science)
Alpha and Delta Psi Omega (Theatre)

Additional discipline-based clubs and organizations are available in every department.

Surveys across the nation indicate that employers value a strong liberal arts component in undergraduate education and career preparation. They look for graduates who have practiced the skills required for successful human interaction, are culturally literate, can apply theory to practice, have a strong understanding of ethical reasoning, are developing expertise in critical thinking and creative problem solving, have practiced teamwork, and demonstrate a strong capacity for research. Our state-of-the-art studios and up-to-date curricula provide excellent opportunities for you to discover and practice each one as you move along the pathway toward mastery.

Learning in the School of Liberal Arts includes a career emphasis as well as preparation for graduate or professional school. We encourage all students to engage in a variety of meaningful curricular and co-curricular activities that will enhance your post-graduate life including:

Interdisciplinary Study
Undergraduate Research
SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference
Student Theatre Productions
Edit This! A Journal of Student Writing
Travel and Study Abroad Experiences
Reacting to the Past Classes
Red Dragon Reading Series
Music Clubs, Lessons, and Ensembles
The Center for Social Justice
Gender Out of Bounds Lectures and Seminars
Undergraduate Philosophy Conference
Campus Art Galleries and Student Shows
Model UN
Senior Capstone Courses/Experiences

The liberal arts deliver the skills and dispositions we need to be happy, healthy, resilient persons who, throughout our lives, continue to grow and contribute to our workplaces, our communities, and our families.

So, join us in the Liberal Arts. See what you can do and become. You will be amazed!

Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, Dean
School of Liberal Arts
111 Schumacher Hall

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