Liberal Arts

Berklee's Liberal Arts program emphasizes the interdisciplinary learning that artists and musicians need to succeed in today's world, especially writing and communication, and entrepreneurial, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. Liberal arts courses provide a cultural context for the music being studied; relate music to other arts, politics, literature, and science; encourage in students an appreciation for diversity; and prepare students to make the complex ethical choices they will face throughout their lives. Berklee's Liberal Arts Department is designed to empower students with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a strong sense of values, ethics, and civic engagement. The partnership of liberal arts and music in the Berklee curriculum means that graduates are accomplished musicians who also excel as team members, communicators, and problem-solvers.

What Are the Liberal Arts?

Liberal arts include the study of:

  • Humanities — literature, creative writing, poetry, philosophy, languages, communication, art history, history, music history, visual arts, drama, and more
  • Natural Sciences/Mathematics — biology, chemistry, physics, environmental science, acoustics, mathematics, and more
  • Social Sciences — psychology, economics, sociology, history, anthropology, political science, women's studies, Africana studies, Latino studies, and more

Liberal Arts Minors

To strengthen student educational opportunities, and to enable students to explore interests, develop skills, and gain knowledge that complements their music studies and their majors, Berklee offers minors in specified liberal arts fields. Study for a minor introduces students to the field and provides opportunities for pursuing progressively more meaningful and complex work in the discipline.

Each liberal arts minor consists of four courses (10-12 credits, depending on the discipline). As part of each minor, students complete foundational (required) courses and select from a list of specified options. Courses taken to complete a minor may be used to fulfill other degree requirements as appropriate.

As with all minors at Berklee, students will receive formal recognition for study in the minor. The completion of a minor will be designated on the student's official transcript at the time of degree verification.

Watch a student discuss the importance of her Berklee liberal arts courses in the video below:

Learning Outcomes for Liberal Arts Minors

Upon completion of study in the minor field, students will:

  • Synthesize and integrate knowledge from the discipline
  • Evaluate major themes and trends in the discipline
  • Analyze major issues in the discipline
  • Understand key terminology in the discipline
  • Compose written and oral communications appropriate to the discipline
  • Apply critical thinking and practical reasoning as appropriate to the discipline

Disciplines of Study

Students may choose from the following liberal arts minors:

  • Music and Society
    • Africana Studies Track
    • Gender Studies Track
    • Global Studies Track
  • English
    • Literature Track
    • Creative Writing Track
    • Spoken Word/Slam Poetry Track
  • Drama
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Acoustics and Electronics
  • Visual Culture and New Media Studies

Liberal Arts Symposium

Each year, the Liberal Arts Department offers a symposium for educators. For further information, see the Liberal Arts Symposium page in our Professional Development Programs area.

Liberal Arts Facilities and Resources

The Liberal Arts Department has full use of the Professional Education Division Technology Lab, a 22 workstation classroom and laboratory equipped with wordprocessing, database, and spreadsheet software to address the needs of all Liberal Arts students.

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