Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts

Female student listening in class

SMC is a liberal arts college, which means we offer only undergraduate classes and our emphasis is not on technical, vocational or professional education.

Like many private liberal arts colleges In the United States, SMC has a smaller student body and a smaller teacher-to-student ratio than universities (which offer graduate degrees and are typically much larger schools).

How a liberal arts college benefits you:

  • Professors at liberal arts colleges focus on teaching. Professors at universities often have research requirements that take up their time and focus.
  • Courses are taught by professors, not students. At large universities, graduate students often serve as instructors in undergraduate, lower-level courses.
  • Smaller class sizes mean professors can devote more time and attention to each student. Many universities offer lower-level courses to hundreds of students at a time in large lecture halls.
  • Liberal arts colleges emphasize study in a wide area of subjects (history, math, philosophy, English…) rather than a narrow area of focus (such as training for a specific career). This wide area of study teaches you important skills that transfer to any career field and improve your overall quality of life. Some of these skills include: critical thinking, problem-solving, taking information from a variety of sources and using it to create new information (synthesis), and communication.

How SMC benefits you:
SMC is unique: only a handful of two-year, private liberal arts colleges exist in the United States. By attending SMC, you’ll receive all the benefits of a liberal arts college listed above, as well as:

  • No competition from upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) for faculty time and attention. You’ll attend SMC with freshmen and sophomores only.
  • Earlier opportunities for leadership. Here, the leaders of athletic teams, clubs and organizations are all freshmen or sophomores.
  • Faculty serve as your academic advisers and mentors.
  • Our emphasis on providing an extraordinary liberal arts experience means you’ll spend your first two years fully immersed in a variety of classes, with plenty of time to discover what interests you.
  • You’ll be challenged to think beyond a linear field of study.
  • Here, new ideas are encouraged, tested, and put into practice.
  • You’ll perform group projects that teach understanding and openness to the ideas of others.
  • By doing in-class presentations, you’ll sharpen communication skills.
  • Your leadership abilities will be strengthened through participation in student organizations.
  • Athletics foster a sense of loyalty and commitment.
  • Creativity and imagination are encouraged by involvement in the arts and educational programs.
  • Community outreach projects foster civic and social responsibility.
  • You’ll graduate prepared to use the skills you attain here to build careers, lead others and strengthen our society.