View your world through a global lens
The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) is the heart of Concordia University’s liberal arts and the foundation for the general education curriculum. Whether you are pursuing your undergraduate degree or looking for graduate studies, the goal of the college is to help prepare students to become better global citizens, equipped to transform society. Our students become leaders in service to society and explore a variety of course offerings in a challenging and caring environment. This is the core of Concordia University’s Lutheran approach to a liberal arts education.
Connecting with the world
Whether your area of study is biology, humanities, English, religion, chemistry, history, psychology, international development or teaching English to speakers of other languages, the courses in the College of Arts & Sciences are designed to provide you with a broad range of skills equipping you for a variety of career paths and work environments. Here is a sampling of the core skills you will learn, practice, and hone through CAS courses at Concordia:
- Critical and Creative Thinking: Become a skilled observer who can comprehensively explore your world, formulate meaningful questions, consider alternative perspectives, and propose creative solutions
- Communication: Understand the complexities of dynamic written and oral communications and learn to master a variety of communication media.
- Quantitative Reasoning: Understand and create sophisticated mathematical arguments using a variety of methods to solve real-world problems in a variety of formats.
- Intercultural Knowledge: Possess a set of reasoning, emotional, and behavioral skills that support effective and appropriate interactions in a variety of diverse cultural contexts.
What can you do with a liberal arts degree?
With a liberal arts degree from Concordia, the world, as they say, is your oyster. You can do almost anything with a liberal arts degree. Employers look for individiuals with strong liberal arts skills such as critical thinking and analysis, effective communication and leadership. Use your love of history to become a lawyer or work for a government or non-profit organization. Turn your command of English and communication into a career as a copy editor or writer for an online magazine or work for an advertising or marketing agency. Maximize your undergraduate chemistry or biology research to help get into a top grad school. Work for an organization seeking to help solve community challenges through a psychology degree or a degree in international development. The great thing about a liberal arts college like Concordia is that students build a solid foundation in core competencies while exploring a variety of career options to find the academic path that best matches their skills, passion and career goals.
A liberal arts education is more valuable today than ever providing a broad range of skills – critical thinking, communications, leadership, writing, analysis, research, and organization – skills that are valued by nearly any employer in nearly any career. A liberal arts major can better adapt to a changing job market. Since many individuals will change their career several times during their lifetime, a solid liberal arts degree can better facilitate career goal changes and fluidity in the job market.
For those interested in pursuing a legal career, the college offers a 3+3 program in conjunction with our Law School in Boise. You can now earn a B.A. and J.D. degree in six years instead of seven. Many liberal arts majors can be paired with the 3+3 program. Check with one of our advisors for more information. In addition, CAS also offers graduate programs in community psychology and teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Small class sizes provide intimate and engaged learning from expert instructors. Check out your career options by exploring our programs and majors. You can also get acquainted with our faculty and staff. Feel free to reach out to any of them for additional information on programs and majors. The application process is easy — just click HERE.
We also have an exceptional Honors Program
The Honors Program at Concordia University is designed for academically gifted undergraduate students who want to be challenged to their highest ability, and work with others who share the love of learning. The program consists of a series of courses offered each semester. Students admitted to the Concordia Honors Program take an average of seven to eight hours in special Honors courses each year. Most of the courses in the Honors Program also fulfill the general education requirements of all baccalaureate-level programs. Courses is limited to 25 students to ensure close contact with the professor. All students in the Honors Program are selected based on a variety of criteria including prior academic achievement, evidence of critical thinking skills, and perceived ability to contribute to Concordia University’s mission statement.
Qualifying freshmen admitted to the Honors Program receive an academic scholarship equal to half of their tuition per academic year. Eligibility for renewal of the Honors Scholarship depends on maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.25, full-time status as a Concordia University student, making normal progress towards graduation in 4 years with 24 credits of Honors classes, and completion of the Honors Capstone Seminar during the senior year.
How going to college pays off
Among the most frequently asked questions from potential college students and their parents deals with career opportunities. “Can I get a job in that field?” and “What are the salary ranges?”
It is difficult to answer either question with specifics. Securing a job in any field depends on many factors, including the strength of the economy, market trends in specific job markets and skills of the college graduate in relationship to other job applicants. It is clear from a variety of sources that individuals acquiring a college degree will make more over their employment lifetime than individuals without a college degree. However, lifetime earnings prospects vary widely by disciplines and degrees.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers age 25 and older with less than a high school diploma were $488 in 2014. The median for workers with a high school diploma only (no college) was $668 per week, and the median for those with at least a bachelor’s degree was $1,193 per week.
The difference between weekly earnings and unemployment rates can be seen in this 2015 chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Individuals with professional degrees generally have the highest weekly earnings and lower unemployment rate.
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article (May 7, 2015) on the income inequality between college graduates and those without a college degree. Melissa Korn states, “On average, college graduates earn about $1 million more in their lifetimes than do adults who only completed high school.” But you need to drill deeper into the details to understand how educational decisions can impact potential earnings. While you need a subscription to the WSJ to read the entire article, you can watch a video on their website to grasp the scope of the story (click "wsj.com/TheShortAnswer" in the lower right corner of the graph). Click HERE for the earnings graph by discipline. The complete report from the Center on Education and the Workforce from Georgetown University can be accessed here: The College Payoff: Education, Occupations, Lifetime Earnings.
For more in-depth analysis of career earnings, check out the American Community Survey 2012 from the U.S. Census Bureau and Education Pays 2013 from the College Board. The College Board has a graph summarizing earnings: Expected Lifetime Earnings Relative to High School Graduates, by Education Level. Both documents help sort through the complex questions related to career and earnings potential. In addition, PayScale provides a college salary report as to how different majors and degrees potentially affect lifetime earnings. Click on the "Major Grouping" to the left of the graph and drag your mouse over the various lines on the graph to highlight specific majors/disciplines and median earnings potential. The graph compares different degree levels along with years in the workforce. Salary information is collected by PayScale through online surveys.
Collectively the documents cited above can provide guidance when considering the value of a college degree and potential career path. Concordia University provides high quality instruction in all our degrees to equip our graduates to transform society.
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