The University of Texas at Tyler
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UT Tyler College of Arts & Sciences

Message From the Dean

Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Texas at Tyler. Whether you are a continuing, new or prospective student, thank you for dropping by the college's virtual home.

We believe that the College of Arts and Sciences is the heart of the university — where the spirit of discovery links learning to life.

What is the spirit of discovery? It is about learning who we are, about the physical, natural, social and imaginative world we live in, about our history, culture, language, literature, art, theatre and music. It is about that natural human desire to know more about the physical universe, our heritage and how to communicate better and govern ourselves more effectively.

The university — and most particularly the liberal arts — is built on this natural inquisitiveness and it requires that both student and teacher have open minds and engage in the spirit of discovery.

What is a Liberal Arts Education?
An education in the College of Arts and Sciences provides students with an intellectual environment unparalleled across the university. Graduates possessing a liberal arts education understand the importance of learning for its own sake, rather than viewing education as merely a means for obtaining employment.

Through studying the arts and sciences, students become aware of the past and of possibilities for the future. They acquire and practice critical and orderly judgment, pursue self-discovery and gain individual integrity. They learn to appreciate diversity and personhood; understand the importance of being caring, effective and responsible citizens; appreciate the diversity of the natural world; gain a love of lifelong learning; and exercise their imaginations.

The liberal arts and sciences equip students to practice critical thinking, thus avoiding reliance on prejudice and dogma; to understand a multiplicity of ways of knowing the world; and to strengthen respect and tolerance for difference.

For example, the social sciences provide an understanding of the individual's role in a democratic society and an appreciation of what it means to be human in the political, social and cultural senses. The sciences teach reasoned and orderly ways of thinking and problem solving. Philosophy allows for a more critical understanding of the nature of perception and the ability to make moral decisions.

Literature demonstrates how experience is shaped by choice. History helps people understand and interpret the human experience as it is challenged and enriched by the passage of time. Communication enables the development and articulation of sound and logical arguments and the ability to resist manipulative messages and propaganda. The fine arts reveal our potential for creativity and imagination and the exploration of life in imaginative ways.

How does a liberal arts education prepare students for a career? All professions, regardless of the specific degree programs associated with them, are based on knowledge and skills acquired from the fields of study that comprise the liberal arts. A liberal, broad education prepares students for the world of work by providing them with an invaluable set of work skills that will remain useful decades after graduation.

Please browse through our website, where you will find information on all of our departments and degree programs, special centers and research activities. We have also provided helpful advising information, from selecting a major to getting that final graduation check.

Dr. Martin Slann, Dean

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