Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts (SSLA) is India’s first liberal arts college to offer a four-year full time Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science (Liberal Arts) Honours degree. Established in 2011, SSLA offers a wide spectrum of 20 specialisations from diverse fields such as Social Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Computers, Mathematics and Statistics, and professional courses like Media and Business Studies. The awarding of the Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts) Honours or Bachelor of Science (Liberal Arts) Honours degree is dependent on the student’s major area of specialization. Major specialization implies that students have to pursue 10 papers in the chosen field, whereas minor specialization requires students to study 6 papers in it. There are 3 pathways to acquiring the honours degree at SSLA –
1 major specialisation + 2 minor specialisations
1 major specialisation + 1 minor specialisation + 6 electives
2 major specialisations + 0 minor specialisation + 2 additional electives
Students may opt for any one of the following as their Major and Minor area of specialization:
Majors (can also be studied as Minors)
Performing Arts (Theatre /Music /Dance)
Women and Gender Studies
Peace & Conflict Studies
Political Science & Public Policy
Mathematics & Statistics
Apart from the major and minor specializations, SSLA’s distinctive programme structure offers mandatory core courses which help students develop research, critical thinking and analytical skills. More than 150 elective courses are also present in institute’s bouquet of offerings. In order to ensure that the students avail themselves of the many academic opportunities at SSLA, Extra courses and Audit courses are also offered across specializations (with specific minimum academic prerequisites/requirements). With an inter-multi and transdisciplinary approach, SSLA offers an education that weaves together various disciplines that are not traditionally or typically offered at the undergraduate level. SSLA thus provides a complete liberal arts education.
In the dynamic world that we live in, the demand for skillsets in the economy and employment sector is ever-changing. These skillsets outlined in the World Economic Forum, range from problem solving to working with people, self-management to using and developing technology. These are areas that SSLA has been nurturing its students in, over the past decade. SSLA’s graduates become global citizens who possess multicultural world views, are open-minded and have been taught to appreciate the greater similarities and minor differences in people and cultures across the globe.
Our alumni, who are placed across the globe, be it in industry or the academia, are better equipped to resolve conflict, are gender-sensitive, innovative, and creative. They are also better equipped to handle the demands of all fields, no matter which path they choose to traverse, as they develop competencies that enable them to read, think, write and speak logically and coherently. With an emphasis on critical thinking, research, analysis, and writing, along with civic-mindedness, through the four pillars of SSLA’s programme structure – Dissertation, Seminar Paper, Internship and Community Outreach, SSLA aspires to help develop individuals, who are critically conscious and able to find a healthy balance between professional and personal growth.
Our alumni are presently engaged in:
Professional Positions –
Higher Education –
This impressive list where SSLA alumni are engaged in, is possible because inspite of being an academically rigorous programme, SSLA provides students with many other opportunities. In this co-constructed space, students are encouraged to explore their passions and give voice to their opinions. Some of the areas where students are actively encouraged to do so, include -
International partnerships which lead to student and faculty exchanges. This not only leads to knowledge sharing, cultural exchanges and exchange of ideas, but also provides an opportunity for students to gain immense confidence in themselves and the education system that they are a part, of as this exposure makes them realise that they are at par with the best in the world! Some of our international partners are showcased below:
SSLA is a space which allows students to express themselves in constructive and creative ways. The various clubs at SSLA provide avenues to such expression.
Another pathway of expression are the various student publications at SSLA, which range across a variety of area – from theatre, to music, news, politics, international relations – to name a few!
SSLA also has very active sports teams across various forms of games.
Apart from these, there are various annual events at SSLA. While some are academic in nature such as the International Gender Conference and a collaborative conference with the International/Asian and Indian Big History Association; some events on the other hand are cultural in nature. Theatre productions through SSLA Presents, or the Red Carpet, which is SSLA’s very own version of the Oscars are two such major events! With students, faculty and staff all working shoulder to shoulder to make these events a success, these too attribute to the learning curve for the students at SSLA.
SSLA’s learning community brings in the principles of social justice and responsibility as a necessary part of the academic environment that encourages freedom of expression, respect and self-reliance.
We endeavor to support and build a co-constructed environment that lends itself to exploration, inquiry, investigation and analysis. By encouraging students to challenge, question, learn and reflect on what they study, we facilitate unique student-faculty interactions to engage in scholarly discourse. We foster innovative pedagogies in a co-constructed classroom environment that enhance participatory learning, be it through experiential activities or multifaceted learning modalities so as to engage different learning styles of students.
By developing competencies and values required for leadership and social justice in a dynamic global community, we hope our students use their learnings and skills to support communities, in addition to reaching their own potential.
We live in a world that seems to be forever changing….a new world with dynamic challenges that requires young enthusiastic adults capable of playing positive and fruitful roles in organizations and communities.
The Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts strongly believes in the importance of a more comprehensive education as preparation for career advancement and for the exercise of leadership. We believe organizations and society have an urgent need for creative individuals who will readily learn on the job, after having been more broadly prepared by a comprehensive educational background.
Based on our experiences with the liberal arts in the last 6 years, we know that a sound liberal arts education provides a much needed cultural orientation to the world in which we live and will equip students with ideas, analytical and communication skills, and global perspectives, as well as the ability to synthesize knowledge and make informed value judgments.
The 4 year bachelor degree program that we offer helps students learn the skills, attitudes and abilities that are necessary today to grow into leaders of substance and be happy and successful in their future personal, community and organizational lives.
I welcome you to a school with a difference.
A challenging learning environment is a prerequisite for any kind of significant learning to take place.
Taking active cues from the world around us and the hundreds of interactions we have had with teachers, students, accreditation agencies, business leaders, alumni and parents, the school offers you a real opportunity to:
Dr. S. B. Mujumdar
Dr. S. B. Mujumdar (Born on 31st July, 1935) is a distinguished Academician and Educationist. He is the Founder & President of Symbiosis – a multi- lingual, multi-national and multi-disciplinary educational organization of international repute. He is the Chancellor of Symbiosis International University.
The shelf of accreditation is full under his name with commencement from the President of India awarding the prestigious ' Padma Shri' in 2005 & 'Padma Bhushan' in 2012 to Dr. S. B. Mujumdar. The Vice President of India also awarded him the 'Punyabhushan' award in the year 2009. He is also the humble recipient of the prestigious 'FIE Foundation Award', and the 'Maharashtra Gaurav Award'. Dr. Mujumdar has also served as the Chairman of the education wing of the prestigious federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FICCI) (2005-06).
He hails from a humble background of a small town Gadhinglaj in Kolhapur District (Maharashtra).
If there was ever an inspiration for Symbians it is Dr. Mujumdar who completed his higher education at Kolhapur and Pune. He obtained a first class distinction in M. Sc. (Botany) and a Doctorate in Microbiology. He was the Head of the Department of Botany, Fergusson College, Pune for 20 years. He has written many books and published several papers in national and international journals. He was also a member of the Executive Council of Pune University for 14 years.
Akin his journey of success he has successfully revolutionized Symbiosis into an International University. One of the most appreciated work is setting up of a Vishwa Grama (Global Village) on the University campus – where students across India as well as foreign ones mingle their cultures together to form a concoction of thoughts, ideas and beliefs all the while forming strong bonds of relationships.
SSLA offers a four year full-time B.A / B.Sc liberal arts degree program. The student would be awarded either a B.A or a B.Sc degree depending on the particular major chosen.
SSLA’s approach to learning is distinctive, a new world needs a different educational insight…. and as Shashi Tharoor put forth ‘there is always more than one side to a story, and more than one answer to a question.’ This statement sums our approach to the learning process, which is based on critical and analytical thinking: a strong foundation and base for the emerging 21st century generation.
The Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts offers students the opportunity to study a four year full-time Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts Degree) and Bachelor of Science (Liberal Arts Degree) program covered over eight semesters. The Liberal Arts programme is styled very closely on internationally valued models and aims at offering students a wide range of courses with the freedom to pick and choose Minor and Major areas of specialization from areas previously considered to be ‘academically incompatible’. A student can combine subjects like Business studies as a Major with a Philosophy Minor or Mathematics & Statistics as a Major with an Anthropology Minor.
A degree in Liberal Arts, as opposed to other programmes of study, aims at creating a strong, well-rounded foundation for all students, regardless of their major and minor field of study. Students are exposed to a range of building blocks as their core courses that span diverse fields as history, sociology, anthropology, science, creative writing, and critical thinking. Our philosophy of establishing such a foundation is simple – learning is dynamic. To know this world, students must have the full range of tools to understand, recognize, critique, and appreciate themselves and their role in this globally dynamic environment. Our distinct method of instruction sets the tone for this strong foundation, as it is diverse, experiential, practical and heavily steeped in theory. Thus, all students graduate with their preferred choices of majors and minors that is expressed as a unique combination for each student forged on a strong foundation of knowledge that spans a myriad different learning blocks. This is what makes a liberal arts’ education unique!
Following this tradition, intellectual freedom and growth is a result of practical knowledge, open-minded scrutiny and logical arguments, and it is our belief that certain forms of knowledge should be compulsory for every student. Therefore, there are 18 core courses and 8 electives which are compulsory and which every student will complete across the 8 semesters. The students therefore study:
Specialization courses (which are in the form of Majors and Minors) shall be chosen in the 2nd semester and will be taught from the 3rd semester onwards.
In addition to the major and minor subjects each student chooses to specialize in, he/she will also study the following core / compulsory courses and general courses across the 4 years.
The General Courses offered at SSLA are:
Along with the aforementioned courses, the students will also complete a two month Internship at a corporate organization/ NGO/ any other approved organization and a detailed Community Project equivalent to 2 months of study.
Students will also study Inter University credit courses / Integrated Disaster Management Program / Audit Courses / Global Immersion Program / any other as per SSLA / SI(DU) rules.
The reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we've always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts Steve Jobs