What distinguishes a liberal arts program from other 'traditional' courses is that every student would have to study subjects from across the academic spectrum. One could major in Biology and pick Philosophy as a minor. Alternatively, one could major in Mathematics or Business Studies while simultaneously working on a History minor. Exposure to these diverse fields in a conducive learning environment is what has made liberal arts the chosen field of study of opinion leaders such as Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Bill Gates.
Liberal arts is gaining currency as a preferred format of study the world over, especially in societies and countries that have come to realise that merely being placed in a job is not the sole aim of a well-rounded education. Sure, job opportunities are important and necessary, but they aren't the be all and end all. A liberal arts degree program offers students everything that a traditional BA or BSc does, and more. The liberal arts approach is attractive precisely because it equips one with all the technical and academic knowledge to excel in one's chosen field of study, while simultaneously enriching one's knowledge base with other skills and knowledge sets that no doubt supplement a core domain.
Diversity is not looked at as an 'add-on' in the liberal arts environment. Rather, it is a necessity. In a vibrant and dynamic world, the need is for vibrant and dynamic individuals. A narrow education does not quite cut it. Even in a professional work environment, it is the professional's performance on the job that makes all the difference. This performance is no doubt enhanced by an education that broadens the scope of the professional's thought processes and analytical capabilities. A liberal arts education enhances these qualities.
Liberal arts educators strive to break out of the damaging sense in which education has come to be unnecessarily streamlined. If knowledge is the edge, then in order to possess that edge, an individual or student cannot subscribe to arbitrary and arcane boundaries fossilized in a given system of education.
Contrary to popular belief, liberal arts is not only about the fine arts or the performing arts. In fact, the use of the word 'art' these days is often narrow. For the ancient Greeks, mathematics, grammar and music were all arts. Art is something made, something fashioned by man. By this understanding, all sciences are 'art' as well, since these scientific knowledge systems are an achievement of man. So a Biology course in a liberal arts program will have a core Biology syllabus comparable to a B.Sc program. The only difference is the approach taken in teaching the course. The approach is one of relevance, interconnectedness and vitality.
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.
While I am interested both in economics and philosophy, the union of my interests in the two fields far exceeds their intersection Dr. Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate