A few days ago

What are the most distinguishing characteristics between liberal arts colleges and normal colleges?

In relation to:

size, workload, degree requirements, etc…


Top 3 Answers
A few days ago
Tracey O

Favorite Answer


liberal arts colleges are typically smaller and more personal. you’re more likely to have a classroom of anout 15-30 kids and your classes will actually be tought by teachers… not teachers assisitants. the size gives students a bigger opportunity to shine

regular colleges are bigger, they may have better resources and research facilities.


i guess you might get a bigger workload at a liberal arts college but i’m completely not sure. i know you’ll have a more broad curriculum to choose from.

degree requirements

the girl above me said that lib-arts colleges require more core classes. that’s not necessarily true. it entirely depends on the school you go to what courses will be required for you to graduate and if you could just take entirely whatever you want


liberal arts colleges are known for haveing a personal, family like atmosphere. you get a lot more one on one attention and assistance than you would at a regular school. however, liberal arts colleges aren’t known for their vibrant social lives and party scenes. nor their school spirit. though, it’s worth noting that some of the most prestigious schools in the nation are liberal arts colleges.

i would say, if you plan on going to grad school, definetly consider a lib-arts college. you get to experience SO MUCH creativity and originality and unconventionalism before you push yourself into career training. and even if you don’t consider it anyway, you’ll walk away with so much information you’ll be ready to take on anything.


A few days ago
While there are a lot of small liberal arts colleges, that isn’t a necessary feature, and you could have a larger liberal arts college as well. The main difference is in the curriculum. Usually liberal arts colleges have more general education-type courses, which are not intended to prepare you for a specific career, but for being an educated person.

A few days ago
electrical engineer
There are a many distinctions between liberal arts colleges versus normal colleges. Here are just a few differences:

(1) I would say the biggest distinction is that a normal college is what you would typically consider as a university — as in graduate schools are part of the academic institute, whereas liberal arts schools don’t offer graduate schools.

(2) Liberal arts usually put emphasis on literature, history, art, economics, psychology courses, whereas normal colleges (or universities) have more majors and more classes to offer to students, particularly in the science, engineering, and IT fields.

(3) Usually, when highschool students apply to liberal arts colleges, it’s mainly just one application. But for university applications, one would apply to the institution as well as apply to a particular department/school (ie. engineering dept or humanity social science dept). Also, if you go to a liberal arts college, it’s definately easier to change/ switch majors. If you go to a university, it’s a little harder b/c you would have to apply to that specified dept the major is in (ie. you originally wanted to major in economics, which is in the humanity social science dept, but you then decide you want to major in bioengineering, which is in the engineering school).

(4) Liberal arts colleges tend to have a smaller student population (~2000 students), whereas normal colleges may have ~10,000 undergrads. With the student population size, liberal arts colleges’ professors tend to be more “educators” than “researchers”. The great thing about liberal arts colleges is that professors focus more on their students, not on their studies.

(5) In my opinion, normal colleges definately give students more recruiting opportunities than liberal arts colleges. Universities tend to have the bigger names and better networks. B/c there are numerous dept/ schools offered at universities, various types of companies have more different types of students to choose from.

(6) Also, in general, universities have more well-known professors (who tend to be more “researchers” not “educators”; you see more Nobel Prize winners teaching at universities, not at liberal arts colleges).

Hope this helps.