Foundations in The New Liberal Arts – one of King’s Signature Programs


LIBERAL – 1: free. 2: respectful of individual rights and freedoms. 3: generous, giving. 4: forward-looking. 5: tolerant. 6: enlightened.

ARTS – (from Latin ars): 1: a learned skill. 2: principled practice.

LIBERAL ARTS – 1: the cultivation of a global perspective 2: a desire for universal understanding

A unique first-year experience for students ambitious for knowledge to think for themselves, to explore their own identities, and to learn real-world professional skills.

Are you finding it difficult to pick just one program? Foundations in The New Liberal Arts lets you explore culture, history, literature, philosophy, and politics in one coordinated curriculum where you are free to direct your own learning. Exploring the big ideas, figures, and events from the classical to contemporary times gives you the confidence to build a place for yourself in the world and forge your own ways of thinking and living.

Sample Syllabus

“Liberal” means curious and open to diverse ideas, cultures, and expressions. “Arts” (Latin ‘ars’ method, skill) is the exercise of that liberality and freedom in your personal life and the wider world. The liberal arts mean the principled practice of freedom – to think, to judge, and to act. The goal of a Liberal Arts education is to help students build and exercise their own human freedom in the realms of politics, art, science, religion, ethics, and philosophy. The freedom of the human will is not simply given; it must be built up by each individual person and human community. Exploring past conflicts over beliefs, ideas, identities, and resources heightens your ability to critique contemporary power structures and inequities but also to freely imagine new responses to the conflicts and problems discussed in the program.

In the tradition of liberal arts programs at prestigious universities around the world (U. of Notre Dame US; U. of London UK; King’s College, London UK; U. of Exeter; Queen Mary U. London, UK; Leiden U. Netherlands; American U. in Paris, etc.) King’s Foundations in The New Liberal Arts offers a critical 21st century perspective of the major events that have shaped our world, the powerful ideas that have changed how we think, and the radical books that have explored the human experience. Learn all those things you always wanted to know and be mentored one-on-one by our award-winning faculty to set yourself up for a promising future. Capped classes ensure a first-year experience with a small, friendly, and supportive cohort.

At the end of the year, you will be a well-rounded, confident expert in more subjects than you thought possible and have advanced professional skills in interdisciplinary oral and written communication, research, critical thinking, peer assessment, and public speaking. You will be a 21st century global citizen with a mind of your own.

A plurality of ideas. People. Books. Culture. The greatest leaders and advocates. The most radical thinkers and doers. The experimenters. The arguers. The individuals who dared to speak out and act up.

Read and discuss the famous authors you keep coming across: Homer, Plato, Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci, al-Ghazali, Descartes, Mary Wollstonecraft, Nietzsche, Franz Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Martin Luther King Jr., Edward Said, Chinua Achebe, etc.

Your classes will cover three main disciplines – English/Comparative Literature, History, and Philosophy – but the program offers you the chance to direct your own learning and study topics you are passionate about. Your Independent/Integrated Research Project is one you choose yourself, supervised by a faculty member, and with feedback from your classmates. You are in charge of your own education! TNLA lets you sample different subjects so you can confidently choose what excites you the most in your second year. TNLA actively encourages your creativity and individuality to tackle the complexities of the contemporary world. We want to cultivate your voice, your ideas, your plans.


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