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Liberal Arts General Studies

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Liberal Arts General Studies Major

446,843 yearly degrees
#1 in popularity
$77,000 median salary

Liberal arts general studies is a major that typically falls into the Liberal Arts & Humanities category.

There are 2,217 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in liberal arts, 1,479 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 243 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 24 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a Liberal Arts Degree?

Liberal arts general studies is the 10th most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly 45,100 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. This major is dominated by women with about 64.2% of recent graduates being female.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of liberal arts majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 3.4%
  • Black or African American: 14.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 14.3%
  • White: 56.2%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 2.2%
  • Other Races: 9.2%
Liberal Arts General Studies Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in liberal arts. About 2.2% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending liberal arts majors to the U.S. are China, South Korea and Canada.

What Can You Do With a Liberal Arts Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with liberal arts:

Careers Related to Liberal Arts General Studies
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary




Liberal Arts General Studies Major Salary

Average salaries range from $77,000 to $77,000 for careers related to liberal arts. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a Liberal Arts Major  ( 77000 to 77000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Online Liberal Arts General Studies Programs

There are 1,479 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts general studies, with 296 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is a Liberal Arts General Studies Major Worth It?

The median salary for a liberal arts grad is $77,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 98% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $761,800 after 20 years!

liberal arts general studies salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: Jacques Sablet (Switzerland, Morges, 1749-1803) via License

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