The largest and most broadly based academic unit of the University, the College of Arts and Sciences fulfills the central purpose for which the University was chartered in 1893:
"To provide the best and most efficient manner of imparting...a liberal education and thorough knowledge of the different branches of literature, science and the arts."
A liberal education gives students the means to test ideas, beliefs and facts. It empowers them to a variety of academic disciplines that will broaden and deepen their perspectives and enable them as educated citizens to continue the learning process. It teaches them how to apply what they have learned. By studying the ways of thinking and expression that are intrinsic to the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences, students are prepared in scientific methods, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, and cogent expression, and are helped to develop intellectual skills, humanistic understanding and aesthetic appreciation. Such an education increases the usefulness of career planning and specialization by laying a foundation for lifelong values.
A particular strength of the College is the breadth of its disciplines and programs. This breadth makes possible a varied and flexible curriculum that advances both general programs and specialized education on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Another strength is the quality of the faculty. Its members have a distinguished record of teaching, publication, service to professional societies and national organizations, and participation in consulting, extension and outreach programs. Their commitment to undergraduate liberal education is demonstrated by the quality of the graduates the College has produced. The pre professional education received here has enabled The University of Montana graduates to compete successfully for admission to graduate schools across the nation. A third strength of the College is its commitment to students as they pursue their academic studies at the University. This is reflected in close student/faculty relationships and in the continuous attention given by the College to the effect that policies, procedures, programs, and faculty and administrative structures have on students' educational experience.