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Bentley Launches First-of-its-Kind Liberal Studies Major for Business Students

November 2, 2005

Waltham, Mass. -- Amid growing concern that the number of liberal arts majors has been dropping at U.S. colleges and universities for decades, Bentley College has launched a first-of-its kind major in liberal studies to be pursued in tandem with any business major.


The optional double major will prepare business students for a "multidisciplinary world," according to Bentley Dean of Arts and Sciences Kate Davy.


Although the intersection of business and the arts and sciences has long been a part of Bentley students' educational experience, this is the first time a business school has "credentialed" the liberal studies degree in concert with a business degree.


"Students who graduate with a degree in any professional field - business, education, fine arts and so forth - need to be both deeply educated in their chosen field and broadly educated across other disciplines," Davy says. "Majors, by definition, are about depth, but the Liberal Studies major at Bentley is not premised on depth in a single discipline. When deep connections are made across these bodies of knowledge, breadth becomes depth. This is the premise behind the liberal studies major."


Liberal studies majors at Bentley choose from one of seven concentrations: American Perspectives, Environmental Risk, Ethics and Social Responsibility, Global Perspectives, Imagination and the Human Experience, Media Arts and Society, and Quantitative Perspectives. Each concentration includes courses from across the curriculum. The new major is also interdisciplinary in ways that demand serious reflection on the part of students working with a faculty mentor.


Robert D. Galliers, Bentley provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, says, "Bentley is committed to preparing business students for a world that often defies and transcends the boundaries imposed by academic disciplines."


"A top-notch business education equips students with not only critical business skills, but also a firm grasp of the world around them," says Galliers. "In higher education today, students often feel forced to choose between a professional education that prepares them for a career and a liberal arts education that prepares them for life. At Bentley, they have access to both."

The business and liberal studies double major demonstrates that it's possible to offer the intellectual stimulation of the liberal arts with the rigor and hand-on, technological orientation of business, according to Davy.


"In higher education we educate students in single disciplines called a 'major,' but we live and work in a multidisciplinary world," says Davy, a former fine arts dean. "I used to tell my freshman fine arts students that great art is not made in a vacuum. The same is true of great business."



BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

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