Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Welcome to the College of Arts & Sciences
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What are the Arts & Sciences?

Both the liberal arts and sciences are primarily ways of
developing and using new knowledge to improve the human condition.

Rooted in the classical western traditions of higher education, the most fundamental concept of a liberal art is the distinction between "knack" and "art." Someone who can do something very well over and over again may have developed a "knack" for doing that one thing. However, if they are asked to explain how they do it or if they are asked to do something else in a different context, they have difficulty transferring that knack to a new situation. On the other hand, someone who has an "art" not only knows the tools of the trade, they also have a broader theoretical understanding of how to use those tools in a variety of situations. They are not limited to simply doing the same thing over and over. They can adjust and adapt to the needs, the contexts, the problems never faced before in a new situation. Therefore, the highest level of learning valued in the liberal arts is the integration of theory and practice—a knowledge that transcends the particular problem combined with the ability to practice the art effectively in particular instances. The goal of studying the liberal arts is to create new knowledge that can be applied in a variety of possible situations.

In the same way, the primary goal of the sciences is to create new knowledge, by means of the scientific method of investigation. The sciences seek to discover, understand, or to understand better, how the physical world works, with observable physical evidence as the basis of that understanding. It is done through observation of existing phenomena, and/or through experimentation that tries to simulate phenomena under controlled conditions. Through research the sciences seek to discover new knowledge and ways to use that knowledge in a variety of applications.

In the College of Arts & Sciences at Millikin University, we invite students to become knowledge seekers, knowledge makers, and to put their knowledge to work to transform themselves, their communities, and their professions. Come join us in this effort to learn beyond the instant, to be a creator of new knowledge, to go beyond knack into creative uses of knowledge to solve problems, to observe the physical world and the social world, and to transform ourselves and our communities and our world with our arts and sciences.

Welcome to Millikin University, where we ask you to take the academic stage, to perform your knowledge, to develop habits of life-long learning, to start contributing to a better personal life, a better community, and a better world. There are plenty of problems in the world. You are the perfect person to develop the arts and sciences that the world needs now to solve those problems.

Don't settle for a knack. Seek knowledge that will stick with you beyond the moment and grow and change as you apply it in a variety of situations you can't even imagine yet!

Dr. Randy Brooks, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences



Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL