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L&S student snapshot


15,015 Undergraduates 4,160 Graduate students Total: 19,175

UW's top 5 majors are in L&S Value of a liberal arts education

Dad says, "get a job!"

“I found that setting aside time to practice an instrument required discipline and selfmotivation. Making sure I knew my part in choir and listening to those around me to achieve the best sound required effective teamwork skills.

“The importance of a multi-faceted personal development, with elements of liberal education, life experience and specific training, was made clear during my recent Macroeconomics 102 class. I learned about structural unemployment (unemployment due to industrial reorganization) and how the lack of liberal education negatively impacts individuals, families and the economy.

Yasha Hoffman, sophomore, Russian and Music Composition, Honorable Mention

Befriending and convincing performers to play my pieces required top-notch communication. Building creative models of solo flute pieces in my composition course taught me how to extrapolate data from sets and think outside the box. Picking a piano piece to arrange for orchestra and meticulously proofreading each part showed me that the more time and effort I put into a project, the more pride I’d take in the final result. Even if I don’t ultimately become a composer, I know I’ll approach my work creatively from an interdisciplinary standpoint, communicate effectively with those around me and be able to find and succeed at a job I truly enjoy, even if it doesn’t exist yet. My life’s path will ascend, descend and meander back and forth. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I can’t wait for the ride ahead.”

Jennifer Morris, freshman, Psychology and Neurobiology

In addition to this eye-opening Economics class in my first semester, I studied Environmental Change Literature, Japanese, Psychology and Integrated Learning Seminar. These courses, although unrelated, helped me zero in on my interests, passions and career path.

Economics Biology Political Science Psychology Communication Arts

Did you know? The Biology major is shared by L&S and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). A biochemistry major can be completed in either L&S or CALS. Information sourced from the 2015-16 UW-Madison Data Digest.

I am grateful for such liberal arts educational opportunities, but this education alone is not enough. In today’s world, specific training is now and will always be needed, as well as a broad range of life experience. I do not agree with the argument that liberal arts education is more or less necessary than specific training – based on my experience and that of my mentors, it is clear that successful people strive for and achieve a successful balance between liberal education, training and experience in life.”

For more information on the contest or to read the essays in full, visit


L&S Annual Review, 2015-16  

The Annual Review for the College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

L&S Annual Review, 2015-16  

The Annual Review for the College of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.