About Us

Program Coordinator of Liberal Arts
Beverly Sing
Office: 5D.10
Local: 4428

A  pre-university honours program with a uniquely integrated curriculum that prepares graduates for a broad range of university studies

Liberal Arts is for you if

  • You love learning about history, literature, philosophy, humanities, the arts and all the connections between them!
  • You are enthusiastic and curious about many subjects & haven’t yet decided which path to follow
  • You want the chance to “customize” your DEC through option courses in the Social Science, Science, Visual Arts, and Arts, Literature & Communication programs or in Math
  • You want to enter university with the best possible foundation in knowledge and skills needed to succeed, regardless of what field you choose: law, history, literature, philosophy, psychology, political science, classics, international development, journalism, communications, business administration, linguistics, and more

liberal arts

The liberal arts are based on the belief that disciplined learning builds one’s personal intellectual life and career. In medieval universities, the seven liberal arts were grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy. While the modern liberal arts are conceived somewhat differently, they pursue the same tradition of ordered learning to cultivate the mind.

At Dawson College, Liberal Arts is a two-year honours pre-university program. The carefully constructed curriculum is composed of required courses and seminars in classics, English, history, humanities and philosophy, as well as options in other disciplines.

This broad survey of the history, intellectual and creative heritage of our civilization is designed to provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills appropriate to university studies in most faculties outside architecture, engineering and the physical sciences. The program emphasizes a wide range of critical reading, leading to the effective expression of thought in writing and oral argument.

Students will develop and demonstrate the capacity for

  • Critical thought and reflection
  • Personal responsibility and ethical discernment
  • Cogent, well-formed oral and written expression
  • Informed aesthetic responses

Why study the Liberal Arts?

Graduates of our Liberal Arts Program have pursued a wide variety of university programs in Canada and abroad including

  • Harvard,
  • Yale,
  • Brown,
  • McGill,
  • Concordia,
  • Université de Montréal,
  • University of Toronto,
  • University of Ottawa,
  • York University,
  • Oxford University,
  • University of Cambridge,
  • London School of Economics

In the following areas of study:

  • Law
  • Arts and humanities
  • Commerce
  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • Management/administration

Professions of our graduates

  • Lawyer
  • University professor
  • Investment banker
  • Journalist
  • Psychologist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Architect
  • Physician
  • Writer
  • Photographer
  • Translator
  • Music producer…and many more!


“It’s technology married with liberal arts,
married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.”

–Steve Jobs
Co-founder of
Apple Computer, Inc


“I personally think there’s going to be a greater demand in 10 years for
Liberal arts majors
than there were for programming majors and maybe even engineering,” he said. “When the data is all being spit out for you, options are being spit out for you, you need a different perspective in order to have a different view of the data.”

–Mark Cuban
Forbes Magazine (Feb. 2017)

Student Testimonials


“I started university with a 200m head start in a 1k race.”
When many of us first entered McGill, I remember our new classmates were stunned: How do we write so well? How are we so articulate? How are we not struggling with the advanced level of texts? I started university with a 200m head start in a 1k race.

–Gregory F.

Liberal Arts & the development of 21st-century skills

I don’t think I fully anticipated how much and in how many different ways the material in Liberal Arts would continue to resonate as I continue to learn and grow. The ways in which classes equipped me with the tools to make connections and think analytically, coupled with the way in which teachers meticulously emphasized both rigor and creativity, are, as I now think about it, two of the strongest aspects, generally, in the Liberal Arts program at Dawson College.

–Jacob S.

Liberal Arts: A formative academic experience which is unique amongst others at Dawson.

The Liberal Arts program provided an academic experience which was unique amongst others at Dawson. While other students crafted their own curriculum within the broad parameters of their programs, as a Liberal Arts student, I had the certainty that specific thought had been put into the curriculum by an engaged faculty with an overall design in mind. Knowledge and skills developed in one course would be built on by another. The professors integrated their courses into a larger whole.

The professors themselves brought their own distinct personalities to the classroom. In high school you might have had one or two teachers whose style and energy made an impact on your experience. In Liberal Arts, every term brought a new set of personalities which I was completely engaged by.

This created a student community unlike any I have subsequently encountered. Years later, I am still friends with many people I met there.

–Samuel H. C.

“I credit the Liberal Arts program with teaching me to love learning”

To this day, I credit the Liberal Arts program with teaching me to love learning. I believe it was the combination of the small, self-selected group of peers, and the specific, specialized professors that created this sense of community, which in turn allowed me to dive head first into two years of rigorous material. I think the greatest gift we can give young people is high expectations, and these professors, who designed their courses for our specific group of Liberal Arts students, set the bar very high. Not only were they experienced professors who had the ability to share their love for their material, but beyond that, they were teaching classes catered to our specific program.

–Rebecca G.


Last Modified: October 26, 2020