Erin Berthon, MA                     Career Advisor, Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, at Chapman University

What difference can liberal arts make during this unprecedented global pandemic? Liberal arts are about intellectual freedom and creative, critical, and collaborative inquiry. While the class of 2020 is graduating, and most thought they were entering one of the best job markets, there are many questions and thoughts about the liberal arts jobs that they can secure during these times. Consider a few ways that liberal arts inquiry is playing out during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s time to think outside the box while taking everything you’ve learned from your liberal arts education the past four years and applying it to what you want to do.

Consider a few ways that liberal arts inquiry is playing out during the COVID-19 crisis:


  • History contextualizes COVID-19 within the narrative of past pandemics. 
  • Political Science & Peace Studies can explain the citizenship and civility required to deliberate policy around this crisis. 
  • Philosophy can raise and examine moral, ethical, and existential questions surrounding the pandemic. 
  • World Languages and Cultures provides us with the resources to work alongside global communities towards understanding the disease. 
  • Graphic Design and Journalism visually and verbally transmit information accurately, persuasively, and ethically. 
  • Sociology works to support communities and institutions to serve individual needs better. 
  • Religious Studies helps us understand how different religions around the world help and meet different spiritual needs during this time of extraordinary disruption and anxiety.
  • Creative Writing and Art can envision our struggles and triumphs speaking to our hearts and souls.

The liberal arts were never meant to be confined to a classroom.  I wish I could tell people the correct path to take, but only you know which path is right for you. Your overall vision and destination do not need to change at all.  It is about how you get there. I genuinely think this is one of the best times to graduate. I know it’s not what everyone expected, but you will adapt and come out of this stronger and more prepared than ever. Remember your passion and why the liberal arts will always matter.