A College Like No Other In a City Like No Other

Transylvania University, located in the heart of downtown Lexington, Ky., is ranked in the top 15 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges by The Princeton Review, which cites its community-driven, personalized approach to a liberal arts education through its 41 majors. Founded in 1780, it is the 16th oldest institution of higher learning in the country, with nearly 1,000 students.

Three students studying in a common area.

Commitment to the Liberal Arts

Transylvania University prides itself on its long tradition of liberal arts education, but what does “liberal arts” mean?

The word “liberal” comes from the Latin liberare, meaning “to free.” A better term, then, could be “liberating arts,” because that is what a liberal arts curriculum aims to do: liberate students from ignorance, preconceptions and limitations — self-imposed or otherwise.

Mission and Values:
Through an engagement with the liberal arts, Transylvania University prepares its students for a humane and fulfilling personal and public life by cultivating independent thinking, open-mindedness, creative expression and commitment to lifelong learning and social responsibility in a diverse world.

The “arts” aren’t just limited to subjects like sculpture, dance or drama, either. Instead, they refer to all human pursuits worthy of intensive study and reflection, from chemistry to history to music.

By embracing all of human knowledge, the liberal arts clear the way for pioneering. Who says that a biology major can’t also study religion, or that environmental studies and Spanish have nothing to do with one another? The liberal arts enable you to draw connections between disparate fields of study, examine ideas and concepts and challenge underlying assumptions.

Questioning everything expands your intellectual capacity. Who am I? What does it mean to be human? What can humans accomplish? What is freedom? What is success? A liberal arts education is defined by the questions, not the answers.