The Liberal Arts

The liberal arts provide a foundation of knowledge and intellectual skills that enrich a student in academic pursuits, career goals and personal development. Ohio Wesleyan stresses the importance of acquiring a broad general education that fosters insight into our cultural and historical past.


Classes at OWU are geared towards teaching students how to think, not what to think. Students are encouraged to develop their own ideas and opinions. The liberal arts distribution requirements (see OWU Catalog) develop effective reasoning and communication skills across the curriculum.

The small class atmosphere at OWU allows students opportunities to participate actively in class and ask questions when they don’t understand some of the information.

Classes vary in structure with a mix of everything from lectures to open discussions to independent and group presentations.

Students work closely with their professors and each other, posing leading questions, pursuing elusive answers, and developing advanced ideas.


Students brag of the countless opportunities and experiences in a variety of fields waiting for students at OWU:

  • “If there’s something you want,” explained one student, “ all you have to do is ask and someone will help you get it.”
  • Undergrads comment that “while classes can be tough, professors really want you to succeed and truly learn the material.”
  • Instructors are truly mentors. “Their real reason for being here is to teach,” students agree. “They may also do research, but that is secondary, and they always use us (undergrad students) to assist with any research (which looks great on our resumes).”

The academic expectations at OWU are high. Professors want you to learn the material but they also want you to succeed in school and in life.

If students find themselves struggling academically, they can seek assistance from their advisors, course professors, or a dean in the Academic Affairs Office. Others who can help range from friends and classmates, departmental tutors, to the staff in the Sagan Academic Resource Center.

Consider What We Have to Offer

Click here to read about a wide range of academic majors and opportunities.

Other Comments About OWU’s Academic Reputation

“Ohio Wesleyan is the best of both worlds. Our students can pursue a professional bachelor of music programs within the context of a liberal arts education.” – Nancy Gamso, Ph.D., Professor, Music Department

“We have a truly incredible group of faculty who help inspire and support students as they emerge as independent writers and critical thinkers. We come together to develop topics that the student really cares about and we push the ideas further through classroom discussion.” – Patricia DeMarco, Ph.D., Professor, English

“The OWU faculty really bend over backwards to help you learn material, and it’s a pleasure to be taught by them.” – John Crahan ’05

“Students work together, and even mentor other students at OWU. When a professor teaches a research technique to one student, he or she teaches another student. This kind of sharing is not at all unusual at OWU. We call it ‘passing on the knowledge.’ ” – Sara Fitzgerald ’00