Opening minds, opening doors
A liberal arts education offers much more than just the option
to study music, painting, and the written word. In addition to
focusing on one’s chosen major, a liberal arts college enriches
students with a broad array of general knowledge, from fields such
as philosophy and language arts to mathematics and the natural
The problem-solving skills, methods of thought, and other
critical academic tools learned in these courses can be applied to
any field of study.
Mount Saint Mary College’s liberal arts core provides a
well-rounded education. In addition to the requirements of their
chosen major, Mount undergraduates take courses in the natural
sciences, philosophy, religion, language arts, mathematics and
information technology, history/social science, and more.
A world of possibilities
Not all college students begin their academic journey knowing
what field of study they wish to pursue. For these undeclared
students, the Mount’s liberal arts core is often valuable in
selecting a major.
The Science of Viral Discovery course, taught by Evan Merkhofer,
assistant professor of biology, allows freshman non-science majors
to discover previously undocumented viruses and examine the virus’s
RNA. Using state-of-the-art technology, the students isolate and
characterize viruses known as bacteriophages – viruses that infect
The students “really have ownership of this project,” Merkhofer
said. “It’s great to see non-science majors taking such an interest
in this course and developing their skills.”
After being offered for the first time in the Fall 2016
semester, several students in the Viral Discovery course expressed
interest in becoming biology majors.
The phenomenon isn’t limited to just this course. Mount Saint
Mary College success stories often begin the same way.
Originally undeclared, alumna Laura Lomolino completed her Mount
bachelor’s degree in business in three years and her graduate
courses at the college one year later, in May of 2016. She credits
enthusiastic business faculty and the college’s Career Center with
guiding her down the path to a business major.
“I was happy to be welcomed with open arms into the School of
Business,” said Lomolino. “The faculty is not only caring, but they
want to see you succeed and will work hard to make that
Lomolino received the Presidential and the Leadership
scholarships. She completed the college’s rigorous Honors program
and is a member of the Delta Mu Delta honor society (business).
“It’s amazing to see how much I have grown as a person,” she
noted. “My experiences at the Mount allowed me to break out of my
shell, growing into the outgoing and motivated person that I am
In today’s ever-evolving business world, employees often require
knowledge from many disciplines. Mount Saint Mary College’s liberal
arts core can give students the edge they need to succeed.
Tara Doughty ’06 enjoys her role as director of program
management at the medical education company Hospicom, Inc. To get
where she is today, Doughty had to draw on tools she acquired not
only in her public relations and business administration majors,
but also those from her liberal arts education as well. The liberal
arts core of her Mount Saint Mary College education created a firm
foundation on which she built her career, she said.
Her advice to current and future Mount students is simple:
broaden your skillset.
“What’s important is to have a strong skillset in
communications, strong writing skills, and an outgoing
personality,” Doughty explained. “Never be closed to an opportunity
you didn’t plan.”
The Mount Advantage
Students don’t have to wait until their job search to experience
the benefits of the Mount’s liberal arts education.
Mount students have the freedom to forge their own academic
paths. Each one can enjoy studying a large variety of topics in a
supportive, success-oriented environment. At the Mount, students
can nurture secondary passions, or even combine courses from
different fields to strengthen their major studies. For example,
one might take marketing courses from both a communications and a
business perspective, expand his or her understanding of history
via art courses, or enhance a business major with information
technology skills. There are many more creative pairings like these
to take a Mount education even further.
In addition, the broad range of courses offered at the college
allows for small class sizes. Mount students enjoy a 14-to-1
student to teacher ratio, creating a more personalized, in-depth
approach to learning. Mount professors often form lasting bonds
with their students, continuing to mentor them and share in their
accomplishments long after graduation.
Through a diverse selection of majors and a strong liberal arts
core, Mount Saint Mary College prepares more than 2,100
undergraduate students a semester for careers in education,
business, nursing, and beyond. More than 96 percent of the
college’s 2016 graduates reported obtaining a job or pursuing
graduate school within six months of completing their degrees.