About the School of Liberal Arts


The mission of the School of Liberal Arts supports Manhattan College’s tradition of liberal inquiry, reflection on faith in relation to reason, emphasis on ethical conduct and commitment to social justice by offering diverse foundation courses for all students, no matter their school or major. In addition, the School of Liberal Arts furthers Manhattan College’s emphasis on high academic standards by offering challenging majors in the humanities and social sciences and innovative interdisciplinary majors. These include courses taught by outstanding educators, committed to the advancement of knowledge in their classrooms and in their disciplines. The School of Liberal Arts seeks to educate its students broadly — considering timeless issues and providing timely preparation — so that its graduates lead rewarding lives full of professional success and lifelong learning.


The School of Arts and Sciences was the first and only school when Manhattan College was established in 1853. Throughout the history of Manhattan College, the School of Arts has been integral to the College’s curriculum. Even as the College added separate schools for engineering, education and business, students continued to take core liberal arts courses in the School of Arts and Sciences. The School of Arts was separated from the School of Science in 1933, but they rejoined in 1939, before splitting again in 1993. It was renamed the School of Liberal Arts in 2015.

Some of the major developments in the School of Arts’ history:

  • 1866 – The first six official graduates of Manhattan College receive A.B.s
  • 1893 – A Bachelor of Letters degree introduced
  • 1950 – College-wide liberal arts program introduced to focus on the humanities
  • 1969 – Arts begins offering interdisciplinary majors with urban studies
  • 1970 – Manhattan College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa installed
  • 1971 – Peace studies major established
  • 1974 – Coeducation begins in School of Arts and Science
  • 1976 – Branigan Scholars Grant program established to promote undergraduate research
  • 1985 – National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant received to develop core curriculum, The Roots of Learning — focusing on critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and communications skills
  • 1993 – Academic reorganization separates Schools of Arts and Science
  • 1994 – Manhattan Hall, home of the School of Arts, renamed Miguel Hall in honor of Saint Miguel Febres Cordero of Ecuador, FSC
  • 1997 – Holocaust Resource Center established
  • 2007 – Dissolution of cooperative agreement with the College of Mount St. Vincent establishes separate arts programs in sociology, communications, foreign languages and psychology
  • 2010 – New majors in art history and labor studies established
  • 2010 – First-year seminars established
  • 2011 – Holocaust Resource Center expanded to Holocaust, Genocide and Interfaith Center
  • 2015 - School of Arts renamed School of Liberal Arts