The curriculum of the College of Liberal Arts and its extracurricular activities are intended to help students achieve three basic goals: (1) to acquire by means of scholarship a rich knowledge of facts and concepts; (2) to enhance one's capacity for tolerance, for responsibility toward the natural world, and for judgment in ethics and the arts; and (3) to develop intellectual curiosity and lifelong habits of independent learning.
The intellectual atmosphere at Willamette University, including classroom and extracurricular activities, fosters all three goals and encourages a sense of community that nourishes intellectual inquiry, multicultural awareness, environmental responsibility, and moral sensibility.
Major requirements ensure depth as well as breadth of study. Sustained inquiry in a major allows students to learn material in greater depth and detail than is possible in introductory courses, and to achieve competence in specific research methodologies and in oral and written communication skills.
To complement the depth of study in the major, the General Education Program is designed to develop students' ability to apply overlapping forms of scholarship and investigation in responding to the world around them, solving problems, and establishing the habits of mind and intellectual framework necessary for a lifetime of learning.