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Liberal Arts General Studies Major

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Liberal Arts General Studies

2,109 Master's Degrees Annually
109 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#68 in Popularity (Master's)
$76,990 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Liberal Arts General Studies Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many liberal arts general studies graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 2,109
Graduate Certificate 218
Doctor’s Degree 109

What Can You Do With a Liberal Arts General Studies Major?

People with a liberal arts degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Professors 9.4% $65,660

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts General Studies?

2,109 Master's Degrees Annually
62% Percent Women
27% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major is dominated by women with about 62% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of liberal arts majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Liberal Arts Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 55
Black or African American 245
Hispanic or Latino 184
White 1,259
International Students 151
Other Races/Ethnicities 215

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Liberal Arts, too. About 7.2% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • India
  • Japan

How Much Do Liberal Arts General Studies Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in liberal arts general studies made a median starting salary of $45,700 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $41,000 (25th percentile) and $50,850 (75th percentile).


One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to liberal arts.

Salaries According to BLS

Liberal Arts majors often go into careers with median salaries of $76,990. This median refers to all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Liberal Arts General Studies Major  76,990
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

Online Liberal Arts General Studies Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 2,239 schools offered some type of liberal arts general studies program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 192 37
Certificate (1-2 years) 314 81
Certificate (2-4 Years) 10 3
Associate’s Degree 2,224 806
Bachelor’s Degree 50 7
Post-Baccalaureate 192 37
Master’s Degree 245 42
Post-Master’s 20 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 30 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Liberal Arts General Studies Worth It?

The median salary for a liberal arts grad is $76,990 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 93% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $741,800 after 20 years!



More about our data sources and methodologies.

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