Liberal arts studies that are relevant and impactful
Students in the Ivan Allen College acquire the technical expertise that is characteristic of Georgia Tech graduates and the contextual understanding that is the hallmark of a fine liberal arts education. Alumni identify three attributes developed through their education here that distinguish them from their professional peers:
- Ability to bridge technological and non-technological realms
- Complex problem solving abilities
- Science and technology savviness
Other characteristics that set your education here apart from that offered by other liberal arts colleges:
Frequently Asked Questions
Undergraduate FAQ: Academics
How does Ivan Allen College differ from liberal arts programs elsewhere?
The liberal arts program at Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College includes the basic strengths of any good liberal arts program, but it offers the Bachelor of Science, not the Bachelor of Arts. The distinction is significant because Ivan Allen students study topics relating to not only humanities and social sciences, but also science, technology, and computing, and the corresponding impact on society, culture, and public issues. Ivan Allen College is in many ways a small liberal arts college located in the midst of a major technological university, so students aquire both the technical expertise characteristic of the institution's graduates on top of the education found in a "traditional" liberal arts education. This has proven to give our students an advantage in many job markets and in graduate school programs.
How does the liberal arts program "fit in" with the rest of Georgia Tech?
An understanding of science, technology, and computing is essential to a well-rounded education in the 21st century, and either through coursework or by working in the context of Georgia Tech, Ivan Allen students acquire a strong background in many of the "other" areas at Georgia Tech, giving them a distinct advantage in their careers. All Georgia Tech students will graduate with the same core equivalencies. Additionally, Ivan Allen College professors frequently collaborate with science and engineering faculty in research, bringing their cross-discinplinary expertise into their courses.
What are the admissions requirements as compared to the general admissions requirements for Georgia Tech?
All students admitted to Georgia Tech are judged by the same criteria. Ivan Allen College students have virtually the same high school GPA and math and verbal SAT scores as all other Tech students. The Admissions Office makes no distinction between Ivan Allen College and other Georgia Tech colleges in the admissions process
What are the math requirements for liberal arts majors at Georgia Tech?
Analytical abilities are a fundamental strength of all Georgia Tech students. To help them develop those skills, Tech students are required to take differential calculus, integral calculus, and linear algebra. However, most liberal arts students have an alternative math option more closely aligned with their majors. With the help of their advisors, Ivan Allen students select one of these sequences. About half of the college's undergraduates take each path.
Undergraduate FAQ: Beyond the Classroom
What major should I choose if I am going to be a pre-law or pre-med student?
Any major in the Ivan Allen College will prepare you for law school or medical school. The education that you receive will provide you with the critical thinking skills and work ethic that is necessary for a graduate education. More importantly, as an Ivan Allen College student, you will be strongly encouraged and guided to be involved in organizations at Tech that will open your eyes to things you may not have noticed. It can give you a better perspective on the professional path you wish to follow. Professional schools look highly on applicants who have real world experiences gained from co-ops and internships. In addition, there is a Pre-law minor or certificate that is housed within the School of Public Policy that is open to any student of any major as well as active pre-professional student organizations.
An interdisciplinary minor in Health, Medicine, and Society housed in the School of History and Sociology is available to students interested in careers in health and medicine.
What type of jobs and careers do liberal arts graduates at Georgia Tech go on to have?
Our graduates are prepared for a wide range of jobs and careers. Unlike engineering and hard sciences where their studies will directly translate into a career field, liberal arts graduates have a more diverse set of options they may pursue. Our students work with private companies, government agencies, and in the not-for-profit sector in fields such as economic development, multimedia design, marketing, policy analysis, public relations, education, consulting, human resources, and financial advising. Often, the internships, research, and international studies that students participate in lead to an inspiration as to what a graduate wants to do for a career.
What types of research opportunities are there for liberal arts majors?
Ivan Allen College holds a unique advantage over other liberal arts programs due to our location at a tier one research institution. And because of the very favorable student-to-faculty ratio 5:1, liberal arts students at Tech have many chances to get to know their professors well (and vice versa). This generates many opportunities to hear about potential research projects or suggest a research project to an interested professor. Your advisor will periodically send you opportunities for research throughout your time at GA Tech. For financial assistance, many students apply for Georgia Tech's President's Undergraduate Research Awards program, working one-on-one with a professor, usually on a research project largely determined by the students' interests. Additionally, undergraduate students often can choose between receiving academic credit or a stipend for their research activities.
Where do Ivan Allen College students intern?
Our students are strongly encouraged to participate in at least two interships with public, private, and not-for-profit organizations in the US or abroad. Many liberal arts students regularly intern with local, state, national, and international governments and organizations such as the City of Atlanta, the Georgia Governor's office, US State Department, CIA, United Nations, and US Supreme Court. Others have interned with companies such as Yahoo, CNN, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, BMW, and Bank of America. And others have interned with organizations such as Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, CARE, the Carter Center, and Zoo Atlanta. More information can be found on our careers page.
Why should research be important to me?
Participating in research as an undergraduate is a prime way to increase your expertise in your major and make yourself more marketable in the workforce and graduate programs. Moreover, participating and contributing to research under a professor's guidance is fulfilling and significant; in most research opportunities, your findings will be published for review by the greater academic community. The chance to pursue any topic of interest affords you the opportunity to create your own education at Georgia Tech.