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School of Liberal Arts

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Educational Experience

Students in the School of Liberal Arts (SLA) enjoy small class sizes, which lead to active mentorship on the part of our faculty, who direct students to opportunities they might never anticipate before coming here. Students perform original research at the FDR Presidential Museum & Library; present their work at national and international conferences; share their expertise with community partners here in Dutchess County; and complete internships in locations as close as Manhattan or Albany, or internationally through programs in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Through their endless curiosity, hard work, and strategic planning, students--with the help of faculty--prepare themselves to truly make a difference in the world beyond Marist.


Graphic of: Approval Rates. 93% are satisfied with their academic experience. 94% are satisfied with Marist’s academic services. 95% are satisfied with Marist’s student services. 91% would recommend Marist to a future student.


Undergraduate Research and Creative Work

Working in close collaboration with one another and with faculty members, English majors at Marist actively take part in wider conversations surrounding poetry, fiction, and scholarship. The boundary between the English classroom and the world beyond is a highly permeable one. Students read Civil War literary works and archival materials, then travel to Gettysburg to see battle sites and artifacts for themselves. Well-supported scholarly arguments and carefully crafted poetry are shared not just with classmates, but with attendees at gatherings such as the annual conference of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society. Students share their innovations in digital forms as well. Long Live the Book is an anthology of essays written by members of Dr. Angela Laflen's senior capstone course.


Student Clubs & Leadership Opportunities

The rich variety of clubs provide the SLA with a strong sense of community and many opportunities for active student leadership. Clubs and affiliated organizations include:

  • The Literary Arts Society, which coordinates a variety of gatherings, including an annual "Harry Potter Night" and annual poetry slam.
  • The Marist College Club of Theatre Arts, a student-run organization that works in tandem with the Marist Theatre Program. 
  • Phi Alpha Theta/History Club, the College's chapter of the national History Honor Society. This organization is a professional society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. 
  • Sigma Tau Delta, the College's chapter of the national English Honor Society. In addition to facilitating participation in Sigma Tau Delta's annual conference, the chapter hosts informal events such as the "Literary Desserts" contest held every semester.


Student-run publications

  • The Circle: The Circle is Marist's student-run newspaper in which members have the opportunity to write and edit articles about campus news and events. The Circle is published every week and appears in print seven times a semester. 
  • The Generator: The Generator is Marist's arts and entertainment magazine. The magazine is published once a semester and includes articles about everything from fashion to video games to music.
  • The Mosaic: The Mosaic is a literary magazine published each semester by the Literary Arts Society. All students, not just English majors or minors, are encouraged to submit their creative pieces or artwork to The Mosaic.
  • Fox Forum: Fox Forum is a student journal of academic papers published once a semester by the Literary Arts Society.



Internships provide a crucial way for SLA students to explore their professional futures. Over half of SLA students complete an internship during their undergraduate years, and it is not uncommon for students in this group to complete two or more at different sites. Students may choose to take advantage of the College's proximity to New York City: venues for recent SLA internships in Manhattan include Pegasus Press and Us Magazine. Another option is the Albany Summer Internship Program, which enables students to gain an insider’s perspective on political communications, politics, and public policy in New York State’s capital city. Other students find placements in the Hudson River Valley region or complete an on-campus internship in Archives & Special Collections in the Cannavino Library, at the Writing Center, or at the Hudson River Valley Institute. Students also regularly complete internships as part of their international study in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other sites.

Graphic of: Internships at Marist. 83% of students participated in one or more internships while at Marist and many credit them as a primary reason they were hired.


Global Experiences

International study has become a defining aspect of the academic culture in the SLA. Cross-cultural inquiry and global awareness are not only central to the disciplinary focus of the Department of World Languages and Cultures and the Global Studies minor, but also to other majors. The Political Science Department, for example, offers students opportunities to intern with the Hansard Society Scholars Programme in London and to participate in the Student World Affairs Conference held in the Hudson River Valley. Both the History and English Departments offer short-term study abroad programs (see below).

SLA students' high level of participation in semester-long or short-term abroad programs (approximately 50 percent of 2016 SLA graduates) changes the conversation both within and beyond the classroom. Students have enjoyed substantial success in their ability to earn Fulbright Fellowships and other prestigious grants to facilitate their international study.

Graphic of: Exploring Diverse Cultures. A requisite for effective leadership in a complex and diverse society. Seventh in the U.S. for long-term study abroad.


Recent and Upcoming Short-Term Abroad Programs in the Liberal Arts

  • Shakespeare in London: Studying the Bard of Stratford: One of the most popular and longstanding School of Liberal Arts spring attachment programs, this course involves a two-week trip to London and Stratford to explore Shakespeare's plays the best possible way--in performance at the Globe Theatre and other venues.
  • Dominican Republic: Spanish & Technology: Associate Professor of Spanish Kevin Gaugler and Associate Professor of Information Systems Carolyn Matheus are the co-directors of this spring attachment program, which allows students to develop their proficiency in Spanish or in Information Technology/Systems while providing crucial support to schools in the Dominican Republic.
  • Dubliners: Fiction Writing in Ireland: This spring break program is led by Associate Professor of English Tommy Zurhellen. Focusing on either creative writing or literature, students will explore the different ways in which writers have engaged with the artistic and cultural treasures of the city of Dublin.
  • Judaism: History, Literature, and Culture: Led by Associate Professor of English Joshua Kotzin and Professor Steve Sansola, this spring attachment program provides students with the opportunity to explore Jewish culture through travels in Hungary, Germany, Austria, and Slovakia.