As the world has been drastically impacted by COVID-19, higher education institutions across the country have had to find new ways to instruct and support students. The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan is leading the way. 

With a new fall semester here, LSA has launched a transformative way incoming first-year and transfer students can immerse themselves in all things liberal arts. "A Whirlwind Tour of the Liberal Arts" is a three-credit, hybrid course that offers students a look into the breadth and depth of LSA across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The series includes TED talk-like lectures from nearly a dozen of LSA’s top faculty experts, covering 12 topics including Islamic Art, parasites, mastodons, pirates, and the Black Diaspora. 

With COVID-19 still top of mind for the campus community, this is an opportunity for students to be informed about LSA and the impact of liberal arts on the world, and to engage with faculty and earn college credit towards their degree while still being connected with students on campus and off.

“We wanted to create something special for our incoming first-year and transfer students, and offer them a universe of scholarly topics where they can engage, learn and explore,” said Tim McKay, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Physics, Astronomy, and Education and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education at LSA. “As we navigate this global pandemic, LSA is providing innovative ways for students to have meaningful engagement with one another, while taking a first glance inside the liberal arts.”

Students enrolled in the course will hear from faculty experts about their research and its impact on the world, as well as get advice on how to make the most of their college experience. They will then break up in small groups to discuss the lectures and then later connect for a live online Q&A discussion. With a hybrid of online and in-person instruction, "A Whirlwind Tour of the Liberal Arts" will provide students an expansive preview of LSA’s offerings in a new accessible and equitable way.

To learn more about "A Whirlwind Tour of the Liberal Arts" and course offerings, visit the LSA website or check out this YouTube video featuring Tim McKay.