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Arete: Liberal Arts & Business

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Clarkson’s Arête program is a double major integrating professional training in business with the skills and perspectives of the liberal arts.  It provides students a broad base of leadership and communication skills, along with the analytical abilities essential for success in the emerging world of global business.

Arête graduates are currently pursuing careers in a wide range of businesses and industries, as well as in teaching, government, and not-for-profit foundations.  Others gain advanced degrees in business, law, science and education.

Teamwork and personal attention make Arête distinctive.  Students are encouraged to take control of their own education by playing a major role in running the program—designing courses, developing activities, running seminars, and conducting special classes, working closely with faculty to achieve their goals. 

Students choose from any major in the School of Business (Global Supply Chain Management, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Financial Information and Analysis, or Information Systems and Business Processes) and combine it with any major in Liberal Arts (American Studies, Communication & Media, History, Political Science, Psychology, Interdisciplinary Humanities, or Interdisciplinary Social Sciences).  Each student has two advisors, one in each major, to ensure that they are always on track.

Arête is an ancient Greek word describing an individual who embodies individual excellence combined with a strong sense of social responsibility.  This word from the classical world perfectly captures the spirit of tomorrow’s leaders.  Aretê students are leaders. 

Though Arête students are highly individual, they do share some common traits:
  • They are activists and initiators.
  • They’re involved in student government and have taken on leadership roles in the residence life area.
  • They are socially concerned and make a connection between school and life.  They are often engaged in community service.
  • They like to read, write, listen to music, and often follow artistic pursuits for personal enjoyment.
  • They look beyond traditional paths and approaches. They are multitalented.
  • You find them taking a role and making a difference in campus politics or at the student newspaper.
  • They lead their sports teams and they stand out at gatherings of the honor societies.
  • They are self-motivated and curious. They hunger for new information and ideas.

Through both their classes and their own student-run professional society, Aretê students are particularly focused on developing the skills and knowledge to move themselves successfully through both career and life.  The program emphasizes:

  • Individual excellence combined with a strong sense of social responsibility
  • Critical thinking, analytical ability, and oral and written communication skills
  • Flexibility and creativity in solving contemporary problems
  • Ethics and individual values
  • Leadership and teamwork skills

Caralyn Mirand

Caralyn Mirand '14 looks to make a career in front of and behind the camera. See how Clarkson is helping her make it happen.

“Arête  has enabled me to broaden my horizons in unique ways.  By studying business and liberal arts simultaneously, you can open up the doors to dozens of careers.  The sky is the limit!”

— Jenny Coombs
Political Science and Financial Information & Analysis Clarkson University ‘09

The most popular Arête double major combinations are:

  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship and History or Psychology
  • Global Supply Chain Management and Political Science
  • Financial Information & Analysis and Interdisciplinary Social Science