What is a Liberal Arts Education?

A student sits on a stone bench and works on her laptop.

December 15, 2017

What does an education at Gonzaga look like? By now you might have heard about a Jesuit education through meeting with one of our admission counselors on the road, looking through our website, or googling “Gonzaga” and ending up here (and in that case, welcome!). At Gonzaga, we are educators looking to graduate students who are ready to “go forth and set the world on fire.” We realize that you have a spark, something you are passionate about, and our job at Gonzaga is to help you identify it and fan it into flame. This comes down to four things we want you to become through your education.

Intentional People and Critical Thinkers

Our Core curriculum focuses on critical thinking, communication, reflection and action which encourages our students to become women and men for a more just and humane global community. Each year, you will engage in courses that discuss how to cultivate understanding, what it means to be human, what principles characterize a well-lived life, and what our role is in the world.

Superbly trained

Academic excellence is something we strive for at Gonzaga. We believe that an active learning environment includes opportunities for research, internships, design projects, and practicing what you will do in your field – this is the type of education that Gonzaga offers. Our undergraduate engineering program is ranked 18thin the nation by US News and World Report and our School of Business Administration is ranked 9th in USA Today’s Top 10 Schools to Study Business. Our education students are in the classroom all four years working with students and observing teaching styles, social science students conduct and present research and win top awards, broadcasting students air two programs live in Spokane, our pre-med students go to medical school at a rate more than twice the national average, and the list goes on.

Recently, we were given a #1 ranking by US News and World Report for best in undergraduate teaching!


We want our students to develop as leaders whether it is through student governmentclubs and organizations, or in the classroom through formalized programs like the Comprehensive Leadership Program, or Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. There are many opportunities for you to be involved on campus and develop leadership skills to help you grow and succeed in your professional roles.

People for and with Others

We emphasize Jesuit values of service and social justice. Each year, students contribute over 100,000 hours of community service and learn about social justice issues both in and outside the classroom. At Gonzaga, you will have the opportunity to be involved in many different service and social justice programs run through our Center for Community Engagement (CCE), Unity Multicultural Education Center (UMEC), and Mission & Ministry offices. Additionally, we were ranked number one among small universities for alumni serving in the Peace Corps and many of our graduates continue on to programs such as Teach for America, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and AmeriCorps (2013-2016). No matter what career alumni pursue, we encourage them to discern how they can use their talents and gifts to make positive contributions to their communities and to the world.

At Gonzaga, we believe that education is not about what you become but rather who you become. If this sounds like an experience in which you would like to take part, we invite you to come visit us, meet with your admission counselor, and see what this all means. And if we are lucky enough, we in the Office of Admission want to help you begin your Jesuit Education at Gonzaga University.