SAIC provides excellence in the delivery of a global education in visual, design, media, and related arts set within a broad-based humanistic curriculum in the Liberal Arts and sciences. —SAIC Mission Statement (2004)

The Liberal Arts department's mission is based on the premise that engagement with the liberal arts and sciences fuels creative production, and vice versa. Our curriculum prepares students to understand and articulate the significance of what they produce; to critically engage ideas, arguments, and evidence on issues of concern across the globe; and to nurture lifelong habits of learning, curiosity, and discernment. Students will develop an appreciation for social and material contexts while learning to assess their own cultural standpoints. This means cultivating an awareness of their citizenship within an interconnected world, and recognizing the value inherent in a diversity of perspectives.

Critical thinking and writing go hand-in-hand, and through their liberal arts education students will become fluent in both. Students will be able to summarize, analyze, and evaluate arguments of many kinds, from the quantitative to the rhetorical, both implicit and explicit. They will also learn to build their own compelling and meaningful arguments, claims, and proposals.

Finally, the department's multi-disciplinary curriculum exposes students to different ways of thinking about the world, and different methods of problem solving across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. We encourage students to recognize connections across academic areas, understanding disciplines as both distinct loci of knowledge, and as evolving fields of study that overlap and rupture over key questions. At the same time, we embrace a capacious approach to multi/trans/inter-disciplinary study and courses that bridge the academic and studio disciplines. Through this, we aim to prepare students to navigate new ideas, new information, and new possibilities beyond SAIC.