Liberal Education


A liberally educated person has no limitations.

The concept of liberal education is central to the teaching philosophy at the University of Lethbridge.

It is the idea that a university education is meant to cultivate an attitude of freedom and the critical exploration of ideas through exposure to a diverse cross-section of disciplinary approaches.

Liberal education helps focus your growth in:

  • the liberal arts

  • a general intellectual background

  • the development of a great depth and breadth of knowledge across an array of disciplinary approaches in the humanities, sciences and social science

The aim of this type of education is to enable you to become an independent, well-rounded and thoughtful individual, who actively contributes to your community.

Examples of how the principles of Liberal Education are upheld in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry:

  • Chemistry and biochemistry are inextricably connected to all other sciences. Courses regularly apply concepts to problems from biology, medicine, engineering, etc.
  • Problem-solving, critical thinking and communication are core components of every course in chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Students working in research labs study complex real-world problems, including how we might make biodegradable plastics, how brain-tumour-initiating cells turn into cancerous cells, how viruses hijack our cell components to multiply, and how computer modelling can be used to learn how our bodies repair damaged DNA. 
  • In first-year chemistry courses, students learn about environmental issues including Ocean Acidification and Greenhouse Gases.
  • In senior chemistry courses, students learn about Green Chemistry and Catalysis and apply those principles to propose more environmentally responsible routes to make compounds.
  • In History of Chemistry, students learn many ways in which chemistry has significantly impacted human history.
  • In Elements of Human Nutrition, students analyze their eating patterns and make connections between food and health.
  • The iGEM teams (International Genetically Engineered Machines) take interdisciplinary learning to the next level, combining scientific research with business planning, marketing, ethics and much more – all in the name of solving real-world problems.