The College of Arts and Sciences is composed of three academic divisions.
The Humanities at Bucknell study the capacities and forms of expression that make up the human experience - language, memory, symbol, and aesthetic appreciation.
Students majoring in classics, East Asian studies, English, history, language and literatures, philosophy, and religion engage in two vital aspects of liberal learning: first, conscious participation in historical, literary, and linguistic traditions, and second, a personal consideration of those questions that help them examine life and seek its meaning.
Students in theatre, dance, art, art history, and music engage in study, performance, and analysis through courses that recognize the fine arts as a mirror in which cultures reflect themselves. Bucknell faculty believe that to fully understand any culture, including your own, you must be able to grasp, interpret, and respond to artistic creations and symbols.
Students in the humanities—as in other areas of study at Bucknell—are encouraged to approach their subject matter in a variety of ways, such as undergraduate research projects; creating art or participating in music, drama, and dance performances; becoming members of the Arts or Humanities Residential Colleges.
The social sciences at Bucknell allow students to explore the many dimensions of human behavior and relationships from a broad spectrum of perspectives. These disciplines provide their students with an understanding of individuals, organizations, and societies.
Courses of study within the social sciences include professional programs in education, accounting, and management, and programs in anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology. In addition, there are several interdisciplinary majors combining social science courses with the humanities or natural sciences, including environmental studies, Latin American studies, international relations, and women's studies.
Bucknell's Social science programs benefit greatly by their close interaction with all of the other academic programs on campus. Students engage in such out-of-the classroom initiatives as the Global, Society and Technology, and Social Justice, Residential College Programs, community internships and service projects, and undergraduate research. All of the activities support a common objective of the social sciences: to understand and address - through research, analysis, and synthesis of knowledge - the profound social problems faced by humankind.
The University's long-held reputation as an educator of scientists is largely based on the science faculty's commitment to educating students who can understand how science does and does not work, who can apply scientific and mathematical principles, and who can communicate with other educated individuals about the nature of our world and those scientific issues affecting humans and their environment.
Bucknell's science and mathematics programs—animal behavior, biology, cell biology/biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies, geology, mathematics, and physics—maintain a common commitment to the principle that students learn most effectively through a hands-on, laboratory and field-centered approach to learning the sciences. Underlying the teaching and research that informs these courses of study is the conviction that each student should have a fundamental understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry and its applications.
Bucknell is well known for the unusually broad array of undergraduate research, opportunities available to students in all of the disciplines taught on campus. Nowhere is this tradition stronger than in the individual faculty research laboratories within the natural sciences and mathematics division. In addition to such co-curricular programs as the Environmental and Society and Technology Residential Colleges and special summer research courses abroad, students can gain real and substantive laboratory and fieldwork experience alongside professors in all of Bucknell's science programs during the academic year and the summer.