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College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences

The Liberal Arts Foundation at Southwest Minnesota State University

Southwest Minnesota State University provides an education that not only readies students for meaningful employment after graduation, but also prepares them for change and growth across their personal and professional lives. 

Did You Know?

On average, recent college graduates will hold 4 different jobs within the first 10 years after graduation!  Job mobility is the new normal, and it creates an environment that rewards people who have skills useful in any industry or job climate.  These skills include

  • analytical and critical thinking,
  • written and oral communication,
  • reading and math competence,
  • global perspective, and
  • problem solving.

These are the skills valued by employers, and they are the skills developed and refined by the liberal education offered at Southwest Minnesota State University. 

Liberal Education at SMSU

The College of Arts, Letters and Sciences is home to disciplines that contribute to a student’s liberal education and that offer almost all courses that meet the learning outcomes of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum.  The academic programs in the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences also offer majors that lead to a variety of careers, and a minor from a discipline in the liberal arts pairs extremely well with any major, including applied programs of study. The Honors Program and the McFarland Library are also housed in the College.  Explore our programs by clicking the “College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences” tab on the sidebar to the right.

You are in a privileged position to be attending a public university that values liberal education. Please take full advantage of your time at Southwest Minnesota State University by enrolling in courses that interest you and that help strengthen those skills that will last you a lifetime!

Photo of Dr. Lori Baker

Dr. Lori Baker is the Dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences. She began her duties in July of 2022. Dr. Baker has a PhD in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition from Purdue University. Her secondary area of study was in Modern and Contemporary American Literature. Her Master’s degree in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition is also from Purdue. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Biology from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Dr. Baker has been on faculty at Southwest Minnesota State in the English Program since 1997. She has served in numerous roles on campus, including as the Writing Center director for much of her time, department chair for several terms, and HLC Self-Study coordinator for the 2014 accreditation reaffirmation.  

Office: BA 262 | Phone: 507.537.6251 Email:

Last Modified: 11/8/22 10:14 AM | Website Feedback