College of Liberal Arts (CLA) students and faculty are a community of scholars.
- Faculty members have earned degrees at top universities from coast to coast.
- Most classes enroll fewer than 20 students; many are taught as seminars, providing discussion and student/faculty interaction.
- Faculty members are committed to helping students develop excellent skills at analyzing problems and communicating orally as well as in writing.
- Faculty members and students frequently conduct research together—often with students taking the lead. Mercer students often present their research findings at regional and national conferences.
- Faculty and students often conduct research abroad—from coral reef ecology in Belize to archaeology in ancient Corinth in Greece.
- The College of Liberal Arts is an "open door" college, which means
- faculty office doors are open for mentoring;
- almost all labs are taught by full-time faculty members;
- student/faculty conversations often go on long after class is over;
- faculty and students work closely together on senior research projects.
College of Liberal Arts students gain a broad education.
- Every student takes three interdisciplinary courses, limited to 18 students. These courses focus on crucial issues of understanding individual identity, community and one's place in the world. About a third of these seminars also involve students in hands-on service-learning.
- Students may elect to complete general education requirements through the Great Books program that leads them from Homer and the Bible to important contemporary texts in a seminar format over eight semesters. Mercer has the most complete Great Books program in the Southeast.
- Every student takes three “writing instruction” courses that develop communications skills and the ability to write in multiple genres.
Strong programs prepare students for careers as responsible citizens locally and globally.
- Science programs prepare students interested in health professions well. Acceptance rates for CLA pre-med students are well above national averages; every student who has completed the CLA's accelerated pre-pharmacy program in conjunction with Mercer's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has earned a doctor of pharmacy degree.
- Graduates of the CLA humanities and social science programs have performed very well at top graduate and professional schools, including University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Princeton, Vanderbilt, and Yale, among others.
- CLA students learn to "think locally" through a breadth of service-learning and internship opportunities in local schools, service agencies, media outlets and medical offices.
- Students learn to "think globally" through study abroad. Recent faculty-led trips have gone to Brazil, France and Morocco. Students can study at Oxford University in England in a unique program for a semester or year. Semesters abroad programs are also available in Australia, Argentina and many European countries.
- Many CLA students are active in campus and community religious organizations. In several national surveys, they rate well above national averages for their ethical and moral awareness, their religious commitment and their desire to make a positive difference in the world.