Eckerd College campus photograph


Liberal Arts Education

Since Eckerd College (Florida Presbyterian College) opened its doors, it has earned a reputation for creating new and better opportunities for learning. Eckerd has been consistently rated among the foremost of American colleges and universities.

The college looks for superior methods of educating its students, not in order to be different but to offer a more rewarding and useful educational experience. As you browse the website and read through publications, you will encounter the unique components of the Eckerd education: The Mentor, the 4-1-4 Academic Calendar, Autumn Term, General Education, Winter Term, the Collegium Concept and basic commitments to the Liberal Arts Education.

If you are a working adult (age 23 and older), seeking our Program for Experienced Learners adult degree, please click here.

The Commitment of Faculty to Students

The relatively small size of the Eckerd student body allows numerous opportunities for close personal relationships between students and faculty. Each Eckerd student has a faculty academic adviser, known as a “Mentor,” who seeks to facilitate the total growth of students and helps them to get the most out of their college years.

Because the faculty is committed to the primary importance of teaching, it has developed a reputation for excellence in the teaching of undergraduates. Many Eckerd College faculty members are engaged in primary scholarship and artistic creativity and, wherever possible, seek to involve students in these enterprises. The intention of the faculty is to provide an educational environment characterized by high expectation, personal attention, and enthusiasm for learning.

The Commitment to General Education

While Eckerd is committed to helping students develop competence in a specific field of study, it is equally committed to general education.

The general education program is designed to provide a foundation for lifelong learning by helping students to develop a love for learning, acquire an informed awareness of the major elements of their cultural heritage, explore various perspectives on the central concerns of human existence, assume increased responsibility for their own growth, and master the skills that are necessary to understand and deal with the rapidly changing and increasingly complex world.

The general education program is made up of the Autumn Term project, a quantitative course, foreign language, and the Western Heritage in a Global Context sequence in the first year; one course in each of four academic areas plus an environmental perspective course and a global perspective course in the second and third years; and a course in the Quest for Meaning in the senior year.

The Commitment to the Integration of Liberal Arts and Career Preparation

The commitment to individual development includes a commitment to helping students prepare themselves for a vocation. Through 38 formal majors and pre-professional programs, opportunities are available to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for successful careers. In addition, through independent study, students are encouraged to enhance the formal curriculum to meet their particular interests and aspirations.

The college recognizes that significant learning can occur in a variety of settings. Internships, jobs, and other off-campus learning experiences, both in this country and abroad, enable students to integrate theory and practice and help them to clarify their values and career choices. Because they are committed to a participatory educational process, faculty engage students in the learning of science, theatre, management and other disciplines by doing. The aim is to assist each student to become a self-directed, competent, humane person capable of making a significant contribution to society.

Phi Beta Kappa

Eckerd College member of Phi Beta Kappa

Eckerd College is one of only 270 colleges nationwide recognized by Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and best known society for recognition of academic excellence and scholarly achievement. Learn more.

Colleges That Change Lives

Colleges That Change Lives

Eckerd College is one of only 40 colleges featured in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives. Learn more.