In an exploratory project funded by the Mellon Foundation, Ithaka S+R developed a novel approach to measuring a liberal arts and sciences educational experience and examining its relationship to student outcomes. We developed a framework for identifying, describing, and then measuring the core features of a liberal arts and sciences educational experience, and created an index to capture the degree to which a subset of higher education institutions in the United States have offered those features to their students. We then examined the relationship between those index scores and students’ short-term academic and long-term labor market outcomes at the institutional level.

We invite you to engage with this exploratory project and encourage you to provide us with your feedback through the form below or by contacting the project lead directly at

On October 2, we presented on this project at the College and Beyond II: Liberal Arts and Life public colloquium series led by researchers from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan. The slides and recording are now available.