Southwestern University


Paideia—Southwestern’s interdisciplinary approach to education—is designed to develop the intellectual practice of identifying connections between the fundamental questions and ideas that shape our world. 


Paideia is the perfect embodiment of the liberal arts, empowering students to think in broader, more collaborative, more original ways.

  • Paideia is about connections, bringing together multiple perspectives from different disciplines. Over time, it develops a student’s ability to think critically, to make connections across different ways of knowing, and to create innovative solutions to complex problems.
  • Students engage in self-directed connections within all courses, across their major, between disciplines, and in relation to both in- and out-of-classroom experiences, such as community-engaged learning, intercultural learning, internships, student–faculty research, advanced language proficiency, and student-directed creative projects.
  • Students graduate with a cultivated curiosity and desire to learn, explore, and create change. These are the valuable, real-life skills that make SU graduates highly sought-after by recruiters, employers, and the nation’s top graduate programs.


Southwestern’s unique Paideia approach challenges our students to think, create, and connect in ways they never thought possible.