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About the College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts is committed to intellectual freedom, the pursuit of new knowledge, and the belief that the liberal arts are the foundation of academic learning.

CLA prepares students to be independent and original thinkers, innovators in their chosen fields; to create meaning in their lives and in their life’s work; and to become productive citizens and leaders in their communities and the world.

Established in 1868, the College of Liberal Arts supports the University of Minnesota's land-grant mission as home to disciplines in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. With 31 departments on the Minneapolis campus, it is the largest college in the University system.

About Our Future

Our vision is to transform the College of Liberal Arts into a destination college.

Achieving that vision requires an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and friends. To make that happen, CLA is creating a Roadmap that is focusing on four core goals.

  1. CLA alumni will be the most desirable graduates available.
  2. CLA will have a relentless focus on research and creative excellence.
  3. The CLA community will mirror the community at large.
  4. CLA  will deepen a culture of engagement for our alumni, community and state.

Nearly 100 faculty, staff and students have been involved in shaping the recommendations that will create the College’s Roadmap and guide our future.

About Our Faculty

  • CLA has 531 tenured and tenure-track faculty
  • 19% of CLA's tenured and tenure-track faculty are faculty of color
  • 41% of CLA's tenured and tenure-track faculty are women
  • CLA faculty are distinguished and award-winning in many fields

Students at a Glance

Undergraduate student enrollment 13,676
Graduate student enrollment 1,676
Number of undergraduate degrees awarded in 2013-14 3,173
Number of graduate degrees awarded in 2013-14 437
Students of color 19.4%
Minnesota residents 62%
Wisconsin residents 17%
International students 6%

About the Class of 2018

28,893 students applied for 2,452 undergraduate seats in CLA's class of 2018. Of the students who were admitted:

  • 79.5% graduated in the top 25% of their high school class
  • 33.8% ranked in the top 10% of their high school class
  • 21.2% are students of color
  • 58.4% are women
  • 64.4% are Minnesota residents
  • 13.8% are Wisconsin residents
  • 6.8% are international students
  • 27 is the average ACT score; 40.1% scored 28 or higher

Graduation Rates

For students who entered the College of Liberal Arts as freshmen.
Four-year graduation rate: 57.6% (fall 2010 cohort)
Five-year graduation rate: 70.1% (fall 2009 cohort)
Six-year graduation rate: 76.6% (fall 2008 cohort)

Undergraduate Retention

Fall 2013 freshmen who returned to CLA for their sophomore year in fall 2014 90.5%
Students in the class of 2018 who took a full course load and are on track to graduate in 4 years 99.8%
CLA students who take more than 12 credits per semester (up from 72.3% in 1996) 92.5%

Gifts to CLA for FY 2013-2014

Donors Dollars
5,401 $14,483,893