University of Minnesota
College of Liberal Arts

College of Liberal Arts Home.

Student Life in CLA: Then & Now

Old black and white photo of registration lines Student registering for classes online


No More Lines

Our alumni have memories of standing in long (understatement) lines to register for the quarter or semester, only to find their classes filled before they got to the counter! Today, students select courses using an online catalog, registering from the comfort of their...favorite coffee shop, library carrel, residence hall—you get the picture. This year, 92% of CLA students are enrolled full-time, keeping them on-track to graduate in four years. That’s up from 72.3% in 1996.


CLA Students Go Global

Did you know that the U of M ranks third in the country in the percentage of students who study abroad? You don’t have to be on a coast to connect to the world, or on-campus to connect classroom and cultural experiences. CLA students have more than 300 study abroad programs to choose from. No wonder more than 25% of them go abroad each year.


Discovering New Knowledge

CLA students conduct frontier research alongside top faculty, from the earliest days of their college careers. Did you know CLA is home to the Freshman Research & Creative Awards Program, the first of its kind among peer institutions? Incoming students receive scholarships to work on projects that address climate change, nerve damage, land use, voter behavior, the law, wealth acquisition, language preservation, what we eat and why, and much, much more.


A New Generation Expresses New Ideas

The arts in CLA have always had a strong tradition of tying solid grounding in technique with the intellect-expansion that comes with a liberal arts education. Our students make art that addresses ideas and the issues of our times. What’s changed? The technologies used to create that work. From the digital-powered studios of Regis and Ferguson to the newly-envisioned Kilburn Arena Theatre, CLA artists use every tool at their disposal to push the boundaries of creative exploration.


Transforming Teaching & Learning

CLA is a place where scholarly teaching leads to transformative thinking. Today’s classrooms are student-centered, technology-rich learning environments. Texts are still purchased at the Bookstore, but now “course packs” can be delivered directly to students’ iPads and e-books are purchased on-demand. Even as technology plays an increasingly important role in supporting teaching and learning, content still drives the classroom experience. CLA faculty are committed to creating new knowledge—in fact, many of them write the textbooks used across higher education. Did you know CLA professors make up 18% of the U’s total faculty, but are 40% of its Regents Professors, 20% of its McKnight Distinguished Professors, and 32% of the President’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers?


Education in Action

Preparing CLA students for the future is a responsibility we take seriously. That’s why we partnered with CLA alumni to double the number of scholarships for students performing unpaid internships in businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations. Our goal? One hundred percent of CLA students complete an internship, collaborative or field-based research project, or a service-learning course before they graduate.


The World is at Their Fingertips

CLA has always been home to students eager to learn and lead. Today, students use new tools to access information and connect across the globe. But the Twin Cities campus is still their academic and intellectual home. Every day students gather to discuss ideas, frame debates, offer solutions to global problems, and have fun. CLA’s doors are always open to alumni and friends who want to engage in our ever-evolving intellectual community.


CLA Graduation Rates are Rising

We are committed to student success. More than 2,200 students marched at commencement this spring. Initiatives such as free tuition above 13 credits, more resources put into advising, and the U’s Four-Year Graduation Guarantee—which ensures that classes are offered when students need them—help make it possible for more students to graduate on-time than ever before.

Black and white photo of registration lines REGISTRATION
Black and white photo of students with suitcases STUDY ABROAD
Black and white photo of woman researcher RESEARCH
Black and white photo of string musicians THE ARTS
Black and white photo of students in class CLASSROOMS
Student caller with phone on shoulder in 1983 INTERNSHIPS
Black and white photo of students studying outside STUDYING
Black and white photo of students graduating GRADUATION
Bookmark and Share
College of Liberal Arts
Tune In To CLA on YouTube

CLA Dean's List

Each semester, we publicly recognize superior academic performance through:

  • notations on students' transcripts
  • letters to students
  • posting the Dean's List on our website
  • announcements to academic departments
  • notices posted on the first floor of Johnston Hall

To appear on the CLA Dean's List, you must:

  • complete at least 12 credits (including College of Continuing Education credits) of A/F registration
  • earn a semester GPA of at least 3.67
  • receive no N grades

For questions about CLA's Dean's List, contact the Office of the Assistant Dean, 106 Johnston Hall, 612-625-3846.