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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, to be 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 of Minnesota 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 has put in place a Roadmap that focuses on four core goals.

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

Nearly 100 faculty, staff, and students were involved in shaping the recommendations that created the College’s Roadmap and guide our future.

About Our Faculty

Fall 2018

Tenured and tenure-track faculty 495
Faculty of color (tenured and tenure track) 22%
Female faculty (tenured and tenure track) 44%

Graduate Students at a Glance

Graduate student enrollment in 2018 1,631 
Number of graduate degrees awarded in 2017-18 352 
Graduate students of color in 2018 15% 
International graduate students in 2018 30%

Graduate Program Rankings

A number of our graduate programs were ranked among the top of their peers both in the United States and the world. 

  US News & World Report  ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking * (2019)
Program Rank Rank
Developmental Psychology 1  
Industrial & Organizational Psychology 2  
Clinical Psychology 4  
Macroeconomics 6  
Psychology 8 13
International Economics 10  
Audiology 13  
Economics 16 23
Social Sciences, Collectively   14
Sociology of Population 16  
Speech-Language Pathology, MA 16  
Sociology 17 29
Communications   23
Statistics 24 21
Political Science 24 39
History 32  
Geography   15
English 42  
Fine Arts, Collectively 55  

* These ranking services do not rank all disciplines.

Undergraduate Students at a Glance

Undergraduate student enrollment in Fall 2018 13,724 
Number of undergraduate degrees awarded in 2017-18 3,092
Students of color in Fall 2018 26%
Minnesota residents in Fall 2018 66%
Wisconsin residents in Fall 2018 15%
International students in Fall 2018 10%

About the Class of 2022

25,230 students applied for 2,516 undergraduate seats in CLA's class of 2022. Of those students who enrolled:

  • 80% graduated in the top 25% of their high school class
  • 26% are students of color
  • 63% are women
  • 27.4 is the average ACT score (29.3 for scholarship students)

Undergraduate Graduation Rates

For students who entered the College of Liberal Arts as freshmen.
4-year graduation rate: 67% 
5-year graduation rate: 76% 
6-year graduation rate: 76% 

Undergraduate Retention

Fall 2017 freshmen who returned to CLA for their sophomore year in fall 2018 92%
Students in the class of 2022 who took a full course load and are on track to graduate in 4 years 99%

Gifts to CLA for FY 2017-18

Donors Dollars
4,534 $19,627,856