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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 2019 - Explore Faculty Work

Tenured and tenure-track faculty 496
Faculty of color (tenured and tenure track) 28%
Female faculty (tenured and tenure track) 44%

Graduate Students at a Glance

Graduate student enrollment in 2019 1,607
Number of graduate degrees awarded in 2018-19 422
Graduate students of color in 2019 18% 
International graduate students in 2019 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. Highly-ranked programs depend on field-shaping faculty. See a list of awards and honors our faculty have won. 

  US News & World Report  ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking * (2019)
Program Rank Rank
Developmental Psychology 1  
Industrial & Organizational Psychology 2  
Clinical Psychology 5  
Macroeconomics 6  
Psychology 8 13
International Economics 10  
Audiology 10  
Economics 16 23
Social Sciences, Collectively   14
Sociology of Population 16  
Speech-Language Pathology, MA 20  
Sociology 17 29
Communications   23
Statistics 24 21
Political Science 24 39
History 32  
Geography   15
English 42  
Fine Arts, Collectively 64  

* These ranking services do not rank all disciplines.

Undergraduate Students at a Glance

Undergraduate student enrollment in Fall 2019 13,671 
Number of undergraduate degrees awarded in 2017-18 3,092
Students of color in Fall 2019 29%
Minnesota residents in Fall 2019 67%
Wisconsin residents in Fall 2019 11%
International students in Fall 2019 10%

About the Class of 2023

24,805 students applied for 2,607 undergraduate seats in CLA's class of 2023. Of those students who enrolled:

  • 80% graduated in the top 25% of their high school class
  • 26% are students of color
  • 62% are women
  • 27.1 is the average ACT score (43% score 28 or higher)

Undergraduate Graduation Rates

For students who entered the College of Liberal Arts as freshmen.
4-year graduation rate: 68.5% 
5-year graduation rate: 78.6% 
6-year graduation rate: 79.2% 

Undergraduate Retention

Fall 2018 freshmen who returned to CLA for their sophomore year in fall 2019 92%
Students in the class of 2023 who took a full course load and are on track to graduate in 4 years 99%

Gifts to CLA for FY 2019-20

Donors Dollars
4,011 $25,701,083