Research group

Relentlessly pursue research and creative excellence

In a time of hyper communication and intense conflict over fundamental questions, the liberal arts will play a central role in the future evolution of our economy, our democracy, and society.

John Coleman, dean

Through robust in-house grant programs, dedicated physical spaces, and incentives to collaborate across disciplines, CLA faculty have experiences unique to Minnesota. Here, the open exchange of ideas is not just encouraged, but commonplace. 

CLA is where new scholars emerge. Graduate students navigate the space between scholarship and innovation, both mastering and expanding traditional fields of inquiry. In partnership with our communities, we’re discovering new ways to use research and artistic practice to address society’s biggest challenges.


Society's Biggest Challenges, Tackled Daily

Photo compilation of 7 different people who are featured in the video. The text "Research Excellence College of Liberal Arts University of Minnesota" is placed across the bottom of the photo.

UMN College of Liberal Arts faculty are driven to follow their passion for creating new knowledge and in the process bring depth and meaning to the lives of countless others.

Watch the video


It's Prime Time for the Liberal Arts

Josef Woldense stands in a dark room looking at the camera. Two people stand behind him and point at him with accusing fingers..

Josef Woldense of the Department of African American & African Studies and affiliated with the Department of Political Science has been working on a close analysis of the administration of 20th-century Ethiopian ruler Haile Selassie. Through his work, he can examine the methods that autocrats use to keep their power. To teach his students, he has developed a game to help them understand how precarious the role of an autocrat can be.

Watch "How to Prevent a Coup: an Interview with Josef Woldense"