Why CLA?

CLA students in stadium

Why CLA?

As the largest college at the University of Minnesota, the College of Liberal Arts has 94 different majors and minors that span the arts, humanities, social sciences, and STEM.

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Leverage Your Liberal Arts Advantage

In these times of tremendous change, the Liberal Arts Advantage has never been stronger. We help all our students to seize all the opportunities that CLA offers, and we make sure each student knows how to tell the story of what makes their CLA education so powerful.

Why study the liberal arts at the University of Minnesota?

Career Readiness

CLA's Core Career Competencies

No matter which major you choose in CLA, your courses and experiences will combine to let you gain (and practice!) all ten Core Competencies that employers and alumni tell us matter most.

CLA's Core Career Competencies

•    Analytical & Critical Thinking

•    Applied Problem Solving

•    Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making

•    Innovation & Creativity

•    Oral & Written Communication

•    Teamwork & Leadership

•    Engaging Diversity

•    Active Citizenship & Community Engagement

•    Digital Literacy

•    Career Management

These competencies give you a competitive edge that makes you stand out as a candidate for jobs and graduate programs.

And after that first job, or after graduate school? These competencies will still be there with you. Their adaptability and enduring relevance means that they will continue to position you for success in your personal, public, and professional life.

An Education That Matters

Metal pour at CLA Foundry

CLA prepares tomorrow’s leaders — informed, original thinkers and engaged citizens of their communities and the world.

Our graduates succeed in many different careers — business, healthcare & science, technology, communications & media, education, government & law, arts, nonprofit & advocacy, and more — because the many ways of knowing they develop in CLA help them understand the complexities of today’s world.

“My CLA family is so different, and it’s so interesting. Who we are as people, our experiences, but also our disciplines and what we’re studying. I’ve had the best conversations in CLA, because we’re not all just coming from the same place.”


Anjini, an economics major with minors in creative writing and statistics

Tour celebrating 50 years of CLA's MLK Program

Questions that Matter

The questions we explore in CLA and the subjects that drive our inquiry are of critical importance. Economics, governance, lessons learned from history, policymaking, balancing competing values and principles, assessing disparate impacts across groups, individual and community contributors to healthy lives, health communications.

All that and much more are the stuff of the liberal arts — and are always front-page news.

“The work we’re doing shapes the lives of people.”


Dr. Rich Lee, Distinguished McKnight University Professor in Psychology

Valuable Experience

CLA student intern in Minneapolis
CLA student presenting research project
Student in Toledo, Spain

At CLA, learning doesn’t stop at the classroom — not with the Twin Cities at our doorstep!

· Internships. We’re in the heart of it all. With the State Capitol, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Guthrie Theatre, and 18 Fortune-500s as neighbors, we can help you find the best internships in town and far beyond.

· Global Connections. We bring the world to Minnesota, and Minnesota to the world. With 27 languages taught on campus and more than 200 study abroad programs available in 60 countries, you’ll graduate prepared to live and work in an interconnected world.

· Research and Creative Projects. Our Dean’s First-Year Research and Creative Scholars program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program let you work side-by-side on a research or creative project with a CLA professor.

· Community Immersion. Community-engaged learning lets you tackle issues that matter, from income inequality to racial justice, environmental sustainability to media access.

A Sense of Belonging

We are a large, diverse college where you will find your community and your path. No matter what, there are others like you here — many ways to find connections to people and opportunities.

Students at the University

Student Groups

With more than 1,000 student groups at CLA and throughout the U, you're guaranteed to find your community!

Personalized Guidance

CLA career counselor advising a student

Academic Advising

In CLA, we help you explore options, expand your perspective, navigate your path, and make the most of all the opportunities and advantages your liberal arts education gives you.

You’ll have faculty and staff by your side all along the way. And your CLA Advisor will stay with you from Orientation to Graduation to make sure you reach your goals.

Career counseling meeting with a student

Career Counseling

CLA has our own specialized Career Services office, where counselors will work closely with you to land the job you want by telling the story of how your liberal arts education has made you career-ready.

We’re here to help you connect what you do across CLA and translate its value into the language of employers. As you finish your CLA journey, you’ll be ready for what’s next.

Financial Support

Automatic Consideration for CLA Scholarships

Upon your admission to the College of Liberal Arts, you are automatically considered for CLA scholarships based on information from your application for admission to the University of Minnesota.