About the College

Schaeffer HallThe College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), established in 1900, is the largest of the eleven colleges that comprise the University of Iowa, with 39 departments spanning the fine and performing arts, humanities, natural and mathematical sciences, social sciences, and communication disciplines.

About 16,000 undergraduates are currently enrolled in our College, and about 2,300 graduate students are enrolled in programs offered by our departments. In any single year, our College awards about 70% of the University's undergraduate degrees, and 45% of the University's graduate degrees are awarded to students studying in CLAS departments.

CLAS students can choose from more than 60 undergraduate majors, as well as many minors and interdisciplinary certificate programs. We encourage our students to combine areas of study to create unique academic portfolios that help them develop their talents and stand out among their peers.

About 56% of our College's undergraduate students come from Iowa, representing all 99 counties. About 55% of our students are female. More than 2,000 international students study in CLAS, and about 2,800 of our students identify as coming from U.S. minority populations. During the last decade, CLAS has awarded more than 28,000 undergraduate degrees; there are currently about 140,000 living alumni of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, including more than 40,000 living in Iowa.

The College has more than 650 tenured and tenure-track faculty members devoted to teaching, research, and service to their disciplines, the University, and the state of Iowa. In fiscal year 2013, CLAS faculty garnered more than $41 million in external research funding.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is led by Dean Chaden Djalali. The College's associate deans are Executive Associate Dean Raúl Curto, Associate Dean for Research & Infrastructure Joe Kearney, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs & Curriculum Helena Dettmer, and Associate Dean for Graduate & Online Education Marc Armstrong. Assistant Dean Dian Gottlob works with the Dean of the College, provides staff support for the CLAS Executive Committee, and supports departmental and program reviews. The College's finance director and budget officer, Karna Wieck, is also an assistant to the Dean.

Many of our programs have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report and other publications as among the nation's best. Compared to other public universities in the U.S., our top programs and their rankings are as follows:

Program Ranking
Writers' Workshop and Nonfiction Writing Program (Creative Writing) 1
Speech-Language Pathology (Dept. of Communication Sciences & Disorders) 1
Audiology (Dept. of Communication Sciences & Disorders) 1
Social Psychology (Dept. of Sociology) 2
Fine Arts (overall; School of Art & Art History) 4
Printmaking 2
Painting & Drawing 7
Design 7
Paleontology (Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences) 5
Plasma physics (Dept. of Physics & Astronomy) 7
Clinical psychology (Dept. of Psychology) 8
Political Science 12
English 15
History 17
Sociology 20
Biology 23
Psychology 25