About the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Schaeffer HallThe College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), established in 1900, is the largest of the 11 colleges that comprise the University of Iowa, with 37 departments spanning the visual, performing, literary, and cinematic arts; humanities; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. We offer a rich liberal arts experience, at the heart of a major AAU research university.

More than 17,000 undergraduates are currently enrolled in our college (about 70% of the UI total), and more than 1,900 graduate students are enrolled in programs offered by our departments (about 33% of the UI total). During the past five academic years (2016-17 to 2019-21), CLAS has conferred more than 17,600 undergraduate degrees. There are approximately 160,000 living alumni of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (about 130,000 with undergraduate degrees and about 49,000 with graduate degrees; some have both), including more than 55,000 living in Iowa. Approximately 58% of all living University of Iowa alumni are graduates of CLAS, and about 58% of UI alumni living in Iowa have CLAS degrees.

CLAS students can choose from 69 undergraduate majors, almost 71 minors, and 21 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 60% of our college's undergraduate students come from Iowa, representing all 99 counties. Approximately 54% of our students are female. More than 1,700 international students study in CLAS—approximately 10% of our total undergraduate and graduate enrollment—and almost 3,600 of our undergraduate and graduate students (about 19%) identify as coming from U.S. minority populations.

The college has about 600 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 2020, CLAS faculty garnered about $45 million in external research funding.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is led by Dean Sara Sanders. Associate Deans are Christine Getz, Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Outreach and Engagement; Cornelia Lang, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education; Roland Racevskis, Associate Dean for the Arts and Humanities; Christopher Cheatum, Associate Dean for the Natural, Mathematical, and Social Sciences; and Joshua Weiner, Associate Dean for Research.

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

Rankings of CLAS Programs
Program Ranking
Nonfiction Writing Program (Department of English) 1
Iowa Writers' Workshop (Creative Writing) 1
Speech-Language Pathology (Dept. of Communication Sciences & Disorders) 1
Audiology (Dept. of Communication Sciences & Disorders) 2
Social Psychology (Dept. of Sociology) 3
Printmaking (School of Art & Art History) 4
Painting & Drawing (School of Art & Art History) 16
Clinical Psychology (Dept. of Psychological & Brain Sciences) 18
Art and Design (School of Art & Art History) 22