College of Arts & Sciences

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 Nobel Prize winners David Wineland and Eric Cornell

Steven R. Leigh, dean
275 UCB    phone: 303-492-7294    fax: 303-492-4944
college website:www.colorado.edu/artssciences

The College of Arts & Sciences is the liberal arts college at CU-Boulder. Its mission is to provide an outstanding liberal arts education for its undergraduates, cutting-edge graduate education, and world-class research, scholarship, and creative work. In addition to gaining the knowledge and skills of their areas of study, students learn how new information is acquired, and they can participate in original research and creative work with individual faculty members. 

The college offers a wide variety of fields of study, with nearly 50 undergraduate majors. The environment and advantages of a small liberal arts college are created through “academic neighborhoods” in which students can meet and interact with other students and faculty in small group settings. In addition, more than 60 percent of undergraduate classes are small, with 25 or fewer students.

As the liberal arts college of CU-Boulder, the College of Arts and Sciences has several goals in the education of its students:

  • Educate students for careers and a productive life. Arts and sciences students gain the most current knowledge and skills in their major fields of study. In addition, they learn how to acquire new skills to contend with—and lead—the changes that will occur in the decades to come. Education for a productive life also requires that students learn how to analyze situations, solve problems, and speak and write effectively.
  • Provide students with a well-rounded education. Arts and sciences students acquire a broad knowledge and an integrated understanding of art and music, great literary works, philosophy, history and politics, the social world, science, and technology. They learn how to critically evaluate and think about morals, ethics, and values. The core curriculum and breadth requirements give students a broad, liberal-arts education that develops the whole person, not just the specialist.
  • Educate citizens who can think for themselves, understand the rapidly changing world, and make wise choices within a democratic system.
  • Impart a love of learning so that students can continue to grow throughout life.
  • Teach ways of thinking about and approaching new problems. For some students, this will enable them to further advance knowledge and scholarship in the academy. For all students, this is important for enriching their lives. 
  • Prepare students to help enrich the lives of others. Arts and sciences graduates become lifelong resources for their families, neighbors, friends, and co-workers. 

The college also is dedicated to outstanding graduate education. Advanced degrees are offered by nearly every academic department in the college, and the PhD is offered in approximately 30 different disciplines. In addition, an increasing number of departments offer combined bachelor’s/master’s degrees that can be earned in five years. Graduate training focuses on teaching and research careers as well as on professional careers in the public and private sector. 

The strength of the College of Arts and Sciences comes from its outstanding faculty. In addition to being dedicated teachers, they are active scholars in disciplines throughout the arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, biological sciences, and physical and mathematical sciences. They are the recipients of numerous national awards and honors for their research, scholarship, and creative work. Faculty and staff of the College of Arts and Sciences join together to create an intellectual community of students and scholars to discover, critically examine, integrate, preserve, and transmit knowledge, wisdom, and values.