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College of Arts and Sciences

A College of Arts and Sciences or School of Arts and Sciences is most commonly a unit within a university which focuses on instruction of the liberal arts and pure sciences, especially in North America and the Philippines, although they frequently include programs and faculty in fine arts, social sciences, and other disciplines. In contrast, an "art school" or "college of arts" usually refers to a unit or institution which cultivates visual or performing arts, while the phrasing "liberal arts college" usually refers to a standalone institution.

There are many alternative names, of which the most common include College (or School) of

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Arts and Letters
  • Arts and Social Sciences
  • Letters
  • Letters and Science
  • Liberal Arts
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences

Typically, Colleges of (Liberal) Arts and Sciences at a non-specialized university include a rather large number of departments offering a significant number of majors/minors or courses of study. Such departments/majors commonly include mathematics and "pure sciences" such as biology, chemistry, and physics for which B.S. and maybe M.S. degrees are offered, as well as a significant selection of liberal arts. The "liberal arts" may include social sciences such as psychology, sociology, anthropology and other social studies such as history, geography, political science, etc. and language studies including English and other languages, linguistics, writing, literature, and communication arts and a variety of humanities and other fields of study. The sciences may offer B.S. and maybe M.S. degrees, and the other majors may offer B.A. and maybe M.A. degrees. Humanities may include such fields of study as philosophy, classical studies, theology or religious studies, and certain others. Other fields of study may be lumped into a College of (Liberal) Arts and Sciences; however, certain specialized and professional fields are taught in more specialized colleges or schools such as a College of Engineering, College of Business Administration, College of Education, or a College of Fine Arts and certain graduate level schools such as law schools, medical schools, dental schools, etc. The situation may also vary between continents and their various countries.

In many non-specialized universities, the College of (Liberal) Arts and Sciences is one of the largest colleges on the campus, and many students even from other colleges or schools take and are even required to take courses offered by the College of (Liberal) Arts and Sciences, such as mathematics and sometimes certain sciences. A College of (Liberal) Arts and Sciences commonly has a core curriculum which all students in the College must take, regardless of their major in the College. Such a core curriculum may specify that certain courses by their students must be taken, or may require elective courses to be taken within certain areas to provide a well-rounded education for each student. Other colleges or schools within a university could have different core curriculum requirements for their students. For each major and minor field of study, certain minimum courses and usually some electives must be taken within that area for a degree.

Such Colleges/Schools of (Liberal) Arts and Sciences include the following, sorted by parent institution:


United States

United Kingdom





A number of independent institutions, almost entirely postsecondary, also refer to themselves as a college of arts and sciences. These include the following:




United States