Undergraduate majors: B.A.; B.S.; B.F.A.; B.L.S.; B.M.
Graduate degrees: programs leading to M.A.; M.S.; M.F.A.; Ph.D. (degrees conferred by Graduate College)
Website: https://clas.uiowa.edu

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) offers a rich liberal arts experience within a major research university.

In CLAS, undergraduate students can choose from 65 undergraduate majors, almost 70 minors, and almost 30 interdisciplinary certificates in departments spanning the arts; humanities; natural and mathematical sciences; social sciences; and communication disciplines. University of Iowa graduate students pursue degrees in almost 50 CLAS subject areas.

All University of Iowa undergraduates must complete CLAS’s General Education Program, which offers opportunities to explore a wide variety of subjects, while learning the core skills they will need to succeed in their majors. Many students enter CLAS as open majors, taking advantage of the college’s many academic offerings to discover their interests before declaring majors.

Students are encouraged to combine areas of study to create individualized academic portfolios. Many undergraduates enroll in the University of Iowa Honors Program, often conducting important research alongside faculty mentors. In addition, students have frequent opportunities to engage in community service through their classes.

The success of CLAS students is the college’s top priority. The university’s and college’s advisors help students make the right choices to fulfill their academic goals and graduate in a timely manner. The college offers innovative programs to help students enhance necessary skills, such as writing, speaking, math, scientific literacy, and world languages.

When CLAS students graduate, they have completed an academically rigorous educational experience. They are empowered to excel in the global, 21st-century world, and to create meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Office of Academic Programs & Student Development

Located in Schaeffer Hall, at the center of campus, the Office of Academic Programs & Student Development is an integral part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The office's staff, led by the associate dean for undergraduate programs and curriculum, welcomes students wishing to declare or change majors; file second-grade-only options; or petition to register late, add or drop a course late, or withdraw an entire registration after the established deadlines.

The office's staff members answer students' questions concerning academic requirements and programs of study. They meet with students about General Education Program requirements, graduation requirements, collegiate policies that affect students, and a range of other issues, including academic probation and dismissal and strategies for the successful completion of a degree.

Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may petition for exceptions to CLAS rules and requirements in the Office of Academic Programs & Student Development. Students may discuss their questions and the petition process first with an associate director in the office.

The office works closely with students on academic probation and counsels them on strategies for success. It conducts semiannual reviews of students on academic probation, handles dismissals from the college, and considers requests for reinstatement. 

The Office of Academic Programs & Student Development also oversees appropriate disciplinary action for academic misconduct, such as plagiarism.

General Education Program

All students entering the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who wish to earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), or Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree must complete the requirements of the CLAS General Education Program in addition to the requirements of their major and other requirements for graduation.

The General Education Program requires students to explore topics outside of their chosen major, helping students to acquire the knowledge and transferable skills necessary for becoming well-educated individuals. During this exploration of General Education topics and courses, many students also discover intriguing majors, minors, and certificates that challenge them to embrace personal transformation and related goals.

The General Education requirements must be completed before graduation; most students complete the majority of these requirements during the first two years at Iowa, especially since General Education courses stress the transferable skills of critical thinking, writing, and speaking that help students to be more successful in their studies.

For General Education requirements, related academic policies, and lists of approved courses, see General Education Program in the Catalog.

CLAS Units and Academic Programs

Undergraduate Majors, Minors, and Certificates

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has 39 departments and offers 65 undergraduate majors, about 70 minors, and almost 30 interdisciplinary certificate programs.

In addition, CLAS students may declare a number of majors offered by other undergraduate colleges at the UI, with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences granting the degree. The Tippie College of Business offers a major in economics (B.A. and B.S.), and with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, sponsors a major in enterprise leadership (B.A.). The Carver College of Medicine offers majors in biochemistry (B.A. and B.S.) and in microbiology (B.S.); and the College of Education offers majors in elementary education (B.A. and B.S.) and in science education (B.S.). For descriptions of the above majors and their requirements, view those programs in the Catalog.

The College of Education offers a Teacher Education Program leading to licensure at the secondary level for students who have completed certain CLAS majors, such as art, English, mathematics, the sciences, and world languages, and who wish to work with students in middle school or high school. Students must apply for admission to the Teacher Education Program; contact the College of Education's Office of Student Services.

Students who begin their study in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may apply to degree programs in other colleges at the University of Iowa. If they are accepted, they may earn undergraduate degrees in business (B.B.A.) or nursing (B.S.N.); a B.S. with a major in medical laboratory science, nuclear medicine technology, or radiation sciences; or a professional degree in pharmacy (Pharm.D.). Use the Catalog's A-Z Directory to link to these programs.

Students who are interested in earning a professional or graduate degree in addition to a bachelor's degree may apply to early admission or joint degree programs offered through partnerships between CLAS and other UI colleges. Students admitted to these programs may count a limited amount of credit toward both degrees. CLAS has early admission programs with the College of Dentistry (D.D.S.) and the College of Law (J.D.). Joint bachelor's/graduate degree programs are available in several disciplines; see "Joint Programs" in the Graduate College section of the Catalog.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers a wide selection of undergraduate certificates and minors, including two certificates offered with other colleges: the Certificate in International Business (with the Tippie College of Business) and the Certificate in Wind Energy (with the College of Engineering). Find CLAS certificates and minors in the Catalog.

CLAS students also may earn undergraduate certificates and minors offered by other colleges. The Tippie College of Business offers certificate programs in entrepreneurial management and in risk management and insurance, and a minor in business administration. The College of Public Health offers an undergraduate public health certificate, and University College offers certificate programs in clinical and translational science, human rights, leadership studies, nonprofit management, and sustainability. The College of Education offers minors in educational psychology and in human relations. For lists of all undergraduate certificates and minors offered by the University, see Find Your Program and select those categories.

Graduate Degrees and Certificates

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers graduate programs in most of its disciplines, with degrees conferred by the Graduate College. Students may earn degrees at the master's and doctoral levels; graduate certificates are available in some areas of study. See the Graduate College section of the Catalog for a complete list of graduate degrees offered by the University.

For information about specific CLAS graduate programs, consult the specific academic programs.

Most College of Liberal Arts and Sciences courses are offered by the college's departments, programs, and schools. They are listed and described in the corresponding General Catalog sections.

The college also offers the following nondepartmental courses.

Liberal Arts and Sciences Nondepartmental Courses

CLAS:1000 First-Year Seminar1 s.h.

Small discussion class taught by a faculty member; topics chosen by instructor; may include outside activities (e.g., films, lectures, performances, readings, visits to research facilities). Requirements: first- or second-semester standing.

CLAS:1001 CLAS Master Class1-3 s.h.

Exploration of a single topic in a series of lectures by faculty presenting divergent perspectives; illuminates intellectual adventure inherent in liberal arts and sciences; encourages discovery of majors and other areas of study within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Same as ARTS:1001, BIOC:1001, CS:1001, CSD:1001, ENGL:1001, HIST:1001, PHIL:1001, RELS:1010, THTR:1001.

CLAS:1005 ESL Special Topics1 s.h.

Small discussion class taught by a faculty member; topics chosen by instructor; may include outside activities (e.g., films, lectures, performances, readings). Same as ESL:1005.

CLAS:1600 Life Design: Building Your Future1 s.h.

How interests and talents can be paired up to achieve a fulfilling life; what students are passionate about; address questions (i.e., How can you identify what you're good at? How can you build a life of purpose and meaning? How can you cultivate mentors? What is the relationship between ambition, drive, and success? What major might be the best fit and how can University resources help your academic and personal success?); portfolio of reflective exercises, activities, journal assignments.

CLAS:1700 Got CLAS? Blending College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors with Your Passions1 s.h.

Process of choosing a major; focus on strengths, discover passions, and dream of possibilities while cultivating an active, complementary university experience; develop mentoring relationships with faculty, voice fears about choosing a major and career, take risks in revising and expanding life and career expectations; introduction to majors within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS); assessments to define strengths and interests, reflection of experiences. Recommendations: first-year undergraduate standing and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences open major.

CLAS:3111 Reimagining Downtown3 s.h.

Interdisciplinary perspective; assist upper-level undergraduates apply their education and creativity toward a specific initiative, the Downtown Project, located in the Fremont East and Arts District areas of Las Vegas, Nevada. Requirements: junior or senior standing and admission by application.

CLAS:3200 International Perspectives: Xicotepec1-3 s.h.

Interdisciplinary service-learning course; Mexican culture and history through community-based service project, assigned readings, and discussion; includes a required spring break trip to Mexico. Same as SOC:3200.

CLAS:4100 Peer Assistant1-2 s.h.

Opportunities to participate in classroom and course activities; work with students as an assistant to course instructor.

CLAS:4200 Undergraduate Internshiparr.

Professional and/or creative experience for writing certificate students; students must arrange an on- or off-campus internship with faculty advisor approval. Requirements: undergraduate standing and a minimum of 24 s.h. of course work with at least 12 s.h. in University of Iowa courses.

CLAS:5100 Practicum: College Teaching and Professional Development for Teaching Assistantsarr.

Guidance for teaching assistants seeking introduction to teaching at college level; focus on practical pedagogical concerns, including how to structure a course, devise learning outcomes, develop a syllabus and a calendar of assignments, evaluate student work, and create a student-centered classroom with collaborate learning experiences; pre-semester intensive training session, weekly meetings during first month of semester, periodic meetings to address midterm and late-semester issues; concurrent with TA teaching assistantships. Recommendations: interest in teacher training and preparation. Same as RHET:5100.