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

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) offers a rich and lively 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 the GE CLAS Core, which offers opportunities to explore a wide variety of subjects and learn core skills needed to succeed in a major. Some 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 or earn honors in the major from their primary academic department, 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. Professional academic advisors help students make the best choices to fulfill their academic goals and to 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 and Student Development

Located in Schaeffer Hall, at the center of campus, the Office of Academic Programs and 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 who have questions or need help; who wish to declare or change majors; who need to petition to register late, to add or drop a course late; or who must withdraw an entire registration after the established deadlines.

The office's staff members also answer students' questions concerning academic requirements and programs of study. Staff meet with students about GE CLAS Core 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 and 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 and Student Development also oversees appropriate disciplinary action for academic misconduct and welcomes students with concerns or complaints related to academics. The office aims to resolve complaints swiftly while ensuring needed change is made. All students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are encouraged to engage with the academic community by exercising the rights and responsibilities of a student.


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 General Education CLAS Core in addition to the requirements of their major and other requirements for graduation.

The GE CLAS Core 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 GE CLAS Core topics and courses, many students also discover intriguing majors, minors, and certificates that challenge them to embrace personal transformation and related goals.

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

For GE CLAS Core requirements, related academic policies, and lists of approved courses, see GE CLAS Core in the Catalog.

CLAS Units and Academic Programs

Undergraduate Majors, Minors, and Certificates

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) 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 a major in science studies (B.S.). For descriptions of the above majors and their requirements, view those programs in the Catalog.

CLAS also works closely with the College of Education which offers a Teacher Education Program that requires a major in a related area of education (B.A.) designed to lead to licensure at the secondary level. These students also must complete a related CLAS major to earn the education degree, such as a major in art, English, mathematics, the sciences, and in various world languages. These programs are designed for students interested in teaching middle 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 General Catalog's Catalog Contents page 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 for early admission or to combined 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.). Combined bachelor's/graduate degree programs are available in several disciplines; see "Combined 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 a certificate offered with another college: the Certificate in International Business (with the Tippie College of Business). Find CLAS certificates and minors by using Find Your Program in the Catalog to select those programs.

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; University College offers certificate programs in clinical and translational science, leadership studies, nonprofit leadership and philanthropy, and sustainability; and the College of Law offers an undergraduate certificate in human rights. 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 in the Catalog and select those programs of study.

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 Seminar 1 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:1002 Elementary Spanish I 4 s.h.

Emphasis on oral skills. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: pursuing UI degree online or Des Moines learning center enrollment. GE: World Languages First Level Proficiency.

CLAS:1003 Elementary Spanish II 4 s.h.

Continuation of CLAS:1002; emphasis on oral skills. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: CLAS:1002, and pursuing UI degree online or Des Moines learning center enrollment. GE: World Languages Second Level Proficiency.

CLAS:1005 ESL Special Topics 1 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:1501 Intermediate Spanish I 3 s.h.

Continuation of CLAS:1003; emphasis on oral skills. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: CLAS:1003, and pursing UI degree online or Des Moines learning center enrollment. GE: World Languages Second Level Proficiency.

CLAS:1502 Intermediate Spanish II 3 s.h.

Continuation of CLAS:1501; emphasis on oral skills. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: CLAS:1501, and pursing UI degree online or Des Moines learning center enrollment. GE: World Languages Fourth Level Proficiency.

CLAS:1600 Life Design: Building Your Future 1 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:1650 College Success for International Students 1 s.h.

Skills and resources to help international students achieve academic success; reflection on academic habits and experiences; exploration of study skills and strategies; cultural expectations in U.S. academic settings including academic integrity; culture shock and immigration issues that can impact international students at the UI; development of techniques for time management and goal setting; techniques to stay motivated and manage stress; overcoming barriers to student success; discussions and assignments emphasize self-reflection on class topics including time management, study skills, and cultural identity. Same as CSI:1650, ESL:1650.

CLAS:1800 The Art of Active Learning 1 s.h.

Case studies, individual assessments, video, class discussions, and short readings to encourage understanding of academic standards and active engagement in the learning process; examination of behaviors, study skills, habits, and attitudes that can affect success in the classroom and in life.

CLAS:2000 Is Graduate School Right for You? 1 s.h.

Overview of American graduate school admission in liberal arts and sciences disciplines; how to research appropriate programs, types of funding, and application requirements.

CLAS:3200 International Perspectives: Xicotepec 1-3 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 Assistant 1-2 s.h.

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

CLAS:5100 Practicum: College Teaching and Professional Development for Teaching Assistants arr.

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.

CLAS:7290 Digital Humanities Theory and Practice 3 s.h.

Overview of theories and use of technology to preserve, deploy, visualize, map, and analyze concepts; discussions with practicing digital public scholars; assignments consist of a digital portfolio tailored to student research; introductory course in public digital humanities certificate. Same as SLIS:7290.