About L&S

Background image: Classroom full of students

The largest of UC Berkeley's colleges and schools — encompassing three-quarters of its undergraduates and half of its faculty and graduate students — the College of Letters & Science is the great, big heart of Berkeley. With a choice of more than 80 majors along with tremendous opportunities to study broadly, L&S students can create their own paths to inquiry, discovery, and a bright future.

The L&S curriculum adds up, getting students ready to make exceptional contributions.

Major in cell biology + breadth in literature = a physician

who can interpret her patients’ life stories and make healthier habits a reality.

Major in philosophy + breadth in political science = an attorney

who is ready to defend democratic principles effectively.

Major in statistics + breadth in ethnic studies = a software developer

Who has the knowledge to recognize and combat unconscious bias.

Major in sociology + breadth in earth-science classes = policy-maker

who can help impoverished people around the world survive climate change.

Faculty

The professors in L&S are internationally recognized leaders in their fields whose research, scholarship, and creative activity advance inquiry across a broad range of disciplines. The current faculty includes 16 MacArthur “genius” award winners, eight Nobel Laureates, as well as a U.S. Poet Laureate and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. During the past five years, L&S faculty have won over 75 percent of the campus’s Distinguished Teaching Awards.

History

Throughout L&S’s history, its faculty and alumni have transformed lives and changed the way we think about the world. Our faculty discovered vitamin E, identified the flu virus, and developed the underpinnings of statistical theory. They founded the first department of East Asian languages west of the Mississippi, invented the cyclotron, and revolutionized telescope design.

Over the years, our faculty has included artist Hans Hofmann, Nobel Laureate poet Czeslaw Milosz, and philosopher Bernard Williams. Our alumni are equally notable: they include Nobel Prize laureates Thomas Sargent, David Wineland, and Barry Barish; Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Julie Chavez Rodriguez, and  Deputy Treasury Secretary Adewale Adeyamo; athletes Alex Morgan and Aaron Rodgers; artists Robert Colescott and Ai Weiwei; comedian Maz Jobrani; director Carl Franklin; former governor Jerry Brown; writers Beverly Cleary, Joan Didion, Maxine Hong Kingston, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Charles Yu; actors John Cho, Chris Pine, and Ki Hong Lee; and leaders in dozens of academic fields.

Leadership

L&S is led by a team of six deans: an executive dean, and deans for the divisions of Arts & Humanities, Biological Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Undergraduate Studies. Meet the deans.