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 79 majors along with tremendous opportunities to study broadly, L&S students can create their own paths to inquiry, discovery, and a bright future.

A Message from Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, Executive Dean of the College of Letters & Science

Welcome to the College of Letters & Science at UC Berkeley, the most popular college in the most transformative university in the country. 

Our mission is to constantly expand the horizons of knowledge, through research and teaching. At L&S, students participate in a college community that is curious and open-minded, where we chase all kinds of ideas. The education that we offer is both broad and deep, bridging across different kinds of knowledge—the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences, in order to best prepare students for lives as leaders in whatever pursuits they choose. The broad and deep education that the College of Letters & Science offers remains the best path to meaningful adulthood in our challenging and uncertain world. The education we offer here contributes to building a strong democracy, a vibrant civil society, and a meaningful cultural life. 

In the College of Letters & Science, we ask big questions. We explore the structure of galaxies and the structure of poems. We study the organization of cells and the organization of society. We investigate processes of artistic production and evolutionary change, processes of continental drift and cultural revolution. We reveal patterns in prime numbers, in the language of hip hop, and in post-colonial politics. We think about time scales from milliseconds to millennia and spatial scales from the planck length to the universe.

Each student brings to Berkeley their own unique background, dreams, interests, experiences, and knowledge. They will grow here, and learn, and what they learn will prepare them to lead lives of consequence, lives they find to be meaningful, by whatever definition they choose. It is up to them to define what that contribution will be, and we will support them in learning what they need to get there.

Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, executive dean of the College of Letters & Science
Our mission is to constantly expand the horizons of knowledge through research and teaching.
Executive Dean Jennifer Johnson-Hanks