Why L&S?

Background image: Why L&S?
Image credit:
UC Regents

L&S prepares you not just for a career, but for a life.

A Berkeley liberal arts education seeks to expand the horizons of knowledge through research, teaching, and asking big questions. Here, you will be welcomed into a community that is curious and open-minded, chasing all kinds of ideas.

Why the liberal arts?

“Liberal arts” stems from Latin; artes liberalis: "the knowledge fit for a free person.”  This expression is grounded in the idea that a free society relies on informed citizens equipped with a foundational body of knowledge and skills. A liberal arts curriculum presents an opportunity to learn from and explore a wide range of academic disciplines including humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and the arts. Through a series of diverse learning experiences, students are exposed to novel ideas and encouraged to think deeply, critically, and creatively about not just the "who" and "what," but the "how" and "why." In today's vastly complex world, a liberal arts education is a valuable asset that will open many doors, both in your career and in your life.

Why Berkeley Letters & Science?

The intellectual heart of UC Berkeley, the College of Letters & Science (L&S) is the largest of the university’s 14 colleges and schools and the most prestigious teaching and research unit in the UC system. 

L&S takes students on the academic adventure of a lifetime by exposing them to a vibrant, broad-based liberal arts education at the highest level of excellence. Our students engage in dialogue with the world’s best teachers and its most distinguished researchers and scholars. Together they participate in projects at the forefront of science, solve pressing social problems, create art, explore diverse values and cultures, and seek answers to the biggest questions of our times.

L&S Fast Facts

  • Discover: 38 extraordinary departments and 79 diverse majors
  • Connect: 75% of UC Berkeley's undergraduates are L&S students
  • Learn: 750 faculty members in L&S; scholars and researchers earning honors in every field
  • Lead: 6,000 students graduate from L&S each year, prepared to make change for good

"The value of an education in a liberal arts college is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned in textbooks."

—Albert Einstein

L&S Divisions