The Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley

Academic Excellence

UC Berkeley is ranked the 4th best university in the world to study Arts & Humanities.

According to the National Research Council, the "gold standard" for college rankings, three Arts & Humanities departments are ranked #1 in the country: Art History, English, and German. Several other departments are ranked in the top ten, including: Classics, Comparative Literature, French, Music, Philosophy, Spanish & Portuguese.

Small Class Sizes

The Arts and Humanities division has smaller than average class sizes, providing our faculty the opportunity to get to know their students. The average lower-division class in Arts and Humanities is 24 students, and the average upper-division class is 19 students.

Arts & Humanities Average Class Size Chart

Accomplished Faculty

Arts and Humanities faculty have won the most teaching awards on campus.

62 current UC Berkeley faculty members have received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, honoring exceptional scholarship or creative ability in the arts.

Arts and Humanities faculty published more than 40 books in 2016.

Satisfied Students

According to the 2016 UC Undergraduate Experience Survey, students in the Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley reported the highest student satisfaction rates on campus. Arts and Humanities students report higher than average happiness in every category measured, with the highest ratings in quality of their major courses and access to faculty outside of classes.

UCUES Results Student Satisfaction by Division

The principles that guide my life’s work are all rooted in the humanities. Through farming … we can share in a common experience.
Alice Waters, UC Berkeley French alumna
Humanities help deal with the most important questions in life.
John Cho, UC Berkeley English alumnus

Notable Alumni

By majoring in the Arts and Humanites at UC Berkeley, you'd be following in some famous footsteps, such as:

  • Maxine Hong Kingston (English), author, recipient of the 1997 National Humanities Medal
  • Joan Didion (English), author, recipient of the 2005 National Book Award for Nonfiction 
  • Alice Waters (French), chef, founder of Chez Panisse
  • Viet Thanh Nguyen (English), author, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for fiction
  • Matt Richtel (Rhetoric), journalist, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting
  • Peter Chernin (English), CEO of the Chernin Group and media producer
  • James Schamus (English), former CEO of Focus Features; Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner
  • Jerry Brown (Classics), governor of California
  • Chris Pine (English), actor
  • John Cho (English), actor
Images of Arts and Humanities alumni

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