College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dean: Beate Schmittmann

Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest college at Iowa State University with more than 7,400 students among 22 departments, one professional school and 14 cross disciplinary programs. Our faculty members teach approximately 60 percent of all student credit hours at Iowa State leading to 50 baccalaureate degrees, 29 PhD programs, 36 master's programs, and 14 graduate interdisciplinary degrees.

Instruction in the liberal arts and sciences at Iowa State College was initiated in 1869, the first academic year of the University. However, the Division of Science and Philosophy was not established until 1898.

Historical Names

  • Division of Science and Philosophy (1898–1899)
  • Division of Science as Related to the Industries (1899–1914)
  • Division of Industrial Science (1914–1939)
  • Division of Science (1939–1959)
  • College of Science and Humanities (1959–1990)


Browse the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Collections:

African and African American Studies

Air Force Aerospace Studies

American Indian Studies


Asian American Studies

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology


Communication Studies

Computer Science

Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology



Genetics, Development and Cell Biology

Geological and Atmospheric Sciences

Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication

Historical Departments, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Leadership Studies


Military Science

Music and Theatre

Naval Science

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physics and Astronomy

Political Science




U.S. Latino/a Studies

World Languages and Cultures