The College of Arts and Letters is the home of traditional liberal arts and humanities at Michigan State University. Students in the College of Arts and Letters explore human expression, experience, and values through a wide variety of subjects including the creative and performing arts, languages and literature, film, art history, philosophy, and religious studies, as well as the interdisciplinary fields of humanities, humanities-prelaw, global studies, and women’s and gender studies.
Undergraduate programs in Arts and Letters foster critical and creative thinking and communication skills, imagination, flexibility, cross-cultural awareness, and civic responsibility. Students learn to think independently and engage in active inquiry; they learn to ask questions and to pursue new ways of integrating multiple kinds of knowledge. In the process, they gain self-awareness and strengthen their understanding of their role as citizens of a global community. They become creative problem-solvers, prepared to tackle the challenges of the twenty-first century.
The Citizen Scholar program is designed to prepare the next generation of diverse, high achieving, and engaged citizen leaders. Students aspiring to be Citizen Scholars will be encouraged to succeed academically while gaining experience in high impact learning environments such as study abroad, study away, service learning, and internships. Students will build upon the strengths of an arts and humanities education by mobilizing knowledge & skills to connect to the community and to the world. They will become engaged citizens, respectful members of inclusive communities, and agents of significant, positive social change.
The mission of Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities is to help students to be more knowledgeable and capable in a range of intellectual and expressive abilities. IAH courses encourage students to engage critically with society, history, and culture(s). Our courses focus on key ideas and issues in human experience; examine ways of knowing in the arts and humanities; encourage appreciation of the roles of knowledge and values in shaping and understanding human behavior; emphasize the responsibilities and opportunities of democratic citizenship; highlight the value of the creative arts; and alert us to important issues that occur among peoples in an increasingly interconnected, interdependent world.
The Excel Network establishes and supports a holistic approach to experiential learning, career education, student advising, and alumni networking in the College of Arts & Letters to chart successful paths to meaningful careers. Through six career communities based around distinct industries, you can expect unique online content such as events, internship and career opportunities, alumni spotlights, and experiential learning opportunities from each.
Academic advising is an important form of teaching that takes place outside the classroom. Through a variety of contacts and consultations, academic advisors can help you take full advantage of the opportunities at MSU. At its most basic form, academic advising focuses regular attention on your progress toward meeting graduation requirements. But academic advising can also open doors for both personal and professional development.
As a new entity in the college, Assessment helps us address the university assessment mandate while also building and sustaining a culture of undergraduate teaching and programmatic thinking. Assessment invites faculty to articulate what they intend for students to get out of curricular programs. Through deliberate design, faculty shape and guide students’ intellectual and creative growth, and our assessment practices help us gauge our success at exposing students to the goals faculty set for our programs. These practices also allow us to facilitate professional development activities for faculty that enhance our pedagogical approaches. Assessment will strengthen and support a culture of assessment and evidence-based practice within all programs in the college. Primary areas of focus will be on diversifying our curriculum, sustaining experiential learning, and engaging faculty colleagues in conversations about the classroom.