About CLA

The University of Alaska started as the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines in Fairbanks, later renamed the University of Alaska. In 1917 the campus was a single two-story frame building and had just six students. That’s right. UA in Fairbanks was a college before Alaska was even officially reached statehood in 1959! The school was renamed the University of Alaska in 1935. In 1954, Anchorage Community College (now known as the University of Alaska Anchorage) was incorporated into the University of Alaska. That next year, Juneau Community College was established and was later named the University of Alaska Southeast. UAF has a rich history.

The UA system’s largest hubs (UAA, UAF and UAS) are separately accredited institutions, as is Prince William Sound Community College in Valdez. System-wide, nearly 35,000 full- and part-time students are enrolled, studying among 500 unique degree, certificate or endorsement programs. At UAF these degree programs are divided into schools and colleges by disciplines. UAF has 8 different colleges and schools. The College of Liberal Arts (CLA) is the largest of the schools and colleges in the number of students, number of classes, number of alums and number of teachers.

The College of Liberal Arts is a collection of departments in the arts, humanities, languages, and social sciences housed in the heart of Alaska.  We are funded as a college, not by individual departments, by the University of Alaska, which is in turn partially funded by the State of Alaska.  CLA’s chief executive is called a Dean and his name is Todd Sherman. With 18 departments and over 40 degree programs, we are able to create a highly inter-disciplinary academic environment, greatly influenced by our location in Fairbanks.  Whether in an art studio or research lab, the College of Liberal Arts is always naturally inspiring.

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