UCLA College of Letters and Science

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UCLA College of Letters and Science
Motto Fiat lux
Let there be light
Type Public
Established 1919
Parent institution
University of California, Los Angeles
Dean Humanities: Tim Stowell
Life Sciences: Victoria Sork
Physical Sciences: Joseph Rudnick
Social Sciences: Alessandro Duranti
Undergraduate Education: Judith L. Smith
Location Los Angeles, California
Campus Urban
Mascot Bruins
Website College website

The College of Letters and Science is the arts and sciences college of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). It encompasses the Life and Physical Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Honors Program and other programs for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Mathematical Sciences Bldg.

The bulk of UCLA's student body belongs to the College, which includes 34 academic departments, 21,000 undergraduate students, 2,700 graduate students and 900 faculty members. Virtually all of the academic programs in the College are ranked very highly and 11 were ranked in the top ten nationally by the National Research Council.

The College originated on May 23, 1919, the day when the Governor of California (William D. Stephens) signed a bill into law which officially established the Southern Branch of the University of California. At that time, a College of Letters and Science was established as the university's general undergraduate program and it began to hold classes the following September with only 250 students in the college. In 1925, the College awarded its first bachelor's degrees. A milestone occurred in 1927 when the southern branch was officially renamed the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), thereby establishing it as a fully autonomous university.


The college is divided into four divisions — Division of Humanities, Division of Life Sciences, Division of Physical Sciences, and Division of Social Sciences.

Division of Humanities[edit]

Applied Linguistics, Art History, Asian Languages & Cultures, Classics, Comparative Literature, English, French & Francophone Studies, Germanic Languages, Italian, Indo-European Studies, Law and Philosophy Program, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies, Linguistics, Musicology, Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, Philosophy, Study of Religion Major, Scandinavian Section, Slavic Languages & Literatures, Spanish & Portuguese, Writing Center and Writing Programs,

Division of Life Sciences[edit]

Psychobiology, Computational and Systems Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology, Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Neuroscience, Physiological Science.

Division of Physical Sciences[edit]

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Earth and Space Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy, and Statistics

Division of Social Sciences[edit]

Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Chicana/o Studies, Communication Studies, Economics, Geography, History, Human Complex Systems, Political Science, Sociology, Gender Studies

UCLA's Math-Sciences Bldg.


Notable faculty[edit]

  • Utpal Banerjee, Department chair and professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology; professor of biological chemistry, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Jared Diamond, professor of geography, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Medal of Science recipient and MacArthur Fellowship (1985)
  • Alessandro Duranti, Department chair and professor of anthropology, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Andrea Ghez, MacArthur Fellowship[2] (Genius Grant winner, 2008), professor of physics and astronomy
  • Thomas M. Liggett, professor of mathematics, National Academy of Sciences
  • Thom Mayne, Professor of architecture, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Calvin Normore, Professor of philosophy, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Theodore Porter, Professor of history and department vice chair for undergraduate affairs, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Charles Ray, Professor of sculpture, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Saul Friedländer, MacArthur Fellowship (1999)
  • Debora Silverman, Professor of history and art history, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Terence Tao, Fields Medal–winning mathematician, National Academy of Sciences,[3] MacArthur Fellowship[2](2006)
  • Paul Terasaki, organ transplant medicine and tissue typing

Commencement ceremonies[edit]

The main graduation commencement ceremony for the College of Letters and Science is held annually on a Friday night in June in Pauley Pavilion. For two years in a row, the scheduled commencement keynote speaker had canceled the engagement. Bill Clinton canceled in 2008 for not wanting to cross a picket line. Actor and alumnus James Franco canceled in 2009 because of his filming scheduling conflicts. Rock band Linkin Park's Brad Delson accepted the last minute invitation to speak at the 2009 commencement ceremony.[4][5]


External links[edit]