College of Liberal Arts

Michele Dillon, Dean
Jenni Cook, Associate Dean
Scott Weintraub, Faculty Fellow

It is the purpose of the College of Liberal Arts, as a center of learning and scholarship, to help students achieve an understanding of the heritage of civilization and to educate them in the tradition of the past and realities of the present so they may recognize and act upon their obligations to the future.

The college seeks to meet the educational needs of each student through the development of interests and skills, which, combined with the individual’s potential, make possible a richer, more useful life.


Bachelor of Arts

These programs primarily provide a broad liberal education along with depth in a major. Requirements for the bachelor of arts degree and information regarding the majors that lead to a bachelor of arts are presented under Degrees and Programs of Study.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

This curriculum provides training for students who plan to enter a professional graduate school. Requirements for the bachelor of fine arts degree are outlined under Programs of Study/Art and Art History.

Bachelor of Music

This curriculum provides professional training in performance, composition, music education, and music pre-teaching and allows students to develop their talent to a standard equivalent to the one achieved at conservatories of music. Requirements for the bachelor of music degree and information regarding the curriculum are presented in Programs of Study/Music. Degrees include Music Education, Pre-Teaching, Performance and Composition.

Bachelor of Science

This curriculum provides strong preparation for entry into graduate programs in neuroscience, behavior, pharmacology and medicine. Requirements for the bachelor of science degree and information regarding this major are presented under Degrees and Programs of Study/Neuroscience and Behavior.

Combined Programs of Study

In addition to pursuing a single major, students may combine programs of study as follows (See University Academic Requirements for details):

Minors: Students may pursue one or more minors, each typically comprised of 5 courses. Minors are available in nearly every discipline within the College of Liberal Arts.

Cognates: Students may pursue one or more cognates, each typically comprised of 3 courses and intended to develop career-oriented skills. Cognates in the College of Liberal Arts are:

Second majors: Students may choose to fulfill the requirements of two dissimilar major programs.

Dual majors: Students may choose to fulfill the requirements of a dual major, typically comprised of 8 courses. Dual majors are designated programs that must be paired with another major of any discipline. Dual majors in the College of Liberal Arts are:

  • Educational Studies
  • Humanities
  • International Affairs
  • Justice Studies

See Special University Programs for information about the Sustainability dual major.

Student-designed majors: Under special circumstances, students may design their own majors.

Dual-degree programs: Students may choose to fulfill the requirements of two separate degrees, such as a B.A. and a B.S.

Interdisciplinary opportunities: See the Interdisciplinary Studies web page for the complete list of interdisciplinary programs within the College of Liberal Arts.

Proficiency in a Foreign Language

Please see the explanation of this University requirement under Degrees: Bachelor of Arts.

Within the College of Liberal Arts, only those students majoring in linguistics, psychology, theatre and dance, or women's studies may use American Sign Language (ASL) to fulfill their foreign language proficiency requirement. English teaching majors who plan to pursue deaf studies may petition the English department to use ASL to fulfill their foreign language proficiency requirement.

COLA Study Abroad

The College of Liberal Arts offers a number of managed study abroad programs that are administered by college faculty and the College of Liberal Arts. These programs provide opportunities for liberal arts students as well as students in other colleges to experience and learn about different cultures and, in non-English-speaking countries, to increase proficiency in a foreign language.

Because the college administers these programs, registration, finances, and other logistics are streamlined and simple. Students pay UNH tuition and a single program fee, which covers housing, excursions, and, in some cases, board. Most UNH student fees are waived with the exception of the technology fee, a study abroad administration fee, and an international travel insurance fee. Students are eligible for federal financial aid for the semester-long programs.

Please see the list of eligibility requirements under Study Abroad Programs.

To learn more about any of the programs, contact the program director listed on the website for each program or Mike Merrill, the study abroad advisor at

Career and Professional Success

The College of Liberal Arts is committed to helping students achieve success in their career and professional endeavors. From one-on-one career counseling appointments to internship placements and employer visits to campus, the Career and Professional Success office supports students with the tools and resources to secure meaningful, impactful, and rewarding careers.

The Career and Professional Success office is located at 102 McConnell Hall.

Research Centers and Institutes

Center for the Humanities

The Center for the Humanities fosters excellence in the humanities, broadly conceived, at the University of New Hampshire. Center resources and programs support faculty research, encourage reflection and inquiry across the University community and beyond, create interdisciplinary initiatives in many forms, and undertake special projects to raise the visibility of the humanities. To accomplish this, the center endeavors to support the highest quality work by UNH humanities faculty, to build productive collaboration among faculty, to create singular projects that advance its goals, and to be a center of innovation, planning and inspiration for the humanities at the University of New Hampshire. By pursuing its goals, the center supports the University's research mission in particular, as well as its academic plan.

The center is the sponsor of the Saul O Sidore Memorial Lectures and the James H. and Claire Short Hayes Chair in the Humanities.

Crimes Against Children Research Center

The Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC) is concerned with all forms of crimes against children and adolescents, from birth through age 17, both within and outside the family, both known and unknown to law enforcement. These include criminal acts as defined by law, such as sexual assault, abduction, theft, robbery and aggravated assault against children. But it also includes child abuse in all its forms—physical, sexual, emotional—and child neglect, as well as child-to-child violence, such as peer and sibling assaults and bullying. It also includes indirect victimization, where children witness or are affected by the crime victimization of a family member or friend.

The CCRC, created in 1998, grew out of and expands upon the work of the UNH Family Research Laboratory, which has been devoted to the study of family violence and related topics since 1975. Associated with the center is an internationally recognized group of experts who have published numerous books and articles concerning the incidence and impact of violence against children.

CCRC staff has contributed to many pioneering national crime studies, including National Incidence Study of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Thrownaway Children; National Family Violence Survey; National Youth Victimization Prevention Survey; National Survey of Sexual Abuse in Day Care; Developmental Victimization Survey; Youth Internet Safety Surveys; and Multisite Evaluation of Children's Advocacy Centers.

The CCRC is directed by David Finkelhor, who is also the director of the Family Research Laboratory and professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire. Finkelhor has been researching criminal violence against children since 1978 and is the author and editor of 12 books and more than 100 articles on the subject.

Family Research Laboratory

Since 1975, the Family Research Laboratory (FRL) has devoted itself primarily to understanding family violence and the impact of violence in families. As public and professional interest in family violence has grown, so has the need for more reliable knowledge. The FRL seeks to fill that need through comprehensive literature reviews, new theories and methodologically sound studies. Researchers at the FRL pioneered many of the techniques that have enabled social scientists to estimate directly the scope of family violence. These efforts have brought international recognition to the FRL.

The FRL is unusual among research centers in the field because it addresses all aspects of the family, violence and abuse. Topics undertaken by the FRL include physical abuse of children, corporal punishment of children, sexual abuse of children, physical abuse of spouses, dating violence, abuse of the elderly, intra-family homicide, rape and marital rape, violence between siblings, peer victimization of children, pornography, and missing and abducted children. This variety of topics is a result of beliefs that have guided FRL research: that various forms of family problems are interrelated, that conflict is as basic to family life as are love and cooperation, and that much of the conflict and violence in the world outside the family can be traced to roots within the family. This holistic view of family violence has contributed both diversity and richness to the FRL's work.

The FRL's prominence in the field is in part a result of the large number, variety and scope of its publications. In a span of 10 years, FRL staff members have published more than 45 books and more than 740 articles on family violence.

The FRL is housed in a suite of offices in McConnell Hall The FRL is directed by David Finkelhor, professor of sociology and director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center.

The Survey Center

The UNH Survey Center is a full-scale, non-partisan academic survey research center, committed to providing university researchers, government and business leaders, and private organizations with reliable information about public attitudes concerning important policy matters. It is nationally known for its public opinion and political polling for CNN, Fox News and WMUR-TV.

The UNH Survey Center has conducted survey research projects at the University of New Hampshire since 1986: state, regional and national general population surveys based on probability sampling; surveys that target specific populations; surveys that utilize complex stratified sampling techniques; and panel studies. The Survey Center conducts telephone, mail and web surveys, as well as focus groups and other qualitative research projects.

The UNH Survey Center is located at 9 Madbury Road, Suite 401 and features a 41-station Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system. The Survey Center is directed by Andrew E. Smith, who is also associate professor of practice in political science.

Related Research Centers

Carsey School of Public Policy

The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire is a nationally acclaimed resource for research, leadership development and engaged scholarship relevant to public policy. The school's activities address the most pressing challenges of the twenty-first century, striving for innovative, responsive and equitable solutions at all levels of government and in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. Faculty and students throughout the College of Liberal Arts serve as staff, fellows, researchers and assistants in the school.

Prevention Innovations Research Center

Prevention Innovations Research Center: Ending Sexual and Relationship Violence and Stalking is a research center at the University of New Hampshire made up of researchers and practitioners who work collaboratively to develop and evaluate prevention strategies, evidence-based measures to document the problems of sexual and relationship violence and stalking, and comprehensive community tools to effectively address the causes of violence. The Prevention Innovations Research Center aims to assist high schools, postsecondary institutions, the U.S. Military, and federal, state, and local researchers and practitioners to develop, evaluate and implement model policies, procedures and programs to end sexual and relationship violence and stalking. The center's faculty and staff are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in the prevention and response fields who design and provide cutting-edge contributions to evidence-based practices in prevention and make significant contributions to scholarship, programming and policy making in the field. Their research and prevention efforts emphasize the importance of using a community bystander focus while examining the continuum of violence.

Prevention Innovations provides campuses, communities and the U.S. Military with training and technical assistance (TA) to prevent and effectively respond to sexual and relationship violence and stalking. We provide TA through regional trainings, one-on-one consultations and serving as subject matter experts. Our TA work is funded through federal grants, individual consultations and support from the Campus Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention Consortium. This annual membership program provides support, technical assistance and training for a cohort of institutions of higher education from across the United States, building both capacity and knowledge across the cohort to improve the efforts of their individual campuses in prevention and response of sexual and relationship violence and stalking.

The Susan Schechter Domestic and Sexual Violence Social Justice Laboratory (Schechter Lab) is an interdisciplinary research laboratory within the Prevention Innovations Research Center. Undergraduate and graduate students associated with the Schechter Lab earn academic credit for their role as research assistants and work with members of Prevention Innovations Research Center on their research, report writing and publications. The Sharon B. Murphy Scholarship supports undergraduate and graduate student scholarship in the fields of domestic and sexual violence and stalking for work within the Schechter Lab.

The Prevention Innovations Research Center members are UNH faculty members and practitioners from diverse disciplines and colleges across the UNH landscape, including the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Health and Human Services, and the Law School, who work with graduate and undergraduate students from across the University's colleges and law school. Practitioners are from local and state organizations.

Academic and Cultural Centers and Institutes

ESL Institute

The ESL Institute at the University of New Hampshire has been involved in teaching international students English since 1976. The Institute provides high-quality instruction in English as a second language (ESL) and orientation in U.S. culture to international students who are non-native speakers of English. ESL courses are offered at the elementary level, the intermediate level and the advanced level. Students at these levels receive intensive English instruction for four and a half hours per day, four days per week, in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, as well as pronunciation and contextualized grammar instruction. For students who have a TOEFL score of 60 or above (Internet-based) or 500 or above (institutional paper-based or ITP, administered by the ESL Institute), the ESL Institute provides "bridge" courses where students can simultaneously enroll in one to two UNH academic classes while continuing to study English intensively from four to ten hours per week. At these "bridge" levels, students have the opportunity to "try out" academic courses in a supportive environment. In addition to its focus on ESL instruction for international students, the Institute aspires to serve as a resource for international education to the faculty, staff and students of UNH.

Museum of Art

The Museum of Art serves as the New Hampshire Seacoast's premier public art museum and, for more than 50 years, has remained a vital resource for the visual arts, serving the University, local, and regional communities. Visitors and members gather to enjoy a wide variety of changing exhibitions, as well as annual exhibitions featuring UNH studio faculty and student work. Exhibitions of outdoor sculpture by regional artists are shown regularly in the Mills Courtyard. Accompanying programs include gallery talks, lectures, concerts, family programs and special events. The museum's summer Art Camp provides K-12 students with quality hands-on visual arts and instruction.

The museum's diverse permanent collection includes more than 1,800 works of art, from prehistoric to contemporary. The works are exhibited in the galleries and the Collection Study Area on a regular basis and are also used by faculty, students and scholars for teaching, research and interdisciplinary study.

Located in the Paul Creative Arts Center, the museum is open to students, faculty, museum members and the general public free of charge. For more information, call (603) 862-3712 or visit