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 outlined under 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 outlined under Programs of Study/Neuroscience and Behavior.

The homeland security major, offered on both the Durham and Manchester campuses, also leads to a bachelor of science degree.

Combined Programs of Study

In addition to pursuing a single major, students may combine programs of study as follows:

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. The list of cognates and their requirements are found under Cognates.

Second (Double) 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, global studies and 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 Foreign Language Requirement: Bachelor of Arts.

Within the College of Liberal Arts, only those students majoring in education, linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, theatre and dance, or women's and gender 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

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 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, stalking and harassment, and comprehensive community tools to effectively address the causes of violence. The Prevention Innovations Research Center (PIRC) assists high schools, colleges and universities, the United States 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, stalking and harassment. PIRC plays a prominent role in working with New Hampshire criminal justice, advocacy and crisis organizations and state offices.

The Prevention Innovations Research Center is recognized for its groundbreaking research in the field of sexual violence prevention and response. PIRC has conducted first-of-its-kind research on campus violence, LGBTQ+ victimization, the economic cost of sexual violence and community responsibility in violence prevention. The center's staff and fellows are nationally and internationally recognized leaders in prevention and response 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 efforts emphasize the importance of using a community bystander focus while examining the continuum of violence.

A cornerstone of PIRC’s mission is to mentor the next generation of researchers and practitioners. The Susan Schechter Domestic and Sexual Violence Social Justice Laboratory (Schechter Lab) is an interdisciplinary research laboratory within the Prevention Innovations Research Center where undergraduate and graduate students earn academic credit for their role as research assistants and work with members of the staff 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.

PIRC works with practitioners and community partners to implement and refine approaches to prevention and response. This collaborative approach has contributed significantly to scholarly research, practice literature, institutional responses to sexual and relationship violence, sexual harassment and stalking, and technology transfer. PIRC provides effective, research-informed solutions to create safe, equitable environments.

Academic and Cultural Centers

Global Racial and Social inequality lab

The Global Racial and Social inequality lab (GRSIL) is a dynamic site of research, pedagogical and community engaged activity. Faculty and students (undergraduate and graduate) already working on or interested in projects that variously engage with racial and social inequality are invited and encouraged to participate in the GRSIL. Additionally, the Lab encourages faculty and student engagement on these thematic areas by incentivizing new and continuing research on such topics and with the intention to apply for external funding to support this research. The Lab provides pedagogical workshops on evolving best practices in creating inclusive syllabi and inclusive classrooms, as well as provides a venue for open discussion of complex issues. Additionally, the GRSIL serves as the administrative home of COLA's many interdisciplinary minors focused on inequality. The Lab uses its analytical expertise to facilitate community partnerships, develop internships and expand our collaborative relationships with community colleges and non-profit community organizations in the region.