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About Us

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers a broad range of academic pursuits. Our major areas of study are organized in 14 units designated as schools, departments or programs. These various disciplines give students a fuller understanding of the past, present and future roles of both the individual and society in shaping human experience. The humanities and the social sciences are cornerstones of a liberal arts education. In courses and other learning experiences provided by the college, our students become familiar with the most significant accomplishments of the human intellect and spirit and gain appreciation for the potential we have as humans and as societies.

We are committed to the liberal arts tradition of advancing human knowledge through serious scholarship, superior instruction, and the freedom of academic inquiry. Our faculty employs the latest teaching and learning technology while emphasizing accessibility and the benefits of student-teacher interaction. Humanities and Social Sciences majors are broadly educated to think critically and independently, to articulate ideas and appreciate diverse perspectives, and to exercise reason and make informed judgments. These tools prepare graduates for life in a complex world, help them enter a wide variety of professions, and lay the foundations for lifelong learning.

Our Mission

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado is dedicated to the highest quality of education for undergraduate and graduate students. Grounded in the liberal arts, the college is integral to the comprehensive mission of the university. The disciplines of the humanities and social sciences engage the methodologies, techniques and technologies that prepare students to think creatively and critically about past, current and evolving social and global complexities.

This engagement transforms lives: preparing students for personal and professional success and contributing to the betterment of the larger community. Faculty scholarship adds to the sum of human knowledge and enriches culture. Manifesting itself in the classroom, in professional venues and in service to the public, it is expressed through a variety of theoretical, creative and applied endeavors. HSS fosters the pursuit of intellectual and cultural diversity while educating its students within a tradition of academic excellence.

About UNC

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) is a student-centered teaching institution set in an ideal location, 50 miles north of Denver, 50 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and 50 miles east of Rocky Mountain National Park. It offers more than 100 academic programs for undergraduate students in five colleges, the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Monfort College of Business, the College of Natural and Health Sciences, and the College of Performing and Visual Arts, many of which are nationally ranked. From its beginning in 1889, The University of Northern Colorado has maintained a strong tradition of serving the community and the state as one of the original educational institutions.

Land Acknowledgement

The University of Northern Colorado acknowledges the forty-eight tribes that are historically tied to the state of Colorado. The University occupies the lands in the territories of the Ute, Cheyenne, and Arapaho peoples. Thus, the land on which UNC is situated is tied to the history and culture of native and indigenous peoples. UNC appreciates this connection and respects the land. Additionally, the University community pays its respect to Elders past, present, and future, and to those who have stewarded this land throughout the generations.


The Humanities

Scholars in the humanities study many aspects of human existence, such as written and non-written evidence of human progress, and how human creativity both reflects the world around us and helps to shape it. The humanities consider how systems of thought and knowledge have developed over time and how they continue to influence our decisions today. Humanistic inquiry asks how events in the past affect the present and how understanding the past can help us shape the future. The humanities produced the first thinkers who formally examined how different cultures and ethnicities approach common needs and how they express commonly held aspirations in diverse ways. Some humanities disciplines demonstrate how language mirrors our identity and opens windows to the world, while others study ways in which humans have learned to cooperate in order to articulate their values and accomplish their goals.


The Social Sciences

With goals closely related to those of the humanities, the social sciences view the world around us as a laboratory for observation, experimentation, and the advancement of new ideas and practices. Social scientists strive to understand the human capacity for adapting to changing environments and circumstances. Some disciplines examine systems of exchange, communication, and organization. Others study the ways in which humans identify and assert themselves as individuals and as groups, and they learn from the experiences and interaction among people in different times, circumstances, and places.

Value of a Liberal Arts Degree