The arts and humanities are about how human beings express emotions and ideas. Arts subjects teach how to create things like drama, paintings and music. Humanities subjects study how these ideas have affected human culture and society. However, there is a lot of crossover between the two areas, as well as with social sciences like anthropology, and subjects like law and modern languages are sometimes also considered to be humanities.
Read on to discover the top 10 universities this year in the faculty of arts and humanities…
Climbing one place since last year, the University of Oxford tops this year’s arts and humanities ranking, while also coming sixth in the overall Overseas Education World University Rankings. Oxford’s humanities division has received significant praise for its work at the forefront of digitizing the humanities, and its students also benefit from historic resources such as the famous Bodleian Library, the university’s main research library and one of the oldest in Europe.
The oldest institution of higher education in the US and one of the most prestigious, Harvard University comes second in the overall world rankings this year. It boasts the largest academic library in the world, and 48 Harvard faculty members have won Pulitzer Prizes in recognition of their outstanding contributions to American journalism, letters and music
Ranked joint 3rd in the world overall, alongside Stanford University, Cambridge fares well across a wide array of disciplines. Its arts and humanities department is affiliated with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), which “supports, promotes and conducts interdisciplinary research of the highest order”. The university has an endowment of around £5.89 billion (approx. US$9.1 billion) which is the largest of any university outside the US.
The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) is 26th in the overall world rankings this year, is well-established among the US’s leading public universities, and is also admired for its green spaces. Its largest faculty, the College of Letters and Science, which includes the school of Arts and Humanities, is the only one at the university to award Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees. The faculty’s 800 or so members include 13 Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, and 12 MacArthur Fellows.
Ranked joint 3rd in the world with Cambridge, Stanford University is known for its leading arts and humanities courses, which are enhanced by features such as the Cecil H. Green Library and the Cantor Center for Visual Arts Museum with 24 galleries, sculpture gardens, terraces and a courtyard. An impressive 277 of Stanford’s scholars are members of the highly regarded American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Yale University is currently ranked 15th in the world overall, and its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences enrolls approximately 2,800 students, a third of whom are international students. Yale’s School of Art claims to be “devoted not only to the refinement of visual skills, but to the cultivation of the mind”, and the university ranks particularly well for arts and humanities subjects such as English literature and language, history, and modern languages.
Ranked 11th in the world overall, Princeton University has its own Art Museum, which was established in 1882 to enable students to be enriched and inspired by access to original works of art. It contains over 92,000 objects, ranging from ancient to contemporary art, and also serves as a community resource and an attraction for national and international visitors. Six members of Princeton University’s faculty of humanities have won the National Humanities Medal.
Located in New York City, Columbia University was founded in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of King George II of England. It is ranked 22nd in the overall world rankings this year, and has climbed from 12th place in last year’s arts and humanities faculty rankings. Columbia’s School of the Arts is “committed to the development of excellence in the fields of Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing”.
Also in New York City, New York University (NYU) is 53rd in the world rankings this year. Its oldest and largest division, the College of Arts and Science, offers a wide range of commended arts and humanities courses – from Africana Studies to Women’s Studies. The university’s Institute of Fine Arts is one of the world’s leading graduate schools and research centers in art history, archaeology, and conservation.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is currently ranked 27th in the world overall, and benefits from its location in one of the leading arts and entertainment capitals of the world. UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture and its School of Theater, Film and Television are both highly acclaimed, while the university is ranked second in the world for linguistics, behind only Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).