Message from the Dean
A message from Dean Gary Sandefur
The College of Letters & Science is the largest college at UW-Madison and the heart of this great institution.
L&S is home to 39 academic departments, 22 non-departmental academic programs, five professional schools and 70 interdisciplinary research and outreach centers. The College enrolls more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students and employs more than 800 faculty. Every year we confer roughly 56 percent of all bachelor's degrees at UW-Madison.
Our liberal arts programs encompass a multitude of disciplinary fields in the arts and humanities, the natural and physical sciences, and the social sciences. The College houses 70 undergraduate majors, 47 certificate programs and 114 graduate programs.
We train students to be critical thinkers, to listen and learn, to formulate and present arguments and to be respectful in all that they do.
Letters & Science students receive a world-class education that prepares them to lead a good life and make a good living.
The mission of the College of Letters & Science centers on three strategic priorities:
- Provide an exemplary undergraduate education and enrich the Wisconsin Experience,
- Reinvigorate the Wisconsin Idea and renew our commitment to our public mission, and,
- Recruit and retain the best faculty, staff and graduate students, and enhance diversity to ensure excellence in education and research.
Our strength comes from our people. As such, I am dedicated to recruiting and retaining the most preeminent scholars, researchers, teachers and students.
L&S is home to world-class faculty who are Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the British Academy. They are MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipients, they're Guggenheim Fellows and leaders internationally.
Our research is also dedicated to solving some of the world’s oldest questions – how did life begin? What is the future of Jewish, Christian and Muslim relations? Can we create renewable energy more efficiently?
We have scientists in Antarctica working on the world’s largest neutrino observatory and others at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. We have social scientists researching ideas to address the pressing issue of poverty in the United States. We have humanities scholars studying how we think and express ourselves in our digital world.
They are entrepreneurs whose discoveries are creating new jobs in Wisconsin and beyond.
I am dedicated to keeping the best and brightest faculty and staff at UW-Madison. My efforts are strengthened by alumni, donors and friends. More than 178,000 living alumni support the college through their gifts of time, talent and treasure. They create new opportunities and give me resources to meet new challenges in improving our education, research and public service.
The people of Letters & Science remind me that ours is an institution where young minds grow. The College of Letters & Science at UW-Madison is where rising stars come to teach and to exercise innovation, creativity and passion that changes the world.
Dean, College of Letters & Science