Humanities and the Arts

A student checks out his end-of-year art exhibit on campus.

Do you love language, literature or culture? Or perhaps you’re passionate about art, design, theater, film or music. You may feel a strong connection with humanities and the arts. In this field, students sharpen their critical thinking and writing skills and learn about the creative process as they explore different forms of human expression.

Academic Majors and Minors

Here are some of the majors and minors available in this field of study:

Most Popular Majors

  • Art
  • Design | Media Arts
  • English
  • Film, Television and Digital Media
  • Linguistics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Spanish and Portuguese
  • Theater

Trending Majors

  • Applied Linguistics
  • Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Linguistics and Computer Science
  • Dance
  • Ethnomusicology

Intriguing Majors

  • Ancient Near East and Egyptology
  • Digital Humanities
  • Literature and the Environment
  • Mexican Studies
  • Music Industry
  • Professional Writing
  • Visual and Performing Arts Education

nationally for English

U.S. News & World Report (2021)

Best Global Universities rankings for world arts and humanities

U.S. News & World Report (2023)

best film school

Hollywood Reporter (2023)

Noteworthy Faculty

Here are just a few of the many professors in this field of study who’ve had a remarkable impact in their area of expertise.

A headshot of Professor Keith L. Camacho

Keith L. Camacho

Professor of Asian American Studies

Camacho received his training in the anthropology, history and literature of the Pacific Islands. He recently led a summer travel study program to Guam where students learned about the island’s legacy of social justice and made positive contributions to the community.

A headshot of Professor Catherine Opie

Catherine Opie

Professor of Photography

Opie’s work has been exhibited at many of the world’s finest museums, including a midcareer retrospective in 2008 at the Guggenheim in New York. She’s a recipient of the Julius Shuman Excellence in Photography Award and a United States Artists Fellowship.

A headshot of Professor Peter Sellars

Peter Sellars

Professor of World Arts and Cultures/Dance

A world-renowned opera, theater and festival director, Sellars is known for exploring challenging moral issues such as race, war, poverty and the international refugee crisis through his work. He is also a MacArthur Fellow and founding director of the Boethius Institute at UCLA.

A headshot of Pofessor Richard Yarborough

Richard Yarborough

Professor of English and African American Studies

Yarborough has received UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award and commendations from the city and county of Los Angeles. He has written on authors such as Frederick Douglass, Ann Petry, Charles Chesnutt, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Richard Wright.

Notable Alumni

Bruins have achieved great heights in all walks of life — health, sports, entertainment, public service, science and technology, and arts and letters. Here are some alumni in this field of study who have had a noticeable impact on the world.

A headshot of UCLA alum Dustin Lance Black

Dustin Lance Black

Film and Television ’96

Oscar-winning screenwriter, playwright, activist

A headshot of UCLA alum Angel Blue

Angel Blue

M.M. ’08

Internationally acclaimed operatic soprano and classical crossover artist

A headshot of UCLA alum Chris Hardwick

Chris Hardwick

Philosophy ’92

Stand-up comedian, TV and podcast host and founder of Nerdist Industries

A headshot of UCLA alum Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan

English ’68, M.A. ’68

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and 16th U.S. Poet Laureate

Growth Careers in the Field

Here are a few examples of areas where this exciting field of study is growing and developing.


Continued public interest in museums and other cultural centers should lead to an increased demand for curators and for the collections they manage. This field is projected to grow 10% by 2028.

Film and Video Editors

This field is expected to grow 14% by 2028 due to the increasing number of streaming platforms and productions made exclusively for them along with the use of more special effects, all of which mean more work for editors.


Increasing globalization and a more diverse U.S. population will likely lead to 20% growth in this career choice by 2031.

Related Careers

Below, find examples of additional careers related to this field of study:


  • 3D Product Designer
  • Animator
  • Architect
  • Art Director, Advertising
  • Arts Administration
  • Content Strategist
  • Corporate Communications Manager
  • Director
  • Executive Editor
  • Event Manager
  • Film/Television Development
  • Fine Artist
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Graphic Designer
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Librarian
  • Linguist
  • Marketing Director
  • Music Performer/Writer
  • Producer
  • Recording Industry Specialist
  • Screenwriter
  • Teacher
  • Talent Agent


A headshot of UCLA student Stephen Heo

I specialize mainly in film and photography-related projects. After graduating, I’m hoping to work closely with visual animation and programming for concerts and music festivals … Organizations like the Film and Photography Society, Korean Culture Night and my work-study at UCLA Enrollment Management have contributed to my growth as a designer.

See What This Field is Like at UCLA

Theater, Film and Television students film something from above for a group project.

Students in the School of Theater, Film and Television have many opportunities to work on student projects both through their classes and a wide variety of clubs and organizations.

A doctoral student conducts the UCLA Symphony, which is comprised of music and non-music students.

UCLA Symphony, the university’s campus-wide orchestra, meets once a week and performs one concert per quarter in Schoenberg Hall. Members include music and non-music students.

A fine arts student gets feedback on her painting in the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center houses the UCLA School of Arts and Architecture and includes classrooms, galleries, studio space, auditoriums and conference space for students.

Alain Mabanckou looks off to the side as he smiles.

Alain Mabanckou, a renowned novelist, poet and literature professor, was named one of 2019’s 100 most influential Africans by leading politics and culture magazine, New African.

A look inside the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center’s state-of-the-art recording studio.

Record, edit, mix and master projects in the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center’s state-of-the-art 4,300 square foot recording studio, available for all school of music students.

Two dance students perform a dance that combines ballet with modern dance.

Two students found a compelling way to combine their talents in this dance that mixed ballet with modern dance.

A student holding a film reel stands in the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

The UCLA Film & Television Archive contains the largest university-held collection of motion pictures and broadcast programming in the world. Each year, the archive hosts about 400 screenings.

Two students work with a professor on blocking a scene from their show.

Here, students from the School of Theater, Film & Television discuss the most effective way to block a scene from their show.

Professor Rebecca Mendez explains something in a Design | Media Arts class.

Professor Rebecca Mendez teaches in Design | Media Arts. Her work has been exhibited at museums including SFMOMA and the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.

Theater students learn martial arts moves to build physical awareness.

The Theater program’s Movement and Combat class teaches students about physical awareness through various exercises, stunts, gymnastics, martial arts and use of props.

Institutes and Research

UCLA offers many resources for deepening your knowledge in your chosen field, including hundreds of research centers, institutes and labs that encourage collaboration across disciplines. Here are a few of the many options in this area:


With a focus on emerging artists and an extensive permanent collection, the Hammer Museum is a rich resource for students. The museum deepens students’ engagement with the arts through a variety of programs and professional opportunities.

UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

CMRS supports interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies of the period from Late Antiquity to the middle of the 17th century through a program of lectures, seminars, conferences and fellowships.


UCLA Center for Digital Humanities

CDH brings together a community of scholars, students and practitioners to design, create, experiment, innovate and disseminate new knowledge in the digital age.

UCLA Film & Television Archive

UCLA’s archive is second in size only to the Library of Congress. This rich cultural history resource includes 27 million feet of newsreel footage, over 350,000 motion pictures and 170,000 TV programs.


Return to
Learn more about UCLA
Hear more about events in your area, application deadlines and more.