The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Spring 2021 Reopening Plan: Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has released the UMass Amherst Spring 2021 Reopening Plan, which details how the spring semester will proceed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to read the comprehensive report, FAQs and other materials, go to

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Dean's Welcome

As the creative heart of UMass Amherst, the College of Humanities and Fine Arts brings together scholars and artists from a wide range of disciplines. The college offers exceptional opportunities for students to broaden their perspectives, apply their knowledge, and prepare to make contributions to their communities, to the workplace, and to the world.

HFA offers students the rigor and individual attention of a liberal arts college with the vibrant curricular range of a major university. Our departments include the core disciplines of the humanities: philosophy, history, literature, modern and classical languages and linguistics; the visual and performing arts; and newer interdisciplinary units that bring together scholars from a number of fields: Afro-American Studies, Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. From all of our departments go forth future artists, writers, and teachers, but also doctors, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and professionals in every field. By encouraging students to think, to express themselves well, to engage the world in a reflective manner, the Arts and Humanities prepare students for life in a world of change.

The College hosts an array of programs, institutes, and centers that reflect the richness and intellectual ferment of our community: the renowned Center for Renaissance Studies attracts scholars from all over the world; the nationally recognized Arts Extension Service provides consultation and training for arts professionals in the field and arts management courses on campus; the Center for the Study of African-American Language leads in both community engagement and cutting-edge linguistics research.

The faculty and students of HFA affirm the relevance of the past while facing the challenges of the present. While we maintain our commitment to small, inquiry-based courses and seminars, new technologies and interactive pedagogies help us rethink the traditional lecture class. Distance learning courses and programs allow faculty to communicate with students beyond the campus, throughout the U.S. and internationally.

This is but a glance at the diversity of programs in our college. Our College events highlight everything we love and value about the humanities and fine arts: exploration, critical thinking, conversation, analysis, research, creation, and wonder. We encourage you to visit our Calendar and watch our Facebook page for upcoming announcements so that you can take full advantage of the events on campus.