We Are a Vital Force that Puts the Arts and Humanities into Action to Impact Our World.

Our research and teaching push the boundaries of discovery to solve the big problems of our time.

Affecting Lives in Extraordinary Ways

We teach interpretation, analysis, and communication that enable individuals to excel in education and be leaders in their careers.

Micheline Maynard, image launches video

Distinguished Alumna Micheline Ann Maynard

Micheline Ann Maynard received the distinguished alumni award. The award is given annually to alumni who have distinguished themselves by obtaining the highest level of professional accomplishments and who possess the highest standards of integrity and character.

Kristin Clark Taylor

Honorary Degree Recipient Kristin Clark Taylor

Kristin Clark Taylor, an award-winning author, veteran journalist and nationally recognized communications strategist, received an honorary doctorate of humanities.

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Charley Beal ’78

Charley, who graduated with a BA in Theatre from the Department of Theatre and went on to art direct movies such as Eat Pray Love, Premium Rush, Milk, and the television series Gotham, shares his College of Arts & Letters story.

J.R. Mankoff, image launches video

J.R. Mankoff ’05

Professional photographer J.R. Mankoff ’05 (http://jrmankoff.com), who received a BFA from the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, recently returned to campus to talk to students and lead a portrait photography workshop.

Delivering Excellence And Opportunity

We view the world and approach our teaching, learning, and research with a strong orientation toward the future. We leverage new opportunities and technologies while infusing arts and humanities thinking into our land-grant campus community.

capital campaign graphic

Michigan State University Capital Campaign Launches

In October 2014, Michigan State University launched The Empower Extraordinary Campaign, a private funding initiative that seeks to position MSU to compete with the best in the world while creating a better tomorrow for all.

The College of Arts and Letters is committed to this effort with the goal of raising $10 million to reshape the learning environment in the arts and humanities by fostering global cultural understanding, driving innovative approaches to teaching and learning and fostering a creative educational environment in which students thrive and that attracts the most talented faculty. We are well on our way to achieving this goal through the support of our alumni and friends. We continue to engage alumni and friends who are committed to our mission of making the College of Arts and Letters at MSU an innovative force in the arts and humanities around the world.

campaign goal - 71% progress

Click to Empower Extraordinary

Kyle Whyte

$2 Million Endowment in the Humanities

As part of the MSU Empower Extraordinary campaign, alumnus and retired businessman Henry Timnick gifted $2 million to endow a position in honor of his mother, Ottilie Schroeter Timnick, to reflect a family belief that a well-balanced liberal education is the best foundation for any career and for a fulfilling life. Kyle Whyte, a leading researcher and authority in ethical and political issues has been named as the inaugural Timnick Chair in the Humanities.

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Summer Circle Theatre

The Department of Theatre at MSU has created a new home for the Summer Circle Theatre (SCT), which produces free plays, musicals, and children’s shows for the community through support from donors, most notably, a contribution by Sam and Mary Austin of $300,000, and a donation by Friends of Theatre of $100,000.

Jade Wiselogle

Making a Difference in a Student’s Life

Jade Wiselogle, a first-generation college student and Professional Writing major, talks about the importance private support has made to education at Michigan State University.

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Spartan Statue

Propelling the Arts and Humanities into the Forefront of Higher Ed

Cash gifts have allowed us to create scholarships for students in departments such as English, Theatre, and Romance and Classical Studies. In addition, these cash gifts have provided crucial funding for study abroad opportunities.

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Leading academic transformation

By keeping a finger on the pulse of emerging career trends, new majors and graduate degrees have been created to meet the needs of a twenty-first-century arts & humanities education.

Arts & Cultural Management Program

New Arts & Cultural Management MA

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Film Studies Program

New Film Studies BA

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Experience Architecture Program

New Experience Architecture BA

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WIDE (Writing, Information, and Digital Experience)


WIDE is a research group studying the ways in which people communicate through the use of technology. It focuses on innovating Social Media and Emerging Technologies, including computational analytics, new uses of social media to solve social, cultural, and political problems, and the need to create new forms of public engagement. The following are its current areas of focus:

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  • Social Media User Experience
  • Networks of Participation
  • Computational Rhetoric
  • Designing for Social Justice
  • Health Informatics
  • Content Strategy and Information Design
  • Writing and Program Assessment
  • Digital Humanities and Digital Rhetoric

Shaping Futures Through Study Away

We provide our students with educational experiences to better shape their futures. In our Study Away programs, our students learn to weave together personal, professional, and civic lives.

Traverse City Film Fest, image launches video

Traverse City Film Festival Collaboration and Funding for Interns

CAL partnered with the Traverse City Film Festival to create an annual internship program that will allow up to three students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the excitement of a nationally recognized film festival.

Art in NYC

Arts in New York City

Students visited New York City as part of the CAL Study Away Program that offered professional experience and alumni connections in the arts and entertainment industries in New York City.

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