The College of Liberal Arts (shortened as "the College" in the followings) traces its origins back to the former College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, founded in 1956, and composed of the three Departments: Chinese Literature, Mathematics and Physics. With the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature (established in 1957) and the Department of History (1969), the College was officially approved to operate as an independent academic institution, made up of the Departments of Chinese Literature, Foreign Languages and Literature and History.
From 1985 to 2002, the three departments of the College gradually expanded with the establishment of their graduate programs. In 1985, the Graduate Institute of History and Languages was founded as an MA program, which was renamed in 1993 as the Graduate Institute of History under the Department of History. In 1996, the Graduate Institute of History established its doctoral program. The Department of Chinese Literature launched its MA program in 1991, and established its doctoral program in 1995. The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature started its MA program in 1993, and established its doctoral program in 1999. In addition, in 1994 the Graduate Institute of Arts was founded in the College as an MA program, and in 1999 the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature was established as an MA program, which laid the cornerstone for the establishment of the Department of Taiwanese Literature in 2002, complete with undergraduate and graduate programs.
As the College placed more emphasis on the development of graduate programs, the three Departments of Chinese Literature, Foreign Languages and Literature, and History were compelled to phase out their evening undergraduate programs to make way for further development of postgraduate education. The Department of History began to phase out its evening undergraduate program in 2000, while the two Departments of Chinese Literature and Foreign Languages and Literature stopped recruiting students into such in 2004.
While these evening undergraduate programs were scheduled to be phased out, the four departments worked to plan their specialized MA programs for in-service students under the MOE’s continuing education policy. The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature led other departments to establish such a program in 1999, followed by the Department of Chinese Literature in 2001, the Department of History in 2003 and the Department of Taiwanese Literature in 2006. However, in 2010 plans were announced to phase out of all of these specialized MA programs, except the one offered by the Department of Taiwanese Literature.
Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature established the two main tracks of literature and linguistics for its MA program in 2004, and for its doctoral program in 2009. In 2006, the Department of Chinese Literature launched its doctoral program in modern Chinese literature.
Along with the four departments and one independent graduate institute, three centers operate under the administration of the College: the Chinese Language Center, the Foreign Language Center and Center for Multi-cultural Studies.
In sum, the College now has 127 fulltime faculty members (43 professors, 51 associate professors, 22 assistant professors, 11 instructors), 1,452 students (963 undergraduate students, 351 MA students and 138 doctoral students), and 31 administrative and other staff (14 officially-employed staff, 13 project assistants and 4 janitors) with four undergraduate programs, six graduate programs, and various language programs, which constitute a strong foundation for the cultivation of a humanistic spirit in the NCKU community.