» Message from the Dean

Dr. Jennifer KeeneWilkinson College Dean
Dr. Jennifer D. Keene

Welcome to Wilkinson College, home of the arts, humanities, and social sciences at Chapman University. Our college houses vibrant discipline-specific and inter-disciplinary undergraduate majors and minors, innovative graduate programs, cutting edge centers, and immersive co-curricular programs. Wilkinson professors have a passionate commitment to the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and their enthusiasm is contagious. Dedicated educators and scholars, Wilkinson faculty embody the ethos of “personalized education.”  Your professors will know your name and they will be there to answer your questions, give advice, and provide mentorship as you progress through your studies. Collaborative faculty-student research projects, internships, student-run journals, and travel courses are just a few examples of how learning and mentoring in Wilkinson thrive outside the traditional classroom setting.

We live in an age when pursuing a degree in the arts, humanities, and social science sometimes seems like a luxury, or perhaps someone has suggested to you that majoring in these areas is a tad impractical. Nothing could be further from the truth. Studying the arts, humanities, and social sciences expands your mind, opening up rather than closing opportunity. Where will the next big idea, the game-changer, the paradigm-shift originate? From individuals driven by intellectual curiosity, creativity, the desire to innovate, and, most importantly, the willingness to ask questions, to challenge old answers, to envision the previously unimaginable and to bring disparate ideas together in new configurations. 

Studying the arts, humanities, and social sciences is more, not less, important for the times in which we live. Today’s graduates are likely to have several career changes over the course of their working lives. Our students develop the ability to collaborate, empathize, persist, think critically, write well, and communicate effectively. These skills sustain our alumni over the long trajectory of their careers and prepare you to adapt and prosper as economic opportunities change. 

Finally, the arts, humanities, and social sciences sustain us as a community and as human beings.  As a historian, I spend every day trying to reconnect with people in the past – to understand their stories, challenges, hopes, achievements, and disappointments. As I study the past, I gain new perspectives on the challenges and opportunities we face now. The arts, humanities, and social sciences investigate the human condition from different angles and diverse perspectives. These disciplines give expression to our shared humanity, help us find solutions to new problems, and enrich our culture with fresh ways of seeing, thinking, and creating. 

Wilkinson College plays an important role in the educational journey of every student who attends Chapman University. Investigate your options by exploring our website and attending events and information sessions sponsored by the College. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our department chairs, program and center directors, and faculty to learn more about the many opportunities available to you in Wilkinson College - The Heart and Soul of Chapman University.

Mission Statement for Wilkinson College

The mission of Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is to foster rigorous inquiry among our students through a curriculum grounded in the liberal arts that is scholarly, creative, interdisciplinary, and experiential. Wilkinson College plays an important and unique role in the educational journey of every Chapman student, and aims to ensure that graduates are prepared to assume their responsibility as global citizens, acting knowledgeably and providing compassionate leadership in our community and world.