Faculty of Arts and Humanities


The Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Tartu is the largest, most diverse and most internationally recognised centre for research in the Humanities in Estonia.

The Faculty has a special responsibility in both upholding and developing national sciences as well as passing on knowledge about world's languages and cultures. Our highly educated staff and alumni participate in the professional academic discussion in the field of humanities and arts but also contribute to the wider debates over norms, values and ethics in society.

Faculty's everyday activities are administrated by the Dean's Office in accordance with the faculty's strategic plan and KPI . The highest decision-making body of the faculty is the Council.

Since the establishment of the University of Tartu, humanities have been a self-evident part of the university. In the Swedish University (1632-1710), the Faculties of Philosophy and Theology were two of the four faculties. The main goal of the university was the promotion of Lutheran orthodoxy in the eastern provinces of Sweden. The first scientific approach to Estonian folklore comes from the university of that time, marking the beginning of research in the areas of what are now the basis of national professorships. In 1802, the university was reopened in Tartu as a provincial Baltic university in the Russian Empire. In 1803, the lectureship of the Estonian language was established. In 1870, Estonian students began to get organized, at the first meeting at literary evenings, but soon leading to the establishing of Estonia’s independence. On 1 December 1919, the university opened its doors as Tartu University of the Republic of Estonia with Estonian as the language of instruction, where new subjects that laid the basis for the development and research of national Estonian culture were taught. During the Soviet period (1940-1991), although the Faculty of Theology was closed, the humanities continued to develop, e. g. semiotics as a discipline begins. The re-independence of Estonia in 1991 removed the barriers to the free development of the university. Since 2016, UT has been academically structured into four large faculties – Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, and Faculty of Science and Technology.
More about the university's history.

School of Theology and Religious Studies

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities hosts a large number of visiting lecturers from abroad to enrich the students' academic experience. By virtue of international links with many European universities has studying abroad become an integral part of our students' studies. It is also common to see numerous international students in our lectures.