The History of the Faculty of Humanities

The current Faculty of Humanities is the heir of a long history, which has its origins prior to the foundation of the University. In 1859 the Royal Scientific-Literary Academy was established as a higher education institution similar to a University Faculty of Philosophy and Literature. In 1880 the Academy gained greater autonomy and included a division for qualifying as a teacher of foreign languages and literatures.

The Gentile reforms of the Italian education system broke up the institution, turning it into a Faculty. Together with the Clinical Institutes of Milan, it was the only school that pre-existed the University and had its own teaching staff. On August 28, 1924, the convention was signed that marked the foundation of the University of Milan, consisting of four faculties, including that of Literature and Philosophy.

Since the 1930s, when the ancient building of the Ospedale Maggiore was identified as the headquarters of the University, the possibility of hosting the Faculties of Law and of Letters and Philosophy, in addition to the dean's and administration offices, was envisaged. However, the project was completed twenty years later. Meanwhile, the Faculty operated in the Corso di Porta Romana site until 1942 and, following WWII bombings, in Via della Passione. Only in 1958 did the Faculty move to Ca' Granda, one year after launching the new degree programme in Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures.

Over its long history, the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy has had illustrious teachers (philosophers, philologists, historians, writers, glottologists, art historians, geographers, archaeologists...) and a high number of students, who made it one of the most popular faculties in one of the largest Italian universities.

The initial degree programme range, including Literature, Philosophy, Foreign Languages and Literatures, has gradually expanded with a view to the ongoing enhancement of the educational offering and the development of disciplinary research fields and new degree programmes (History, Cultural Heritage, Liberal Studies In Communication, Human Sciences of Environment, Landscape and Territory).

Following the Gelmini reform in 2012, the Faculty changed its functions and even its name. The Faculty of Humanities now coordinates the degree courses in humanities.