The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) is extremely proud to celebrate the University of Nairobi’s 50 years of academic excellence.

This is a wonderful time to reflect on and celebrate all our achievements since 1970 and in particular the leadership role the University of Nairobi provides in the social, cultural, and economic development of Kenya and the world.

The University of Nairobi officially founded the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in October 1983 under the direction of the first Principal of the college, Prof. Onesmus K. Mutungi.  Prof. Mutungi built CHSS on a foundation fortified by his own belief that the study of humanities made human connections stronger and better.  Prof. Mutungi set the tone for how CHSS runs today in terms of teaching, research and management.

Today, CHSS is the largest of the six colleges of the University of Nairobi.  Structurally, it is composed of one faculty, four schools, four institutes and three centres.  From a few hundreds of students in the 1980s to over 30,000 students currently making up over 60% of the entire university student population, CHSS has come from far.

As Confucius said, “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” CHSS continues to provide wholesome education to its students.  We not only provide relevant and rigorous courses but also guide and provide mentorship. We consistently set our sights on access, excellence and impact. Through multiple delivery modes, we provide access to education to those who may not have had it. Our impact remains providing world class education that is relevant in todays interconnected world.  Our research output continues to inform industry practices and public policies to make the world a better place.

As we enter a new decade, CHSS looks forward to building its future and continuing to lead students to success guided by its vision of being, “A leading college that promotes excellence in teaching, training, research, consultancy and community service.”



Decades of Milestones

The past few decades have seen the CHSS achieve tremendous milestones across various facet of academics and research.  These includes among others:


CHSS was officially established in 1985 following recommendations of the 1985 Presidential Visitation Committee headed by Mr. Geoffrey Kariithi.

Introduction of Self Sponsored Programs

In 1998 the college introduced self-sponsored programs (module II). This provided a great opportunity for students to pursue university education after missing out on government sponsored programs. 

Introduction of Distance Learning (Module III)

The Faculty of Arts and School of Business in 2007 launched Distance Learning (Module III) thus remarkably transforming modes of teaching and learning in the college.

Increase in the number of student enrollment

From 1970 to 2020, CHSS has had a consistent increase in the number of students enrolling in its wide range of academic programs. In fact CHSS currently make up a whopping 60% of the entire University of Nairobi student population.

Creation of new departments, units and centres

Starting out with a few departments, CHSS today boasts of one big faculty, four schools, four institutes and three centres. These includes:

Faculty of Arts

The faculty of arts has 12 academic departments offering arts related programmes and is located at the Main Campus. These departments are:

  • Literature
  • Sub-Department of French
  • Linguistics and Languages
  • History and Archaeology
  • Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Sociology and Social Work
  • Psychology
  • Kiswahili
  • Political Science and Public Administration
  • Communication Skills and Studies
  • Library and Information Science

School of Law

The school of law located at Parklands, Kisumu and Mombasa campuses are made of 3 departments including, Public law, Private law and commercial law.

School of Business

The School of Business located at Lower Kabete, Mombasa and Kisumu campuses is made of 3 departments including Business Administration, Finance Accounting and Management Science.



School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Located in Main campus, the school of journalism and mass communication is the regional leader in print and electronic journalism.


School of Economics

Located at the Main Campus, Mahatma Gandhi Wing Building. The school of Economics is  a premier teaching and research school in the region.

Centres and Institutes

These include:

  1. Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies (IAGAS) located at the Museum Hill.
  2. Institute for Development Studies (IDS) located on 5th Floor of Gandhi Wing.
  3. Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (IDIS) located at 8.4.4. Building.
  4.  Population Studies and Research Institute located at Hyslop Building, Main Campus.
  5. The Centre for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) located at the Parklands Campus.
  6. African Women Studies Centre located at the Kenya Science and Main Campuses.
  7. The Centre for Translation and Interpretation located at the Central Catering Unit (CCU), Main Campus.
  8. Confucius Institute
  9. The Korean Centre





Decentralization of programs to Satellite Campuses

CHSS officially opened its satellite campuses in Mombasa and Kisumu in 2007.  The decentralization of programs remarkably changed how students acquired education. Students from the two cities and neighboring towns no longer needed to travel to Nairobi for studies.

Increase in Number of Professors

CHSS has steadily increased its number of faculty over time. Today, CHSS has over 100 professors thus guaranteeing students of high quality teaching and research.


State-of-the art Facilities

From state-of-the-art lecture theaters to high quality offices and labs among other, CHSS has heavily invested in high quality infrastructure to ensure students have the right tools to acquire both practical and theoretical knowledge. Some of notable facilities includes, the highly equipped department of geography lab, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications studio, the French department computer labs, the Confucious Institute lab and the School of Law’s moot Court among many other world class facilities.

Strategic Partnerships

In line with the university's vision of being a world class centre of academic excellence, the College has since the year 2002 established and maintained over 50 international and local linkages worth US$4.9 Million.

University Rankings

Through its vibrant faculty, CHSS has helped the University of Nairobi rank highly in university rankings across the globe including the Times world university ranking, QS world university ranking and webometrics ranking of world university among others. In 2016, for example, The University of Nairobi was ranked 51-100 category for development studies worldwide by the sixth edition of the QS World University rankings.

One Stop Huduma Shop

IN 2015, CHSS launched a one-stop-shop called Huduma providing all college related services at one place. Some of the services offered at the Huduma shop includes; academic matters, procurement, finance, human resource and general customer service enquiries. With quality customer service being one of the core values of the college, Huduma tremendously improved customer service delivery.