The Faculty of Arts is one of the oldest Faculties in the University. It is among the first Faculties established in 1962.The years 1975 and 1976 were significant in the history of the Faculty. Until 1975, the Faculty had four Departments- Religious Studies and Philosophy, Modern Languages, History and English. In the same year, the Faculty also witnessed increase in the number of Departments due to dissolution of the Institute of African Studies which had managed the intersection of different disciplines and aspects of culture. Emerging from the defunct Institute were African Languages and Literatures, Fine Arts, Dramatic Arts, Music and Linguistics.

The Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy was split into two separate Departments, while Department of English language was divided into Departments of Literature in English and Language Arts. In 1978/1979, the Department of Language Arts was changed to English Language. While the Department of Modern Languages retained its singular unit, its name was changed to Modern European Languages in 1983. In the same year, Department of Archaeology was carved out of the Department of History, while the Institute of Cultural Studies replaced the defunct Institute of African Studies.

Thus, the number of Departments in the Faculty increased to twelve and one Institute of Cultural Studies.

Today, the Faculty of Arts has eight Departments namely: Dramatic Arts, English Language, Foreign Languages, History, Linguistics and African Languages, Music, Philosophy and Religious Studies.