The Faculty of Arts is one of the oldest academic divisions in the Obafemi Awolowo University. It is one of the Faculties established at the inception of the University in 1962.

The Faculty started with four academic departments: Religious Studies and Philosophy; English, History and Modern European Languages. In 1975, the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy was broken into two Departments: Religious Studies and Philosophy. In the same year, the Department of Modern Languages was changed to Modern European Languages.

In 1990, the Department again changed its name to Department of Foreign Languages. Between 1975 and 1976, the following new Departments were created: African Languages and Literatures, Fine Arts, Dramatic Arts, and Music. The Department of Fine Arts was relocated to the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management in 1990.

With eight academic Departments and the Institute of Cultural Studies, the Faculty of Arts is one of the largest in the University. Each of the eight Departments runs B.A. degree programmes. The Department of Foreign Languages runs three BA programmes – one each for French, German and Portuguese. Many Departments including African Languages and Literatures, Dramatic Arts, Foreign Languages and Music run sub-degree certificate and diploma programmes. All Departments run postgraduate programmes.

The Faculty of Arts started operating the course unit system during the 1978/79 academic year. This led to a total revision of the scope and content of courses in the Faculty at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our courses continue to benefit from constant review in order to respond to changes and development in the various disciplines.