The origins of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences date back to the Department of Philosophy, which was founded in 1984 as the Institute of Philosophy at the then university college.

An independent Faculty of Humanities was founded in 1993, covering the disciplines of philosophy, study of religions, Jewish studies and history, which then experienced rapid growth after the University of Lucerne was founded in 2000. 


After the university was founded, the original subject scope was widened to cover sociology and then studies in culture, political science, ethnology, economics, health sciences and health policy and science studies. The student body grew from 40 to around 800 over the course of ten years. 

2007 saw the faculty being renamed: the department was rechristened the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, a description which better represented the faculty’s increased subject scope and emphatically interdisciplinary academic profile.