In 1955, by request of Alberto Lleras Camargo, president of the university, Professor Ramón de Zubiría founded the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and designed an undergraduate program that was offered since the beginning of 1956. The goals of the faculty were then focused on renovating the Colombian humanistic tradition and training philosophy, literature, and language teachers. De Zubiría became Dean of the faculty and, three years later, Danilo Cruz Vélez assumed the role. Thanks to the work of De Zubiría and Cruz Vélez, the faculty had a clear orientation: the study of philosophical and literary texts. This orientation was strengthened when a literature section became firmly established, first with the arrival, in 1962, of Eduardo Camacho Guizado as a professor, and, in the following years with the arrival of some of his students, such as María Teresa Cristina, Gustavo Mejía Londoño, and Montserrat Ordóñez.

Thus, until 1982, the faculty awarded the degree of “Bachelor in Philosophy and Letters,” since, in 1983 the structure of the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Philosophy and Letters was reformed. After that, the new Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences were created, and the Department of Philosophy and Letters became part of the latter. Through an order from the ICFES (Colombian Institute for the Assessment of Education Quality), the degree “Bachelor in Philosophy and Letters” was changed to “Philosopher,” a degree that was also awarded to literature students until the year 1995, when the Board of Trustees approved the separation of the degrees “Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy” and “Bachelor of Arts in Literature.” Two years later, the Faculty Arts and Humanities was created, which incorporated creative disciplines: Art, Music, and Literature. Literary studies then joined the humanities, in the Department of Humanities and Literature, and the Executive Committee of the University approved the implementation of the undergraduate degree in Literature.

In 2006, the Department of Humanities and Literature launched its Master’s degree program in Literature, and in 2011, the doctorate program was approved, and its courses began in 2012. Currently, the Department has 15 full-time faculty members and 7 adjunct faculty members.