Established in 1972 as one of the first two faculties at Birzeit University, the Faculty of Arts is now the largest faculty on campus in terms of number of the various degree programs it offers and enrollment (currently more than 2,800 students).

The first cohort of Faculty of Arts bachelor degree graduated in 1976, consisting of 43 students only. 

Faculty members are involved in various areas of research in the fields of sociology, cultural studies, geography, history, and language and literature studies. Current research activities include national identity, psychological coping, gender and schooling, democracy education, curriculum analysis, social movements, empowerment, violence against children, the documentation of demolished villages in historic Palestine, Palestinian heritage and folklore, identity and democracy, land degradation and desertification, water and environment pollution, natural resources and management, regional and urban planning, population studies, comparative literature and linguistics, history of Palestine, Palestinian nationalism, the Zionist movement, and conflict management and resolution.

The Faculty carries out community outreach programs in education and national curriculum development. Moreover, the Faculty provides various consulting services, training programs and evaluation services of local institutions. It also holds public lectures, conferences and art exhibitions. 

The Faculty offers programs leading to Master degrees in: Arab – Muslim History, Contemporary Arab Studies, Geography, Sociology, Community Psychology and Arabic.  

The Faculty also offers the following non-degree programs: Women's Studies, and Palestine and Arabic Studies Program (PAS).