Humanities is an interdepartmental major that offers an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the study of the arts within their historical and cultural context. As a direct result of its encouragement of interdisciplinary approaches to the analysis and interpretation of literature, music, film, art, and modern media, humanities offers an opportunity for students and faculty to pursue a wide variety of approaches to these areas.   

Humanities is committed to a profoundly comparative perspective enabling students and faculty to bring together not only different arts, but works drawn from different eras and cultures, Western and non-Western alike.   

The undergraduate degree in humanities emphasizes knowledge and awareness of:

  • the ways cultures and traditions define both themselves and each other;
  • the formal, rhetorical, and ideological properties of cultural texts in a variety of forms and media (literature, history, philosophy, film, music, visual arts, architecture, dance, theatre, performance);
  • the dynamic relationships between texts and their social and historical contexts;
  • the genres and modes of texts and their production, transformation, and reception; and
  • the theoretical and ideological underpinnings and implications of one’s own and others’ interpretive approaches and assumptions.   

In addition, students completing the degree in humanities are expected to acquire the ability and skills to:

  • analyze and interpret texts in a variety of forms and media;
  • articulate such analyses and interpretations at a sophisticated level in both written and oral forms;
  • discern similarities and differences among individual works, artistic media, historical periods, and cultural traditions;
  • reason critically; and
  • explore the connections between contemporary issues and academic work.

Course code for this program is HUMN.

Bachelor's Degree Program(s)

Bachelor's Degree in Humanities

Required Courses  and Semester Credit Hours

  • HUMN 1010 and 1020 Introduction to Humanities 1 and 2—12
  • HUMN 2000 Methods and Approaches to the Humanities—3
  • Upper-division HUMN courses—15
  • Area of concentration: either a single language/literature (English or a foreign language, ancient or modern; first-year language courses may not be counted) or a field related to the humanities, such as history, art history, anthropology, etc.—18
    (At least 12 of these 18 hours must be taken at the upper-division level.)
  • Secondary field: courses chosen from one other humanities-related discipline such as fine arts, music, dance, theatre, film, philosophy, foreign language literature (first-year language courses may not be counted), or other discipline—12

Graduating in Four Years

Consult the Four-Year Guarantee Requirements for information on eligibility. Because the humanities major is unique in requiring courses from a number of different departments in addition to its own courses, it is imperative that students wishing to graduate in four years declare the major early and meet regularly with a major advisor. The concept of “adequate progress” as it is used here refers only to maintaining eligibility for the four-year guarantee; it is not a requirement for the major. To maintain adequate progress in humanities, students should meet the following requirements:

  • Complete the lower-division sequence HUMN 1010–1020 by the end of the fourth semester.
  • Complete at least two lower-division courses in the secondary field and/or area of concentration by the end of the fourth semester.
  • Complete 15 of the remaining 42 credit hours at the upper-division level by the end of the sixth semester—at least two of these must be upper-division humanities courses.
  • Complete all remaining required courses (no more than 27 credits) by the end of the eighth semester.