DavidThe Certificate in Western Civilization is intended for students who focus a portion of their university studies on the foundations of western thought and society. Its emphasis is coursework focusing on languages and cultures, science, the arts, philosophy, law and government in their ancient, medieval and modern forms.

What is a Certificate in Western Civ?

A certificate is the equivalent of an inter-disciplinary minor. Our undergraduate certificate program is for students interested in a rigorous grounding in Western culture, reflecting on its traditions and values. The program allows you to study Western culture, science, and government in their ancient, medieval, and modern forms. The curriculum embraces over 30 courses taught by faculty in departments that include art history, classics, English, German, history, humanities, Italian, philosophy, political science, and religious studies.


To obtain the certificate you must take eight classes pertaining to Western civilization. The range of topics is vast, running from Greek antiquity all the way to the modern era, and extending over the full range of topics within the humanities. What unifies the curriculum is a desire to see students engage with the values that animate Western society, a foundation that they can build on through more specialized course work within their own majors and can continue to draw on for the entirety of their adult lives. 

The certificate requires the completion with a grade of C- or better of 24 credit hours, at least nine hours of which must be taken from a menu of required courses, and at least 12 hours of which must be taken at the upper-division level (3000 or higher). No more than three courses (or nine credit hours) may be taken from within the student's major. 

For more information about the Certificate, contact the Center Director.