A total of 60 credit hours is required for the major.

A. 12 hours: Introduction to Humanities—HUMN 1110, 1210, 1120, 1220 (formerly HUMN 1010/1020)

B. 3 hours: HUMN 2000 (Methods and Approaches to the Humanities)

C. 15 hours: Upper-division courses in Humanities (HUMN)

D. First area of concentration: 18 hours in one discipline chosen from the following list (see your advisor for possible additional disciplines). 12 of the 18 hours must be upper-division.

E. Second area of concentration: 12 hours in a different discipline chosen from the following list (see your advisor for possible additional disciplines). There is no upper-division requirement for this area of concentration.

Possible disciplines for areas of concentration:

  1. English literature (Literature in translation may also fit here.)
  2. A foreign language/literature such as FrenchGermanItalianRussian, or Spanish (First year courses in a foreign language cannot be counted.)
  3. Art/Art History
  4. Music
  5. Philosophy
  6. Film Studies
  7. History
  8. Classics
  9. Psychology
  10. Sociology
  11. Political Science
  12. Cultural Anthropology
  13. Human Geography
  14. Women’s Studies
  15. Ethnic Studies
  16. Asian Studies
  17. Religious Studies
  18. Jewish Studies
  19. Linguistics
  20. Communication
  21. Creative Writing
  22. Theatre
  23. Dance
  24. TAM (Technology, Arts, and Media)
  25. INVST (Community Studies)

NB: Some of the above areas are better only for the second area of concentration due to the difficulty of getting into enough upper-division classes. Please see the HUMN advisor before making the final choice of your two areas of concentration.

Humanities majors may, in consultation with the Humanities Program's Director of Undergraduate Studies, petition to create a unique area of emphasis for the second area. Students should select four 3-credit-hour courses that fit a particular theme of their own choosing and then present a rationale for the significance of the proposed area of emphasis and courses for their studies and future career path. This option will allow students to explore a passion they have but that CU cannot accommodate in any one department or program. Download the petition to create an independent second area of emphasis here.

Humanities Major: Language Track

For students interested in preparing for graduate work in Comparative Literature and other areas requiring extensive language training, the Humanities Program offers a Language Track.

A. 12 hours: HUMN 1110, 1210, 1120, 1220 (formerly HUMN 1010/1020)

B. 3 hours: Methods and Approaches to the Humanities (Humanities 2000)

C. 15 hours: Upper-division courses in Humanities

D. Third-year college proficiency in a primary foreign language

E. Second-year college proficiency in a secondary foreign language

F. First-year college proficiency in a tertiary foreign language

One of the three languages must be a Classical (e.g. Latin or Greek) or non-western language.

Since the number of credits for introductory language courses varies widely, it is impossible to determine the exact number of credits needed to fulfill these minimum requirements. Proficiency may be shown either by taking two courses at the appropriate level or by testing successfully at the appropriate level. Please see your academic advisor for further details.


Students who wish to receive honors can elect to write an honors thesis through The Humanities Program or through the Honors Department. More information is posted under the Honors program tab. The Humanities Department Honors Representative is Professor Paul Gordon, paul.gordon@Colorado.edu.

Course Choice Guidelines

Although the Humanities major allows a breadth of choice, there are a few restrictions on which courses may count for the major. In addition, there are some cross-listed courses that may count although they have been taken in another department. These restrictions and possibilities are in part based on the areas of emphasis a student chooses. Therefore, frequent consultation with the departmental advisor is required to clarify which courses apply to an individual student’s major plan.

Some of the restrictions are as follows:

  • Up to 9 hours of lower-division AP and/or IB credits may be applied towards the primary and secondary areas of the Humanities major; however, no more than 6 credits may be used in any one area of emphasis.
  • No more than 9 hours of studio classes may be applied to an area of emphasis (applicable to areas such as Art, Music, Film, Theatre, and Dance).
  • Expository writing courses are not applicable to an area of emphasis.
  • Science-based courses are not applicable to an area of emphasis (e.g., PSYC 3101, Statistics, PSYC 2012, and 2022, Biopsychology).
  • Internships may not count as upper-division HUMN but may count in either area of emphasis if appropriate to that area.
  •  No more than three hours of Independent Study or Honors Thesis may count as upper-division HUMN.
    • If more hours are taken, they may count in an area of concentration with permission of the undergraduate advisor.
    • All upper-division Independent Study and Honors Thesis hours count towards the general upper-division hours requirement (45 hours for students in Arts and Sciences).

To clarify which courses count and which do not, see the program advisor.