Updates to the major start fall semester 2020.

Students who added the major prior to Fall 2020 can opt to finish their degree according to these previous requirements or they may adopt the new requirements. We strongly recommend that students discuss the options with your advisor as well as Humanities Director of Undergraduate Studies Annjeanette Wiese. 

These requirements remain optional for students who added the major before Fall 2020.

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

  1. Introduction to Humanities courses (12 hours): 

    • HUMN 1110 Literature I (3 hours)
    • HUMN 1210 Art and Music I (3 hours)
    • HUMN 1120 Literature II (3 hours)
    • HUMN 1220 Art and Music II (3 hours)
  2. HUMN 2000: Methods/Approaches to Humanities (3 hours)

  3. Upper-division HUMN courses (HUMN) (15 hours)

  4. 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.

  5. 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 (pre-2020 requirements):

  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 (CTD—Creative Technology & Design, previously Technology, Arts, & 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 concentration 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 concentration 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. Students who wish to adopt a science-based area should use this option.


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 option for outside areas of study 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 outside areas of study; however, no more than 6 credits may be used in any one discipline.

No more than 9 hours of studio classes may be applied to an outside area (applicable to disciplines such as Art, Music, Film, Theatre, and Dance).

Expository writing courses are not applicable to an outside area.

Internships may not count as upper-division HUMN but may count in an outside area 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 outside area 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).

Science-based courses are not applicable to an area of emphasis (e.g., PSYC 3101, Statistics, PSYC 2012, and 2022, Biopsychology).

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