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Mary K. Jaeger, Program Director


837 Prince Lucien Campbell Hall

Program Committee

Ina Asim, history

Christopher Eckerman, classics

Kenneth S. Calhoon, comparative literature

Mary K. Jaeger, classics

James C. Mohr, history

John Nicols, history

George J. Sheridan Jr., history

General Information

The curriculum of the Humanities Program provides opportunities for the student seeking intellectual coherence and integration, awareness of cultural contexts and traditions, and the connection of humanistic theory to practice. The program is pluralistic and multicultural in its vision and interdisciplinary in its approach. It is designed to provide essential skills and understanding for intelligent action and preparation for a wide range of careers.

Undergraduate Studies

Major Requirements

The humanities major is an interdisciplinary bachelor of arts (BA) degree program. Proficiency in at least one second language, a requirement for the BA degree, is central to the humanities major. Although majors are not required to do more than meet the BA requirement, it is strongly recommended that they continue language study in upper-division courses.

The major in humanities requires 48 or 52 credits. Grades of mid-C or better must be earned in courses taken to satisfy major requirements. For graduation, humanities majors must maintain at least a 2.00 grade point average (GPA) in required courses. No upper-division course may be used to satisfy more than one major requirement.

Introduction to the Major (4 or 8 credits)

Two courses from Introduction to the Humanities I,II,III (HUM 101, 102, 103) or Themes in the Humanities (HUM 300), which is recommended for students who declare the major in the junior or senior year.

Breadth Requirement (16 credits)

One course taken in each of the four areas listed below. At least two of these must be upper-division courses, and all four courses must be group satisfying.

  1. Arts (music history, theater history, art history)
  2. Philosophy
  3. Classics
  4. History
Concentration (28 upper-division credits)

Students must submit a brief essay defending the coherence of the concentration and outlining the seven courses they plan to take. No more than three of the seven courses may be taken in any one department. Students should choose at least one Seminar (407) as part of their concentration.


Honors in humanities allows a student to focus on an area of concentration in a written thesis. Requirements are as follows:

  1. Satisfaction of the requirements for the major
  2. A grade point average of 3.50 or better in courses taken to meet the upper-division requirements of the major
  3. A senior thesis of substantial quality, approved by the thesis director and at least one member of the program committee
Courses from Other Departments

Students may be interested in the following courses. See home departments for descriptions.

Classics. Greek and Roman Epic (CLAS 301), Greek and Roman Tragedy (CLAS 302), Classical Greek Philosophers (CLAS 303), Classic Myths (CLAS 321)

History. Early China (HIST 387), Ancient Greece (HIST 412), Ancient Rome (HIST 414), The Idea of Europe (HIST 420), Cultural History of the Enlightenment (HIST 426), Intellectual History of Modern Europe (HIST 427)

Philosophy. History of Philosophy (PHIL 310, 311, 312), Introduction to Philosophy of Science (PHIL 339), Ancient Philosophers (PHIL 421)

Theater Arts. Studies in Theater and Culture (TA 471)

Kindergarten through Secondary Teaching Careers

Students who complete a degree with a major in humanities are eligible to apply to the College of Education’s fifth-year programs for a license in middle-secondary teaching or elementary teaching. More information is available in the College of Education section of this catalog. Students who want to teach language arts need more preparation in grammar, literature, and writing. Students who want to teach social studies need more preparation in history, economics, American government, culture, and society.

Graduate Studies

Humanities Courses (HUM)

Introduction to the Humanities I,II,III (HUM 101, 102, 103) is offered every year; other humanities courses may be offered periodically. Current offerings are listed in the class schedule.

101 Introduction to the Humanities I (4) Ideas and modes of vision Western culture has inherited from the classical period. Readings and discussions focus on literature, philosophy, history, the arts, and religion.

102 Introduction to the Humanities II (4) Ideas and modes of vision Western culture has inherited from the medieval to the Renaissance periods. Readings and discussions focus on literature, philosophy, history, the arts, and religion.

103 Introduction to the Humanities III (4) Ideas and modes of vision Western culture has inherited from the Age of Enlightenment to the modern period. Readings and discussions focus on literature, philosophy, the arts, and science.

199 Special Studies: [Topic] (1–5R)

245 Culture and Food (4) The study of food in the Ancient Greco-Roman world using historical, literary, and practical approaches.

260 Postwar European Culture (4) Addresses the broad history and culture of 20th-century Europe through humanistic themes and texts that reflect various aspects of that experience.

300 Themes in the Humanities (4) Interdisciplinary and multimedia introduction to the study of the humanities. Analysis of such themes as tragedy in music, literature, and art.

315 Introduction to African Studies (4) Surveys the cultural, social, political, and economic diversity of historical and contemporary Africa. Emphasizes sub-Saharan Africa.

354 The City (4) Examines the urban experience in reference to law, culture, and systems of belief (e.g., classical Athens, Renaissance Florence, 20th-century Berlin).

355 The American City (4) Study of the great American city from the colonial period to the present, particularly New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

361 Ancient Science and Culture (4) Explores the subject, practice, and social place of science in the ancient world.

399 Special Studies: [Topic] (1–5R) Problem-oriented course designed to explore new topics or approaches to studies in the humanities.

403 Thesis (1–6R)

405 Reading and Conference: [Topic] (1–6R)

407 Seminar: [Topic] (1–5R)

409 Practicum: [Topic] (1–5R) R with consent of instructor and program director.

410/510 Experimental Course: [Topic] (1–5R)