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The Major


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.

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.



The degree plan shown is only a sample of how students may complete their degrees in four years. There are alternative ways. Students should consult their advisor to determine the best path for them.

A series of more specialized courses also meets Group I, Arts and Letters, requirements. Such courses are taught at least once a year. For specific information on material covered in each course, consult the Course Catalog or see the list below.  You can also consult our list of Current Courses.

Honors in Humanities

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

Humanities courses in the catalog

  • HUM 215: Introduction to African Studies

    Surveys the cultural, social, political and economic diversity of historical and contemporary Africa, with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa.

  • HUM 240: Medical Humanities

    Explores questions about health, well-being, medicine and social inequality in the 21st c.

  • HUM 245: Food, Art, and Literature

    Examines food as a mode of human expression, as well as its representation in art and literature. Time periods and regions covered reflect the instructor’s interest and expertise.

  • HUM 260: Postwar European Culture

    Addresses the broad history of Europe since 1945 in the light of humanistic themes and texts.

  • HUM 300: Themes in the Humanities

    Interdisciplinary and multimedia introduction to the study of the humanities. Analysis of such themes as tragedy in music, literature, and art.

  • HUM 354: The City

    Examines the urban experience in reference to law, culture, and systems of belief. Cities covered reflect the instructor’s interest and expertise.

  • HUM 355: The American City

    Covering culture and civic life in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.