Major Spotlight: What is a Humanities Major?
If you are interested in art, music, literature, and languages, you might consider turning your passion for the humanities into a college degree. The humanities major includes course work throughout the humanities disciplines.
Students learn to examine the common issues, ideas, and themes that run throughout different cultures and throughout human history. As a humanities major, you’ll gain the ability to reason critically, communicate effectively, and make connections across broad fields of knowledge.
Students of humanities programs take a multidisciplinary approach to education. Programs combine study of languages, literatures, art, music, philosophy, and religion.
Did You Know?
Most humanities courses include a great deal of reading, writing, and discussion.
Are You Ready To...?
- Make connections between different subjects and disciplines
- Approach literature and art from a variety of perspectives
- Discuss course work with professors and other students
- Sharpen your oral communication and writing skills
- Do a lot of reading
It Helps To Be...
Curious, able to draw connections across different subjects, and a strong writer and speaker.
- Is this major housed in its own department, or is it pulled together from different departments?
- What are the backgrounds and interests of the professors?
- What core courses are required?
- How easy is it to transfer to other majors?
- Will you have the chance to study abroad?
- Will you be required to learn a foreign language?
Did You Know?
A senior project, often in the form of a long paper, is usually required in this major.
Since one of the main goals of the humanities major is to teach students to communicate well, a course or two in communication is often required. You may take a class in rhetoric, the art of speaking and writing effectively. Through a lot of reading (often going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans), class discussion, and your own writing, you’ll learn how we use language to change attitudes and behavior. You’ll not only improve your own speaking and writing skills, but also apply concepts you’ve learned in history, philosophy, and literary theory classes.