The Liberal Arts (Latin, artes liberales “the skills of a free man”) are those academic disciplines which, since classical times, have constituted and defined the learning possessed by an educated citizen of a free society. The Liberal Arts instill in devotees a capacity for self management, fluency in self expression, and an inclination to lead others through the persuasion of deed and word. The Humanities are the interdisciplinary subset of the Liberal Arts focused upon the products of human culture (as opposed to mathematics and the natural sciences). These include literature, language, history, philosophy, theology, music and the other fine arts. A major in humanities major discovers that the study of these subjects hones critical skills in assessment and differentiation of cultural artifacts through a deep analysis of their composition, a critical appreciation of their historic and social situation, and a reflective evaluation of one’s own relationship to those artifacts.

Program Overview

The major in Humanities, like the Classics major, combines language, literature, and culture. The major requires 12 units of pre-major lower-division course work and 30 units of upper-division courses, taken both in and out of the Department. The major requires foreign language study at the upper-division (as detailed in the catalogue for each language choice). There are two emphases: Global Humanities and European Humanities. The Global program provides a contrast between the Western and non-Western traditions. The European emphasis highlights the Western Tradition from the Ancient Mediterranean World to the 21st century. All Humanities majors are required to take the Senior Seminar and to submit a senior portfolio.

Special Features

Humanities majors can boast of these aspects of their Department’s resources:

  • flexibility in the design of individual curriculum which allows students to select courses outside the Department to augment and diversity the program; this makes for easy arrangement of study abroad.
  • small language classes, close academic advising, and the fellowship of a small department with diverse interests.
  • access to the Burnett Classics Seminar Room with its library and media resources.
  • Umanisti, the student interest club of Classics and Humanities majors which supports extra curricular events such as museum visits, group purchases of tickets for theatre and music events, and lunchtime movie series.

Career Opportunities

Classics majors are well prepared for law school, and with supplementary coursework in business, economics, or information systems, a Classics graduate can be very competitive in the business world. Classics graduates also have an advantage as editors, librarians, journalists, and technical writers. Opportunities are available in public relations, government, and other fields where general knowledge, perspective, and a facility with language serve not only the public good but one’s own success.

To further explore career options in this field, visit the Career Services website.

General Catalog

You can view more complete information in the General Catalog. All students are responsible for reading and knowing the information pertinent to their areas of study available in the General Catalog. It contains requirements for all academic majors, course descriptions, policies, and regulations governing progress at the university. Catalogs are distributed at all New Student Orientation programs. To order a Catalog, call (619) 594-7535.