Mary K. Jaeger, Program Director
335 Susan Campbell Hall

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.


Program Committee

P, Lowell Bowditch, classics

Yvonne A. Braun, international studies

Kevin D. Dicus, classics

Katya E. Hokanson, comparative literature 

Mary Jaeger, classics

Jeffrey S. Librett, German and Scandinavian  

F. Regina Psaki, Romance languages

George J. Sheridan Jr., history

Michael Stern, German and Scandinavian 

Lisa Wolverton, history

Mary E. Wood, English 

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.

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.

Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements

Introductory Courses
Option 18
Select two of the following:
Introduction to the Humanities I
Introduction to the Humanities II
Introduction to the Humanities III
Option 2
HUM 300Themes in the Humanities 14
Breadth Requirement 2
Arts (music history, theater history, art history) (see Courses from Other Department below)4
Philosophy (see Courses from Other Department below)4
Classics (see Courses from Other Department below)4
History (see Courses from Other Department below)4
Seven upper-division courses in concentration 328
Total Credits48-52

Recommended for students who declare the major in the junior or senior year.


At least two breadth requirement courses must be in the upper division, and all four courses must be group satisfying.


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. 

Courses from Other Departments

Students may be interested in the following courses:

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

History. Early China (HIST 387), Ancient Greece: [Topic] (HIST 412), Ancient Rome: [Topic] (HIST 414), The Idea of Europe (HIST 420), Intellectual History of Modern Europe: [Topic] (HIST 427)

Philosophy. History of Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval (PHIL 310), History of Philosophy: Modern (PHIL 311), History of Philosophy: 19th Century (PHIL 312), Introduction to Philosophy of Science (PHIL 339), Ancient Philosophers: [Topic] (PHIL 421)

Theater Arts. Studies in Theater and Culture: [Topic] (TA 471)


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

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.


Course usage information

HUM 101. Introduction to the Humanities I. 4 Credits.

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.

Course usage information

HUM 102. Introduction to the Humanities II. 4 Credits.

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.

Course usage information

HUM 103. Introduction to the Humanities III. 4 Credits.

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.

Course usage information

HUM 199. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

HUM 215. Introduction to African Studies. 4 Credits.

An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of African Studies. Evaluates the social, cultural, political, economic and environmental diversity of and issues affecting historical and contemporary Africa and African peoples.

Course usage information

HUM 240. Medical Humanities. 4 Credits.

Examines the intersection of literature, philosophy, history, and the arts with medical theory and practice.

Course usage information

HUM 245. Food, Art, and Literature. 4 Credits.

The study of food in the Ancient Greco-Roman world, ancient China, or the modern world using historical, literary, and practical approaches.

Course usage information

HUM 260. Postwar European Culture. 4 Credits.

Addresses the broad history and culture of 20th century Europe through humanistic themes and texts that reflect aspects of that experience.

Course usage information

HUM 298. Temporary Group-Satisfying Course. 4 Credits.

Course usage information

HUM 300. Themes in the Humanities. 4 Credits.

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

Course usage information

HUM 354. The City. 4 Credits.

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

Course usage information

HUM 355. The American City. 4 Credits.

Study of the great American city from the colonial period to the present, particularly New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Course usage information

HUM 361. Ancient Science and Culture. 4 Credits.

Explores the subject, practice, and social place of science in the ancient world.

Course usage information

HUM 399. Special Studies: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Problem-oriented course designed to explore new topics or approaches to studies in the humanities. Repeatable.

Course usage information

HUM 403. Thesis. 1-6 Credits.


Course usage information

HUM 405. Reading and Conference: [Topic]. 1-6 Credits.


Course usage information

HUM 407. Seminar: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

HUM 409. Practicum: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.

Repeatable with consent of instructor and program head.

Course usage information

HUM 410. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.


Course usage information

HUM 510. Experimental Course: [Topic]. 1-5 Credits.