Interim Dean: Brooke Choo, PhD
Academic Chair: Jamie Poster, PhD
Faculty: Stephen Felder, PhD; Jamie Poster, PhD
The humanities curriculum integrates the study of history, literature, philosophy, and the arts in an effort to address the fundamental questions of cultural meaning and value common to humanistic fields and methods. Courses are offered in selected major themes or issues that frequently cut across traditional cultural or historical boundaries. The curriculum emphasizes the close study of a variety of cultural texts, artifacts, and events in order to explore not only traditional assertions regarding the values of culture but also the criticism of those assertions, in a historical as well as contemporary light. Courses offered in the curriculum meet general education and transfer requirements in humanities and may be applied to a major in humanities for an Associate in Arts degree.
The humanities major allows students generally interested in literature, history, philosophy, film studies, and art history and criticism to elect a general rather than specific emphasis to their degree. The major offers much diversity in terms of choices, and thus provides the opportunity for students to tailor the degree to meet their own interests and concerns. Humanities majors learn in particular how to read and write critically and how to synthesize complex ideas from a variety of sources, often diverse in kind and in time.
The major is appropriate for students interested in a “general studies” degree at the lower-division level; its focus on the close study and criticism of culture makes the major applicable for students seeking careers in law, education, government, public affairs, journalism, and writing. The humanities major is also an excellent choice for students whose educational intentions are uncertain or undecided, or for students intending to pursue an upper-division education in literature, history, philosophy, or study of the arts.
Students majoring in the humanities should complete both Writing 1 and Writing 2 in fulfillment of the language and rationality requirements within the general education package. The department recommends that humanities majors do not select a humanities course to meet the humanities requirement for general education, but explore related subjects in the humanities that may be of interest to them.
Program Student Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the humanities program, students will be able to
- Identify, analyze, and evaluate the epistemological assertions, metaphysical assumptions, and shared understandings that undergird particular cultural understandings as reflected in works of literature, art, architecture, and philosophy.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply a given theoretical model to a representative text of cultural significance.
- Demonstrate willingness and ability to analyze ideas, historical events, and cultural texts from diverse origins.
- Demonstrate the ability to construct a critical argument synthesizing multiple perspectives or points of view.
Humanities majors are well prepared for careers that require the application of strong interpretive skills. Examples include the following:
- International Relations
- Law Enforcement
- Public Relations
- Public Policy
Furthermore, humanities majors may be attractive to employers seeking individuals who understand the complexities and diversities of human culture and can communicate cross-culturally.
ProgramsAssociate in Arts