Humanities, B.A.

The Humanities major focuses on the artistic, historical, religious, philosophical, and literary aspects of world cultures. This rigorous and flexible major provides a solid undergraduate education in the liberal arts that is designed to meet the needs and interests of the individual at any level of experience. The Humanities major allows the student to explore specific periods, cultures, themes, or subjects, and to integrate the knowledge of various disciplines in a unique fashion. Areas of focus may include medieval and Renaissance studies, 19th-century studies, 20th-century studies, global studies, American studies, Asian studies, French studies, classical studies, studies in art and religion, or other themes designed by the student. Courses are selected with the approval of a major advisor in the Department of Art History and Humanities.

The major is not only excellent preparation for graduate and professional study in a variety of fields, but also a solid foundation for careers in law, medicine, international business, management, journalism, publishing, public radio and television, literature, and criticism. In addition, it has proven especially exciting for those interested in foreign-language studies, as well as those returning to college to pursue their degree after a successful career.

Program Learning Goals in Humanities

Students will:

  1. Recognize and understand major artists and monuments of world art, and be able to identify the characteristics and distinguishing features of works of art and architecture in their historical and cultural settings. They will learn to make comparisons across cultures and time periods, leading to an understanding of art and culture within a global context.
  2. Demonstrate a knowledge of vocabulary specific to the visual arts and develop a proficiency in visual literacy that will prepare them for graduate study and/or careers in the visual arts, architecture, the media, and related fields.
  3. Integrate the knowledge of various Humanities disciplines in a unique fashion by creating, with the supervision of a faculty advisor, a self-designed major that integrates course work from the following areas: art history, literature, history, theology and religious studies, and/or philosophy.
  4. Engage with the curatorial and institutional dimensions of art collections and exhibitions by studying at local cultural institutions, including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art.
  5. Be able to locate, interpret, and analyze primary and secondary sources relevant to solving research problems in the visual arts.
  6. Recognize, understand, and apply critical, theoretical, and methodological approaches to the history of representation understood within broader socio-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Major Requirements

34 credit hours, at least 21 of which must be at the 300 or 400 level. The 34 hours are divided into three academic areas, as follows:

12 credit hours in Art History.

12 credit hours in Literature (in original language, if possible).

9 credit hours in History, Theology and Religious Studies, and/or Philosophy.

1 credit hour Capstone Course (AH 497).

To insure interaction of the various disciplines listed above, at least 18 of the 33 hours will be focused in an area of scholarly interest such as medieval and Renaissance studies, 19th -century studies, 20th -century studies, American studies, Asian studies, French studies, classical studies, studies in art and religion, international studies, or other themes designed by the student. The remaining courses chosen to complete the major depend on the individual student’s interests. Students may count Art History courses from the EGC and/or linked section of the Integrative Core as elective courses within the major. The additional hours of free electives beyond the Integrative Core and the Humanities major requirements allow the student to: 1) strengthen the area focus; 2) prepare for graduate study in one of the above fields; 3) pursue a related or different major or minor. Students must assemble a capstone portfolio to complete the Humanities major.

Language: While there is no additional language requirement beyond the Core the Core for the Humanities major, a reading knowledge of the Core for the Humanities major, a reading knowledge of one or more foreign languages relevant to the student’s area of focus is strongly recommended. This knowledge will enable the student to do research in depth and to pursue graduate study.

Total Credit Hours: 34