Online Undergraduate Degrees in Humanities: Program Options

Dec 04, 2019

Essential Information

Online associate's degree programs in humanities are relatively easy to find. These programs are designed to prepare the graduate to transfer to a bachelor's degree program or for a wide variety of entry-level careers. Some associate's level courses require on-campus labs. Bachelor's degree programs can also be found in a fully online format. Some careers, such as social work, require a minimum of a bachelor's degree. Some careers also require professional licensing, certification, or registration, so check for state-specific requirements for your chosen career field when choosing a degree program.

Associate's Degree in Humanities

Associate's-level instruction in the humanities is available through several online Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Humanities and Social Sciences degree programs. The A.A. in Humanities and Social Sciences degree program covers a wide range of knowledge at a more basic level instead of an in-depth focus on a single subject. These degree programs are intended for introducing college students to various fields and prepare them for a course of study at the baccalaureate level. Students enrolled in these degree programs study topics as diverse as art, economics, journalism, mathematics and psychology, while simultaneously developing reasoning and communication skills and broadening their overall world view.

Program Information and Requirements

The Associate of Arts in Humanities and Social Sciences degree program requires 60-65 credit hours for graduation. This degree program can be completed entirely online without any campus visits, though certain elective courses may have on-campus lab requirements. Due to the large amount of electives, these courses can be avoided through careful curriculum construction.

The online courses are presented asynchronously, which allows students to complete assignments and view archived lectures at any time as long as deadlines are met. Students interact with their instructors and peers through online message boards, chat rooms and e-mails.

Common Associate's-Level Humanities Courses

The curriculum of an associate's degree in humanities is composed almost entirely of electives with only a few specific English classes required. Students are given the freedom to customize their curriculum, but certain amounts of credit hours must be attained in areas such as fine arts, mathematics and social sciences.

English Composition

This course covers the basic writing skills and processes necessary to compose college-level essays of all different styles and purposes. Techniques involving content development, research, material organization and oral presentation are highlighted. Professional writing examples are read to help students understand the main functions of academic essays and written language as a whole.

Art History

Art forms such as painting, sculpture and architecture are examined and discussed for their historical and cultural relevancy. The major developments in visual arts that occurred in eras ranging from ancient to modern times are studied. The major artists and artistic works that defined these periods are identified.


Students are acquainted with the main concepts and theories of Western philosophy. The most important philosophers are analyzed as well as their most important writings and contributions to the field of philosophy. Different areas of philosophy such as epistemology, philosophy of mind and political philosophy are examined, as well as their relationship to the arts and sciences.

Bachelor's Degree in Humanities

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Humanities degree programs are available through entirely online formats. A humanities concentration also exists within B.A. in Liberal Studies degree programs. These degree programs provide an in-depth examination of global cultures and civilizations of the past and present as well as their languages and ideologies. Other subjects studied include religion, music, anthropology and women's studies. These degree programs also provide students with problem solving, decision-making and researching skills that apply to multiple disciplines and career paths.

Program Information and Requirements

A total of 120-126 credit hours is required for completion of the bachelor's degree program in humanities. These degree programs are conducted 100% online and require no campus visits. Online course materials are presented using a web-portal such as Desire2Learn. Students do not need to attend the online classes at any specific time or place, though assignments may have specific deadline requirements.

Common Bachelor's-Level Humanities Courses

The bachelor's degree program in humanities combines classes from a variety of different disciplines. There are general education classes in areas such as English, science and mathematics. The rest of the curriculum consists of core courses, concentration courses and a large amount of electives. Some schools also require a capstone class or prospectus project to be completed senior year.

American History

This course illustrates the major events in American history from the earliest inhabitants to modern times. The causes and effects of the major U.S. wars such as the American Revolution and the Civil War are studied. Other topics examined include the fundamentals of American government, the economics of capitalism and the diverse nature of the U.S. population.


Students are encouraged to examine the fundamental notions of 'right' and 'wrong' and how they influence the important decisions that one must make over the course of his life. Methods for making effective decisions based on ethical theories and issues are highlighted. Topics such as justice, privacy and accountability are studied, as well as different philosophical orientations such as hedonism and utilitarianism.

Jazz Studies

Jazz music is analyzed from cultural, social and historical viewpoints. The important jazz artists are identified and studied through listening to CDs and watching videos of live performances. The African-American jazz legacy is emphasized as well as the racial and multicultural aspects of jazz music. Students of this class are required to attend a live jazz concert and turn in a review of it.

Career Information

The broad nature of an associate's degree in humanities prepares its graduates for a wide range of occupations. Administrative assistant and secretary are some jobs that are commonly held by people with an associate's degree in humanities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of May 2018, there were 2,165,310 secretaries and administrative assistants earning a median yearly salary of $36,630 (

A bachelor's degree in humanities offers education and training for employment in various positions. Some specific jobs that people with this degree can obtain are meeting and convention planner, social worker and translator. As of May 2018, the BLS reported the 110,120 meeting, convention and event planners, 320,170 child, school and family social workers, and 57,140 interpreters and translators earning median yearly salaries of $49,370, $46,270 and $49,930, respectively, during that time.

Continuing Education

A Bachelor of Arts in Humanities acts as a prerequisite for advancement into a wide variety of graduate degree programs, many of which can also be taken online. Additionally, Master of Arts in Humanities degree programs are available, which also have online options. These degree programs are designed to help students advance their careers and expand their knowledge base.

Associate's and bachelor's degree programs in humanities are offered completely online. Associate's programs teach students a wide range of knowledge through completion of many elective courses, while bachelor's programs normally select a concentration to gain a more in-depth knowledge in a certain topic.

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