What Are Humanities Classes?
Humanities-related courses are part of most undergraduate degree program curricula, and students may also choose to major in this field. Students who choose to major in humanities can pursue a broad range of career options after completing their degrees.
At the graduate level, students delve more deeply into art and cultural theory and interpretation. They may do scholarly research, write a thesis or dissertation, and participate in advanced seminars. There are many graduate degrees within the humanities field, but Master's of Humanities programs are also available.
Opportunities for study abroad may be available at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Common concepts taught in humanities courses include:
- Cultural values
- Social movements
List of Common Humanities Classes
Western Culture Course
This overview course introduces students to the various developments in the art, literature, music, philosophy, and architecture of Western culture. Major eras covered include Medieval, Early Renaissance, and Byzantine. Class discussions and lectures address the similarities and differences in moral and ethical values in Western culture throughout the ages.
World Mythology Course
Myths can be viewed as a reflection of the ideals and values of a culture. This course studies the legends, myths, and folktales of many different cultures throughout the ages as depicted in art, literature, and drama. Although myths of any culture in the world can be studied, some of the more common include those of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, African, and Asian cultures.
Arts in 20th Century Western Culture Course
This course examines the art, literature, music, and other performing arts of Western culture through an interdisciplinary perspective. Emphasis is placed on the way the aesthetic, social, and cultural values of Western society are reflected in various art forms. Students may be required to attend one or more cultural events, such as music or dance performances or an art show.
Non-Western Culture Course
This course functions as an introduction to some of the larger cultural groups in the world. Coursework addresses the primary artistic and intellectual achievements of African, Asian, South American, Islamic, and Native American cultures. Philosophy, visual art, music, literature, and other performing arts are briefly touched upon in this overview course, along with the ways in which they compare and contrast to those of Western culture.
Modern European Humanities Course
Students in this course study the artistic, literary, dramatic, political, philosophical, and historical accomplishments and output of Europe during the period from the end of the Enlightenment to the 20th century. Course topics require students to read famous and influential works and write essays relating to the influence this period had on contemporary life.
Readings in World Literature
This course covers literary works from around the world and from a range of time periods. Students will use what they are reading to analyze the relationship that individuals have with the larger society and will discuss the challenges that come with reading texts from a different culture than their own, including the complexity of reading literature that has been translated from its original language.