At which campus can I study this program?
Any Penn State Campus
This major helps students appreciate, understand, and interpret relationships among the arts, ideas, media, and values that have shaped Western and world cultures. Students are taught to become active learners who can synthesize, interpret, and communicate knowledge and experience through writing, speaking, and creative expression in a variety of media. The School helps students meet these goals by offering a range of interdisciplinary and discipline-based courses in the arts, art history, communication studies, English, history, literature, music, philosophy, theatre, and writing. The course of study includes interdisciplinary courses which examine topics and time periods from the perspectives of multiple Humanities disciplines. These courses engage students in cross-disciplinary critical thinking and analysis and prepare them for work in an increasingly interdisciplinary world. Students also choose two Humanities subfields to investigate in greater depth, choosing from history and global cultures; the visual and performing arts; philosophy and religious studies; and literature and writing. Students are also encouraged to combine this major with a minor in such fields as business administration, writing, and communications. The Humanities major prepares students for careers in the arts, arts administration, business, corporate communications, government, teaching, museum work, and law, as well as providing a foundation for graduate study in a liberal arts field.
What is Humanities?
Humanities is an area of study that focuses on combined studies and research in the humanities subjects as distinguished from the social and physical sciences, emphasizing languages, literatures, art, music, philosophy, religion, creative and professional writing, theater, history, and global cultures.
You Might Like This Program If...
- You are interested in critical thinking and interdisciplinary analysis.
- You are drawn to literature and the arts.
- You want to prepare for a professional field such as medicine or law.
- You want a career in the arts, teaching, communications, business, government, or museum work.
Entrance to Major
Entry to the Humanities major requires the completion of 27.1 or more credits and a 2.00 or higher cumulative grade-point average.
For the Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities, a minimum of 120 credits is required:
|Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements||24|
|Requirements for the Major||51|
3 of the 24 credits for Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements are included in the Requirements for the Major, General Education, or Electives and 0-12 credits are included in Electives if foreign language proficiency is demonstrated by examination.
Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.
The keystone symbol appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.
Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)
- Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
- Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits
- Arts (GA): 6 credits
- Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
- Humanities (GH): 6 credits
- Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
- Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits
Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)
- Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits
University Degree Requirements
First Year Engagement
All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.
Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.
First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.
6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements
- United States Cultures: 3 credits
- International Cultures: 3 credits
Writing Across the Curriculum
3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.
Total Minimum Credits
A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.
Quality of Work
Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.
Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition
The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.
B.A. Degree Requirements
Foreign Language (0-12 credits): Student must attain 12th credit level of proficiency in one foreign language. See the Placement Policy for Penn State Foreign Language Courses.
B.A. Fields (9 credits): Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts, Foreign Languages, Natural Sciences, Quantification (may not be taken in the area of the student's primary major; foreign language credits in this category must be in a second foreign language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the first language)
Other Cultures (0-3 credits): Select 3 credits from approved list. Students may count courses in this category in order to meet other major, minor, elective, or General Education requirements, except for the General Education US/IL requirement.
Requirements for the Major
At least 36 of the last 60 credits must be earned at Penn State, according to University Policy 83-80.
To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.
|Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|HUM 100N||Foundations in the Humanities: Understanding the Human Experience||3|
|HUM 200N||Explorations in the Humanities: The Quest||3|
|HUM 300N||Interpretations in the Humanities||3|
|HUM 400N||Expressions in the Humanities||3|
|Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better|
|Select two Humanities (HUM) courses of the following:||6|
|World Mythologies in the Arts|
|The Western Tradition I|
|Religion and Culture|
|Philosophy and Literature|
|Texts and Culture|
|Selected Periods in the Humanities|
|Seminar in Interdisciplinary Humanities|
|Supporting Courses and Related Areas 1|
|Select 12 credits in one of the four following areas and 9 credits in a second area:||21|
|History and Global Cultures|
HIST, CMLIT, and SPAN courses
|The World Novel in English|
|Modern Continental Drama|
|Introduction to International Studies|
|Performing and Visual Arts and Art History|
ART, ARTH, INART, MUSIC, AND THEA courses
|Basic Photography for Communications|
|Graphic Design for Communications|
|Film History and Theory|
|Philosophy and Religious Studies|
PHIL and RLST courses
|Literature and Writing|
ENGL and CMLIT courses
|Writing for Media|
|News Writing and Reporting|
|Writing for the Screen I|
|Select 12 credits from AMST, ART, ARTH, CAS, CHNS, CMLIT, COMM, ENGL, FR, HIST, HUM, INART, MUSIC, PHIL, RLST, SPAN, or THEA and/or 12 credits that can be used toward a minor in an area of the student's interests||12|
At least 15 credits of supporting courses must be at the 400 level.
Program Learning Objectives
- Think critically about materials from varied Humanities disciplines and points of view.
- Write analytical and interpretive essays that effectively integrate the perspectives of two or more Humanities disciplines.
- Comprehend, interpret, and evaluate visual and written texts.
- Write and speak clearly and persuasively about complex subjects involving multiple Humanities disciplines and perspectives.
- Demonstrate the ability to use spoken, written, and visual language to communicate complex ideas.
- Employ a wide range of strategies to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences.
- Understand the methods, approaches, and significant content of several disciplines within the Humanities.
- Identify and assess a variety of interpretive methods in the Humanities.
- Effectively employ a variety of the interpretive methods in the Humanities in written work and oral presentations.
- Explain and analyze the relationship between texts and the historical periods that produced them.
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct in-depth research in the Humanities.
- Locate, evaluate, and interpret major scholarship in the Humanities.
- Demonstrate understanding of significant questions and problems in the Humanities.
- Integrate source materials effectively into essays on a variety of topics.
- Apply and extend the understanding of goals 1 through 4 effectively in internships, employment, further academic or professional study, creative work, or voluntary activity after graduation.
The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.
Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.
Adam Gustafson, Ph.D.
Olmsted Building, W355
Middletown, PA 17057
Suggested Academic Plan
The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).
The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.
|ENGL 15 or ENGL 30‡||3||CAS 100‡||3|
|Quantification||3||General Education Course||3|
|HUM 100N||3||General Education Course||3|
|World Language level 1||3-4||World Language level 2||3-4|
|General Education Course||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||Quantification||3|
|World Language level 3||3-4||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||ENGL 202A or 202B‡||3|
|HUM 200N||3||General Education Course||3|
|General Education Course||3||Select course in first subfield (1)||3|
|HUM 300N||3||Select HUM required course (3)||3|
|Select course in first subfield (1)||3||Select course in first subfield (1)||3|
|Select course in second subfield (2)||3||Select course in second subfield (2)||3|
|General Education Couse||3||BA Degree required course||3|
|BA Degree required course||3||Select additional course in specific area or in support of a minor||3|
|HUM 400N||3||HUM required course (3)||3|
|Select course in first subfield (1)||3||Select course in second subfield (2)||3|
|Select additioanl course in specific area or in support of a minor||3||BA Degree required course||3|
|Select additional course in specific area or in support of a minor||3||Select additional course in specific area or in support of a minor||3|
|BA Degree required course||3||Elective||3|
|Total Credits 120-123|
Course requires a grade of C or better for the major
Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education
Course is an Entrance to Major requirement
Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement
Select course in first subfield, (1) for the subfield of history and global cultures, select from HIST, CMLIT, SPAN (all courses with those prefixes), CAS 271 COMM 350, ENGL 486, ENGL 488, INTST 100; for the subfield of performing and visual arts and art history, select from ART, ART H, INART, MUSIC, THEA (all courses with those prefixes), COMM 215, COMM 241, COMM 242, COMM 250; for the subfield of philosophy and religious studies: select from PHIL, RL ST (all courses with those prefixes) for the subfield of literature and writing, select from ENGL, CMLIT (all courses with those prefixes), COMM 230W, COMM 260W, COMM 332, COMM 346, COMM 474.
Select course in second subfield (2), for the subfield of history and global cultures, select from HIST, CMLIT, SPAN (all courses with those prefixes), CAS 271, COMM 350, ENGL 486, ENGL 488, INTST 100; for the subfield of performing and visual arts and art history, select from ART, ART H, INART, MUSIC THEA (all courses with those prefixes), COMM 215, COMM 241, COMM 242, COMM 250; for the subfield of philosophy and religious studies: select from PHIL, RL ST (all courses with those prefixes) for the subfield of literature and writing, select from ENGL, CMLIT (all courses with those prefixes), COMM 230W, COMM 260W, COMM 332, COMM 346, COMM 474.
Select HUM required course (3), select from HUM 150, HUM 311, HUM 410, HUM 430, HUM 453, HUM 460, HUM 461, HUM 491, HUM 494, HUM 495, HUM 496, HUM 497 or HUM 499.
University Requirements and General Education Notes:
US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).
W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.
GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.
Bachelor of Arts Requirements:
Bachelor of Arts students must take 9 credits in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Fields (Humanities; Social and Behavioral Sciences; Arts; World Languages [2nd language or beyond the 12th credit level of proficiency in the 1st]; Natural Sciences; Quantification). The B.A. Fields courses may not be taken in the area of the student’s primary major. See your adviser and the Degree Requirements section of this Bulletin.
Bachelor of Arts students must take 3 credits in Other Cultures.
See your adviser and the full list of courses approved as Other Cultures courses.
Students must complete a 3-credit course in "United States Cultures (US)" and a 3-credit course in "International Cultures (IL)."
The Humanities major prepares students for careers in the arts, arts administration, business, corporate communications, government, teaching, museum work, and law. Penn State Harrisburg's Career Services office provides numerous resources for students, including: assistance with resumes and interview preparation online resources for finding full or part time, and co-op/intern positions strategies and information on attending and getting the most out of job/intern fairs information and guidance in preparing for graduate study at Penn State or elsewhere.
Opportunities for Graduate Studies
The Humanities major also provides a foundation for graduate study in a liberal arts field, including Penn State's Master of Arts in Humanities program.
SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES
Olmsted Building, W356
Middletown, PA 17057