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The humanities are more than one thing; they include many ways of expressing and understanding human values. Thus, the Humanities program is designed for innovative, integrative, and interdisciplinary study, including some of the sciences and many of the social sciences.

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    Program Objectives:

    1. Students should be able to read a variety of materials at the conceptual as well as factual levels.
    2. They should be able to distinguish basic forms and strategies of philosophy, literature, and one of the arts among examples they have not studied previously.
    3. Students should be familiar with significant steps in the development of Western Civilization, not only with how values have developed internally, but also with the ways in which new values have entered the culture from other civilizations.
    4. Students should be able to describe the context of at least one philosophical, artistic, or literary example from a non-Western civilization (Asian, African, Western Hemisphere).
    5. They should be able to recognize simple true/false inconsistencies and to formulate verbally questions left unanswered by very general assertions.
    6. Students should write clear and effective English in a variety of rhetorical contexts.
    They should understand the different areas and functions of a library and demonstrate practical use of information technologies in simplebut independent research.

    Degree Options

    What are the degree options?


    Although humanities majors take most of their courses in other departments, the Humanities Program offers five types of courses of its own:

    1. general education courses in literature, fine arts, philosophy and reasoning, and international studies;
    2. electives such as, "The Art of the Cinema,""Buddhism," 'The Abortion Issue," "Just War," "Perspectives on Death;"
    3. interdisciplinary crosslistings with other departments such as "Societal Expressions in Dress" and "New German Film;"
    4. multidisciplinary courses in Religious Studies such as "Intro to Religion," "East-West Philosophies and Religions," and "The Book of Genesis;" and
    5. directed studies, especially in the ancient languages of Greek and Latin.

    Humanities courses concern the history, theory, criticism, or analysis of a subject matter and form the basis of the well-rounded education.

    Humanities offers two curricular programs, a 60 credit major in humanities and a 21-25 credit minor in religious studies.

    The Major:

    The humanities major is planned in a series of individual conferences with the humanities coordinator. It emphasizes the value of a well-rounded education by requiring students to complete at least two courses in each off our areas, fine arts, literature, philosophy and the social sciences. For their remaining courses (a minimum of four), it allows students to pursue even greater breadth in other university courses, or to concentrate their remaining courses in a single field or discipline (e.g., literature, history, philosophy).

    A senior thesis has been recently instituted as an option students may choose in order to fulfill the university capstone requirement.

    Because courses taken for one major can count for another major or minor, about one out of three humanities majors takes a second major (e.g., philosophy, history, English, art, a foreign language). Those who do not take a second major usually take more than one minor.

    The Minor in Religious Studies:

    Students usually acquire an interest in the religious studies minor after enrolling in HUMN 215, "Introduction to Religion," to fulfill other requirements. HUMN 215 is designed to show the student differing ways of understanding religion and to encourage its serious study. The minor in religious studies includes selected courses from other departments and from a series of specialized seminars.

    What can I do with my degree?

    Career Preparation and Cultural Literacy:

    Many students major in humanities simply because they seek a more rounded education. Greater verbal skills and cultural literacy tend to help humanities majors adapt more easily to changing careers and advance more rapidly once they enter the job market. However, the majority of humanities majors choose the program because its breadth and unique interdisciplinary focus provide a solid foundation for later specialization in graduate school (e.g., in English, philosophy, religious studies, seminary, history, art history, law, librarian school).

    Contact Information

    Grant W. Smith, Humanities Coordinator
    229 Patterson Hall
    Cheney, WA 99004

    phone: 509.359.6023

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