College of Humanities
Dean: Paul Sherwin

Department of Humanities
HUM 410
Chair: Arthur Chandler

Graduate Coordinator: Sandra Luft


Professors—Birt, Chandler, Leonard, Luft, Lunine, Scott

Associate Professor—Steier

Assistant Professors—Bertram, Ruotolo


B.A. in Humanities
Minor in Humanities
M.A. in Humanities

Program Scope

The program enables students to seek understanding of cultural experience through interdisciplinary study of the humanities. Social conduct, values, and artistic insights reflecting many human communities are studied in the undergraduate and graduate programs. Humanities majors develop methods of bringing the various humanities, such as literature, music, visual forms, and architecture, into an integrative view of the world's cultural diversity.

Students who wish to base their careers on broad knowledge of American and world cultures will find this major applicable to posts in government, business, education, and the arts. Practical training in a specific professional field (library work, foreign teaching or career service, journalism, museum work, etc.) may well be taken in conjunction with the major or the minor in Humanities. Students earning the B.A. in Humanities may qualify themselves for high school teaching credentials in English or History through special advising and supplemental course work. Those earning the M.A. in Humanities are qualified to search for a position at a community college.

For the B.A. in Humanities, students must complete a core of five courses (including a senior seminar) in basic methods of understanding culture through the humanities, and then choose combinations of courses in European, American, Asian, and Cross-Cultural Studies (the cross-cultural studies area consists of courses in which the subject matter is from another geographic area than the Americas, Europe, or Asia, and courses that specifically include a number of different cultures). In one of these culture-study areas, additional courses will be chosen, making it the area of emphasis in the major. Up to three appropriate courses in related departments such as ethnic studies, English, art, and music may be included in the major with an adviser's approval.

Students minoring in Humanities must complete four core courses and three additional courses in one or more of the culture-study areas, depending upon the emphasis desired.

The Master of Arts in Humanities is an interdisciplinary program which emphasizes the integrative study of culture, ideas, and the arts, with special concern for the questions of value—moral, intellectual, cultural, and aesthetic—that are inherent in major human expressions. It serves a variety of personal and career objectives, including preparation for advanced study in a wide variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary degree programs in the humanities, as well as for teaching credentials in areas in which the master's degree is required.


The department's lower division General Education courses (HUM 130, 220, 225) or other lower division courses concerned with ideas, social conditions, and art forms are recommended for students planning to major or minor in humanities. Study or practical experience toward mastery of a foreign language is strongly recommended along with the major or minor.

On-line course descriptions are available.

Core Units
HUM 301 Style and Expressive Forms 3
HUM 302 Theories and Methods in the Humanities 3
HUM 303 Cultural Periods and Styles 3
HUM 425 Thought and Image 3
HUM 690 Senior Seminar 3
Cross-cultural Studies
Units selected from the following, or other appropriate courses on advisement:
HUM 365 (great figures from outside Europe, the Americas, and Asia); 375 (cities outside Europe, the Americas, and Asia); courses numbered 310-399; 501
European Culture Studies
Units selected from the following, or other appropriate courses on advisement:
HUM 365 (European great figures); 375 (European cities); courses numbered 400-449, except 425
American Culture Studies
Units selected from the following, or other appropriate courses on advisement:
HUM 365 (American and Latin American great figures); HUM 367;375 (American and Latin American cities); 376 (San Francisco); courses 450-495
Asian Culture Studies
Units selected from the following, or other appropriate courses on advisement:
HUM 365 (Asian great figures); 375 (Asian cities); courses numbered 507-549, except 520
Additional Courses
Units selected from one of the above culture study areas, or other appropriate courses on advisement
Total units for the major 42

NOTE: Up to 3 appropriate courses (9 units) in related departments or programs may be substituted for departmental course work in the culture-study areas.


Program Units
HUM 301 Style and Expressive Forms 3
HUM 302 Theories and Methods in the Humanities 3
HUM 303 Cultural Periods and Styles 3
HUM 425 Thought and Image 3
Units chosen on advisement in one or more of the culture study areas of the major. Up to 3 units may be taken outside the department. 9
Total units in the minor 21


Admission to the Program

Applications for admission should include a statement of the applicant's purpose in applying to the program, a writing sample, and two letters of recommendation. Applicants whose native language is not English and whose B.A. is from a university in which English is not the medium of instruction, must have a minimum TOEFL score of 570 (computer-based TOEFL 230).

Admission to classified standing in the program is given on evaluation of several factors in an applicant's education and experience. Of considerable importance are the subjects and range of undergraduate study; emphasis is given to courses in literature, history, philosophy, the arts, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary humanities, but studies in the sciences or social sciences may also be valuable. Other factors bearing on admission may include work experience, personal interests, and proficiency in one of the arts.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One: completion of HUM 700 or 721 with a grade of B or better. Level Two: satisfactory completion of master's thesis or written comprehensive or final research paper.

Advancement to Candidacy

Besides meeting general requirements of the program, students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in order to qualify for advancement to candidacy for the master's degree. Official advancement to candidacy comes about with acceptance of a Graduate Approved Program by the Graduate Division.

On-line course descriptions are available. With the graduate adviser's approval, most upper division Humanities Department courses may be used to satisfy a portion of the Master of Arts requirements.

Core Requirements Units
HUM 700 Introduction to Integrative Study 3
HUM 721 Culture and Style 3
Integrative Study of Cultural Expression
Units selected under advisement from the following (1 course must be non-Western): 6
  HUM 710 Seminar in European Forms and Culture  
  HUM 711 Seminar in American Forms and Culture
  HUM 712 Seminar in African Forms and Culture
  HUM 713 Seminar in Asian Forms and Culture
Disciplines of the Humanities
Units selected under advisement from the following: 6
  HUM 701 Fine Arts in the Humanities  
  HUM 702 Literature in the Humanities
  HUM 703 History in the Humanities
  HUM 704 Philosophy in the Humanities
Issues in the Humanities
Units selected on advisement: 3-6
  HUM 720 Humanistic Themes  
  HUM 722 New Models in Humanistic Studies
  HUM 723 Contemporary Humanistic Scholarship
Units selected on advisement with the graduate coordinator and adviser 3-6
Culminating Experience
One of the following: 3
  HUM 895 Special Project and Oral Defense  
  HUM 896 Directed Study in Selected Humanistic Works and
Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations
  HUM 898 Master's Thesis and Oral Defense
Minimum total 30

Culminating Experience. The chosen culminating experience (895, 896, or 898) should be integral with the candidate's larger M.A. plan and with his/her longer career objective. It will be carried out in the final semester of work for the degree, with the aid of a graduate faculty member acting as sponsor and tutor; at least two other faculty members will serve with the sponsor on the student's M.A. committee and will join in evaluation of the culminating experience. The candidate must present a proposal for his/her culminating project in writing to a sponsor/tutor to initiate it.

Second Language. Reading proficiency in a second language is required. Under exceptional circumstances a candidate may petition to substitute demonstrable proficiency in an auxiliary skill that has a clear relationship to his/her M.A. program.