Undergraduate Humanities Major

Humanities majors engage in interdisciplinary study of the circumstances and lives of humans in the past, of literature, the English language and the arts, and of ethical problems and systems of thought in order to understand and interpret the world today. Students also acquire essential intellectual skills through close analysis of texts, critical thinking, and expository writing. The study of humanities offers preparation for any profession that requires knowledge and understanding of humanity and society, or that involves proficiency with communication and the organization of information. 



About Humanities

Humanities Major Goals and Curriculum

Program Goals

Graduates will be prepared to:

  • Explain the significance and evaluate interpretations of political, economic, social, and cultural events and structures over time and space, and demonstrate an understanding of the role of these in shaping human experiences
  • Recognize and evaluate literary elements in works written in English across history, and articulate how literature displays and interrogates the human experience
  • Analyze how works of the humanities are situated within and shaped by their historical and cultural contexts, and how they influence cultural beliefs, values, and institutions
  • Demonstrate applicability of literary, historical and art analysis across cultural, social and geographical situations and events
  • Identify subjects and formulate compelling questions for academic inquiry, critically evaluating and using appropriate methods and sources for research
  • Demonstrate mastery of critical skills including observation, reasoning, argumentation, and written and verbal communication for a variety of audiences



Undergraduate Humanities Courses

Explore Undergraduate Humanities Courses for descriptions, locations, and schedules. Classes are held on Northwestern's Evanston or downtown Chicago campuses, and meet once weekly in the evening, on Saturdays, and online.

Major in Humanities Admission and Transfer Policy

Application to Northwestern University School of Professional Studies bachelor's degree programs is completed online. Once admitted, many students create a shorter path to degree completion by applying transfer credit. View detailed application instructions and transfer credit policies on the Admission & Transfer Policy page.

Humanities Tuition & Financial Aid

The School of Professional Studies offers competitive tuition rates for undergraduate courses. The Tuition & Financial Aid page lists current per-course tuition rates in addition to financial aid and scholarship opportunities. 

Registration for Humanities Majors

Registration for courses opens 8 to 10 weeks before each quarter and is accessed CAESAR,  Northwestern's online student records system. View course registration timelines and instructions on the Registration Information page.

Career Options for Humanities Majors

Humanities majors are prepared to enter a variety of fields and careers with skills that translate directly to current and future performance. For details see the Humanities Career Options page.

Find out more about the Major in Humanities

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