Humanities—History of Culture

Humanities—History of Culture


The Humanities include the study of philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the arts. The Humanities — History of Culture program supports study of religions and of cultural history in Europe and the Americas, China, Japan, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and in predominantly Islamic areas with attention to historical development and cross-cultural interaction, both in the past and modern period. Western’s Humanities program attracts students who want to major in more than one humanities discipline, using interdisciplinary methods of investigation.

Students acquire a substantial knowledge of religious, philosophical, literary and aesthetic movements in the history of Western culture. Students also study works of the humanities in at least one other culture, and that culture’s history. Using methods from different humanities disciplines, students learn to analyze individual works of the humanities and to relate them to social and cultural developments. Learning how to understand cultural differences and cultural change helps students exercise leadership in a more closely knit, global world. 

The Department of Global Humanities and Religions is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“What grabbed my attention in the Department of Global Humanities and Religions were the passions that I had with world cultures and its religions. Humanities gave me the binoculars of history, literature, philosophy, and religion. These lenses enabled me to view other cultures and to empathize and understand others.” 

-Vivian Kwan, Student

Beyond the Classroom

The small size of classes and seminars in the Humanities program encourages close relationships between students and faculty. Students conduct independent research on topics of their own choosing. Working closely with faculty, students learn to formulate problems clearly; to consider and evaluate different methods and concepts; to do efficient and thorough research; and to write clearly, concisely and effectively.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Humanities — History of Culture major has proved to be excellent preparation for professional careers in teaching, law, libraries, museums, or archive administration, and for research and administrative positions with a wide variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.

Graduates have gone on to a variety of professional graduate schools, including law, library and information science, and conflict resolution. Students who have done excellent work in the department have succeeded in graduate academic programs in literature, history and the study of religion.


Sample Jobs

  • Attorney 
  • Teacher
  • Professor 
  • Librarian 
  • Writer 
  • Business Administrator 
  • Historian 
  • Non-Profit Organization Administrator 
  • Congressional Aid 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Editor 
  • Lobbyist

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.