Humanities (BA)

Program Description

The Humanities major combines a rigorous general education in the humanities with a concentrated focus on a particular discipline or theme. The requirements for the major are designed to allow students to construct a program of study that fits their own intellectual interests.

The curriculum is cross-cultural in foundation and reflects the interdisciplinary strength of our faculty in areas including art history, philosophy, literature, religion, film and media, the visual and performing arts, gender and sexuality studies, and science and technology studies. The Humanities faculty teach courses that span the globe, covering the histories and contemporary cultures of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. In these courses, students learn to employ multiple disciplinary perspectives and to engage with a wide range of different sources, from literary fiction to courtroom trial transcripts, from classical paintings to contemporary political cartoons and posters.

The Humanities major provides students with advanced skills in critical reading, academic writing, visual arts creation, interpretation, analysis and argument that are highly valuable and readily transferable to a spectrum of careers, including law, cultural production, contemporary art curation, journalism, and non-fiction writing. While some Humanities majors pursue post-graduate degrees, many others successfully use the skills they develop in their Humanities studies to pursue a wide range of career paths.

In introductory and foundations courses, students acquire a set of methods for humanistic inquiry. Students then develop an area of thematic or disciplinary focus by choosing advanced courses in Shanghai and other NYU sites in consultation with their advisors. While students may choose to focus on a particular discipline, at least one advanced course must be explicitly interdisciplinary in orientation. In their senior year, students take the two semester Capstone Course sequence and produce a final thesis that marks the culmination of their intellectual development.


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