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East-West Humanities (BA)


Major Credits Required: 54-56 Credits

The major in “East-West Humanities” is a truly interdisciplinary and integrative major that examines human expression, thought, and creativity across time and space. Students have the opportunity to bring together courses from a variety of disciplines and connect them under an overarching theme. The major, organized around a core of courses in which students examine classical works, major ideas, and cultural expressions from western, Asian, and indigenous traditions, employs a comparative perspective to the study of the arts and the traditional humanities. In these courses, and especially as part of their capstone experience, students will engage critically with conventional notions of “East-West” and reimagine it not as a polarity but as a spectrum.

Students majoring in East-West Humanities design their own major based on selected classes that focus on the East-West theme. In conjunction with a faculty mentor, they will develop an individualized program of study that explores a specific theme or area of concentration, depending on their area of interest. For example, a student with an interest in Japanese culture might select courses on the literature, arts, theatre, philosophy, and religion of that region; one with a passion for theatre could combine courses on classical drama and Shakespeare with acting and directing courses. In a final capstone course during the senior year, students complete an integrative project which connects their leaning about their chosen theme across a variety of disciplines.

Students who graduate from the program will find that their major has given them a solid liberal arts foundation, offering them a wide array of career options and the flexibility to adapt to a rapidly changing world. They will be well prepared to work in a wide variety of fields or to pursue professional degrees in professions such as law, education, and business or to pursue specialized graduate study in a specific discipline. More importantly, they will be well positioned to become lifelong learners and to appreciate the many expressions of human thought and creative expression throughout the world.

To complete the bachelor's degree, students must complete a minimum total of 120 credits with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0.


Students who major in East-West Humanities will

  1. Specialized Knowledge: Develop familiarity with prominent features of the literature, art, philosophies, and religions of the world.

  2. Broad, Integrative Knowledge and Intellectual Skills: Articulate core values, world views, ideals, and forms of artistic expression associated with the human experience and place them within their cultural and historical contexts.

  3. Applied Learning and Intellectual Skills: Demonstrate higher-level writing competencies through the composition of interpretive essays and research papers.

  4. Civic Leaning: Cultivate moral reasoning, along with an awareness of the ethical sensibilities of diverse peoples as presented in their literary, artistic, philosophical, and/or religious works.