Humanities

What are the Humanities?

The Humanities are a constellation of disciplines that bring unique approaches to the same fundamental concern: how human beings try to make sense of themselves and their worlds. Students who choose to major or minor in Humanities at Midwestern State University will thus develop a broad and deep literacy in humanistic studies—including literature, religion, classics, philosophy, history, and the fine arts. The Humanities Program at Midwestern State University is a small, dynamic program that combines traditional education in arts and literature with a contemporary study of human thought, culture, and artistic expression. Not only will students utilize this breadth to comprehend widely diverse cultural expressions that extend throughout history and across nations; they will also study how great books, global cultural practices, world religions, and the history of ideas altogether strengthen an understanding of our own contemporary social and political climate.

 

Who Studies the Humanities?

The Humanities Program at MSU takes an interdisciplinary approach to major philosophical, cultural, religious, and artistic questions about human beings as a “meaning-making” species. Because our programming focuses intensively on textual interpretation and cultural analysis, our students learn the relationships between ideas, artistic expression, and life while also preparing them to make informed contributions to a complex global community. A major or minor in Humanities is ideally suited for students pursuing careers that will require strong skills in reading, writing, analysis, and articulate communication of complex ideas. The Humanities major is designed to be either a stand-alone course of study or a complement to a second major. For information about what career paths are available to Humanities majors, please visit our Career FAQ page or stop by the Humanities Program offices.  

 

How does the Humanities Program work at MSU?

Midwestern State University is the only public liberal arts university in Texas, which means that a study of the Humanities is central the MSU’s mission. The Humanities Program houses three degree programs in which students can engage with the history of ideas, culture, and art: A bachelor’s degree in Humanities (major), a Minor in Humanities, and a Minor in Great Books.

 

Requirements for the Humanities Major. In addition to the 48 credit hours required from the college’s core curriculum, the Humanities major requires 39 credit hours of Humanities and related interdisciplinary courses as well as 18-24 credit hours in a designated concentration. A breakdown of the Humanities major works as follows:

  • 12 credit hours of general Humanities courses. All majors will take all four of the survey Humanities courses, at least two of which must be at the 4000-level: Ancient World, Medieval Cultures, Renaissance through Realism, and Mid-19th Century to the Present.
  • 6 credit hours of World Literature: ENGL-2413 and ENGL-2423. With the Humanities Program Coordinator’s permission, students can substitute an advanced comparative or world literature or philosophy course for either or both of these requirements.
  • 6 credit hours of World History: HIST-1333 and HIST-1433. With the Humanities Program Coordinator’s permission, students can substitute an advanced history course that does not focus on U.S. history. Or, Humanities majors with a declared concentration in Philosophy can substitute courses in the history of philosophy for this requirement.
  • 3 credit hours of Philosophy: Ancient Philosophy (PHIL-3033) or Early Modern Philosophy (PHIL-3233). Students can substitute any upper-level Philosophy course with the permission of the Humanities Program coordinator.
  • 6 credit hours chosen from the following appreciation courses: World Film Art (HUMN-2073), Art Appreciation (ART-1413), Appreciation of Music (MUSC-1033), or Appreciation of Theater (THEA-1503). With the Humanities Program Coordinator’s permission, an advanced course dealing with the history of aesthetics (such as PHIL-3103) can be substituted for this requirement.
  • 6 credit hours of upper-level Special Topics courses in Humanities (HUMN-3073, HUMN-3083). This category cannot be fulfilled by any of the 4000-level survey courses. Special Topics courses can be repeated if the course content changes.
  • All Humanities majors must declare a field of concentration from the following list: Philosophy, English, Film, World Cultures, Art, Art History, Music, Theater, Political Science, French, History, or Spanish. Concentrations vary between 18-21 credit hours. For specific concentration requirements, please see the Course Catalogue or speak with your Humanities advisor.

 

Requirements for the Humanities Minor. A minor in Humanities requires completion of 18 credit hours including 12 in Humanities and 6 in History/Special Topics. A general breakdown of the Humanities minor works as follows:

  • 12 credit hours of general Humanities courses. All students will take all four of the survey Humanities courses, at least two of which must be at the 4000-level: Ancient World, Medieval Cultures, Renaissance through Realism, and Mid-19th Century to the Present.
  • 6 credit hours of History and/or Special Topics: Students can choose two courses from the following list: Special Topics in Humanities (HUMN-3073), Topics in World Film (HUMN-3083), World Film Art (HUMN-2073), Independent Study in Humanities (HUMN-4064), Internship (HUMN-4073), or Survey of Western Civilization (HIST-1333 or HIST-14333). Special Topics courses can be repeated if the course content changes.
  • Because the Humanities minor is designed to complement the student’s major field of study, there is no concentration requirement for the minor. For more information, please see the Course Catalogue or speak to your Humanities advisor.

 

Requirements for the Great Books Minor. Students who are interested in humanistic study but who wish to direct the entirety of their attention to the reading, interpretation, and analysis of primary texts can minor in Great Books. The minor includes a selection of 18 credit hours pulled from English, Humanities, and Philosophy courses. For a full list of the degree requirements, please visit the Course Catalogue or speak to your Humanities advisor. 

 

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