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What is Humanities? A Complete Guide to Humanities Courses

The term “humanities” is often used in higher education and, like the courses offered under the humanities umbrella, it can have a broad definition. So, what is the study of humanities? It’s all in the name. Humanities is the study of humans in the individual, cultural, societal and experiential sense. Humanities studies help us understand ourselves, others and the world.

If you’re considering becoming a humanities major or just enrolling in a humanities course, you will have a lot of subjects to choose from. Humanities courses can include the study of history, philosophy and religion, modern and ancient languages and literature, fine and performing arts, media and cultural studies, just to name a few. 

With so many options, it’s hard to choose which direction to go in, so we’ve created a guide to help you find your ideal humanities focus.

Humanities Courses

Most universities break down the humanities into different majors and group them together in a humanities division within a college. The study of humanities can be broad, but a BA in Applied Humanities can provide you with a transdisciplinary education. Combining professional skills in a focused area with the cognitive, creative, international, interpersonal and intercultural intelligence taught in the humanities, can provide you with a vital edge in your current or prospective career.

Arizona Online also offers Applied Humanities degrees in the following fields:

 

Why is a Humanities Degree a Good Choice?

Earning a BA in Applied Humanities will enhance your curiosity and challenge you to think creatively and critically. If you are passionate about a specific career field, an Applied Humanities degree combines that focus with the core elements of a well-rounded education. You will not only amplify your professional skills but also your personal skills so you can go far in your career. 

What Outcomes and Skills Will I Gain?

As a humanities student, you will strengthen your analytical and problem-solving skills, among other critical skills such as writing and enhancing research abilities. Additionally, if you pursue a BA in Applied Humanities, you will study and practice a variety of organizational, collaborative, and leadership skills that are most often used in administrative contexts. This includes the development of mission/vision/outreach plans, commercial sponsorships, customer and project management and public speaking. 

Humanities Careers

Let’s get to the real question. You’re probably wondering, what kind of career and salary can I expect with a humanities degree? The good news is that a humanities degree is applicable to a vast range of career fields. The versatility of a humanities degree can prepare you to work in fields such as education, business, government, library science, law and more. This Business Insider article highlights the 25 humanities majors with the highest salaries, and the list of careers is so diverse!

Is a Humanities Degree Worth It?

A background in the humanities can never hurt considering that you will think creatively about how to apply your abilities to different industries. Plus, the soft skills that you will learn like research, communication and critical thinking are guaranteed to appeal to employers in every sector. 

Nowadays, most universities require multiple humanities courses in their general education curriculum, demonstrating how valuable these skills are to your education.

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