The interdisciplinary Humanities program at Athabasca University offers a modern version of the Renaissance concept of a liberal arts education. It is firmly based on the academic disciplines that traditionally comprise the broad field of the humanities, including history, philosophy, and the study of literature, music and art. However, it also recognizes the contributions made more recently to the humanities by such newer disciplines as indigenous studies, global studies, cultural studies, religious studies, and women and gender studies. The geographical compass of the program is not limited to European ideas and culture but also extends to the Americas and Asia.

The program aims at instructing students on how

  1. to apply the intellectual, information literacy and critical thinking skills required to study human expression;
  2. to synthesize information comprehensibly, ethically and professionally in order to report research findings;
  3. to read, if they are Majors, a second language at a basic level as a basis for comparing different linguistic traditions of expression and/or as the basis for further language studies;
  4. to apply knowledge about the evolution of human thought and culture in order to classify, investigate or incorporate human expression from past and present cultures;
  5. to apply the specific methodologies and subject matter from two or more individual humanities disciplines to analyze human expression and/or to incorporate elements of human expression in new ways;
  6. to combine methodologies and subject matter from different humanities disciplines to investigate and explain human expression and/or to adapt elements of that expression in new ways.

The Humanities program is offered in two forms. Students may specialize by completing the Humanities Major within the four-year Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, or they can complete a Humanities Minor while majoring in some other Arts discipline.

NOTE: Do not confuse the “Humanities Area” with the Humanities program, the Centre for Humanities, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, or courses with the HUMN designation. The Humanities Area refers to courses in all the humanities disciplines, such as ENGL, SPAN, PHIL, and HUMN. Students seeking course to satisfy degree requirements in the “Humanities Area” have more choices beyond those that are designated as HUMN.

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Updated October 26 2018 by Student & Academic Services