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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Humanities View this department's website

The Humanities major is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the main intellectual and cultural themes found throughout Western civilization. It offers students a fine core major for a liberal arts education.

A major in this area would provide a broad background for those whose postgraduate plans include specialized study in Art History, History, Literature, Philosophy or Religious Studies or training in a professional school.

Requirements for the Humanities Major (14 Credits)

  • ARTH 215 (IT; TH) Monuments and Themes of Western Art History I (1) or
  • ARTH 216 (IT; TH) Monuments and Themes of Western Art History II (1) or
  • ARTH 217 (IT; TH) Monuments and Themes of Western Art History III (1)
  • One advanced course in Art History (1)

Two courses in Literature

Chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor (2)

  • HIST 115 (TH) Western Civilization to 1650 (1)
  • HIST 116 (TH) Western Civilization since 1650 (1)
  • HIST 320 European Intellectual History: The Enlightenment (1) or
  • HIST 321 European Intellectual History: The Nineteenth-Century (1) or
  • HIST 322 European Intellectual History: The Twentieth Century (1)

Two courses in Philosophy

  • PHIL 110 (AR) Philosophical Problems (1)
  • One advanced course in Philosophy (1)

Two courses in Religious Studies

  • REL 113 (TH) Introduction to Old Testament/Hebrew Bible (1)
  • One other course in Religious Studies (1)

Two credits from one of the following areas (2)

Art History, English, History, History of Science, Music History and Literature, Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy, Religion, Theatre

Senior Year Requirement (1)

Senior Year Requirement consists of satisfactory completion of a Humanities Senior Seminar or of comprehensive written and oral examinations offered by an interdepartmental committee of three faculty, including the student's advisor and faculty from two other departments involved in the Humanities program.


  • Contributing Faculty from the Humanities, History, Literature and Fine Arts areas

Course Listings

HUM 497 (W) Humanities Senior Seminar (1)

[Crosslisted with CLHI 497]

A comparative study of the thought and artistry of major writers selected on the basis of their contributions to the development of Western culture within the context of a movement or historical period. Taught by faculty in humanities and literature subject fields and designed to provide seniors majoring in these subjects with an opportunity to synthesize their liberal arts experience. A visiting scholar enhances each seminar. Variable content. Seminar paper may also be accepted as an alternate means of senior evaluation by the student's major department.

General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing centered

  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Staff