CSU, Chico's Program in Humanities is devoted to the appreciation and analysis of cultural traditions from an interdisciplinary perspective. Through the study of philosophy, religion, history, literature and languages, architecture, art, film, music, and theatre, students will attain a foundational education in the important achievements of individuals and world cultures. Students who declare Humanities as a major should love the study of cultures and their creative and intellectual development. They should be solid writers and critical, motivated thinkers who relish discussion and debate, and should be willing to develop a program of study that reflects their personal interests and the insights of several different academic fields. In addition, Humanities students should be committed to attaining proficiency in a foreign language and welcome overseas study and internships.
Comparative Study. Those who study the Humanities believe that human knowledge is best studied comparatively, rather than from the perspective of a single nation or culture. The Program incorporates the contributions of multiple traditions from all over the world and balances a study of both western cultures and non-European cultures of Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Critical Engagement. Students in the Humanities are encouraged to become critical thinkers-to analyze, to question, and to seek to understand cultural objects and texts from various critical perspectives. The Program helps students make informed judgments about culture based on aesthetic, literary, philosophical, and historical criteria. Students become critical inquirers not only because they acquire fluency in multiple disciplines, but because they are active participants in conversations; and conversations are what the Humanities are all about.
Craft your own area of study. A valuable way to approach the study of the Humanities is to focus on a period, a geographical area, or a cluster of traditions, either western or non-western. Accordingly, you begin your advanced coursework by focusing on a single period or cultural area. The Humanities Program then enables you to choose additional courses from a variety of disciplines that best suit your interests. Finally, all students participate in an advanced seminar in the Humanities. For added focus, you can minor in Classical Civilization, Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, and Cinema Studies, bringing further expertise to your academic career.
Learn a foreign language and study abroad. It is impossible to understand the development of human knowledge and culture without appreciation of the role of language in this process. Humanities students are required to gain fourth-semester knowledge of German, French, Italian, or Spanish, or to gain second-semester ability in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, or Latin. Many students link this required language study to a study abroad program. Overseas study and experiences solidify a student's appreciation of another culture, reinforce earlier language study, and provide students with friendships, contacts, and other career-oriented resources that will last a lifetime. The Program in the Humanities takes advantage of the study programs offered by the University in more than 15 countries and at 35 different universities. Such courses of study can last for as little as three weeks or for a full academic year.
Use your degree when you graduate. A degree in Humanities provides a classic liberal arts education and prepares students for careers that require critical thinking, sensitivity, imagination, skill in oral and written communication, and the adaptability that comes from a broad cultural and intellectual background. Our majors have pursued careers in public and private administration, teaching, journalism, performance, and museum work, among others. These degrees are also excellent preparation for law school and graduate study in various humanities disciplines.
Modern Jewish and Israel Studies. Judaism is one example of a civilization that can be explored through an interdisciplinary program of study anchored in the Humanities. The B.A. in Modern Jewish Studies and the minor in Modern Jewish and Israel Studies give you access to the social, intellectual, political, and aesthetic dimensions of Jewish civilization. You will gain a sense of the diversity of religious and secular Jewish traditions and trace the history of both Judaism and the Jewish peoples. As with the B.A. in Humanities, language study (Hebrew) is at the center of the program. The program also emphasizes biblical and rabbinic texts and cultures, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, Jewish literature, and the role of Jews in contemporary America.