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What Are The Humanities?
The Humanities are a family of subjects--majors, minors, and individual courses that can be taken for breadth. The Humanities disciplines deal with the worlds that humans build for themselves in thought, experience, imagination, and artistic creation. Humanities courses use and enhance skills with all forms of interpretation, communication, and expression in the written and spoken word, electronic media, music, theatre, and the plastic arts.
Learning Goals of Humanities Courses
Humanities graduates are empowered to
Investigate: to research both deeply and precisely; to evaluate sources with mature, informed judgment
Understand: to see context and make connections; to cultivate empathy; to appreciate diversity and complexity; to be fair-minded, honest, and self-aware
Think: to reason, imagine, invent, and criticize; to solve problems and construct cogent arguments
Influence: to explain and persuade; to write and speak powerfully; to make images and music that move and inspire
Collaborate: to work in teams; to cooperate and to lead
Be Good: to choose wisely and ethically; to love the true, the beautiful, and the good; to live full, engaged, and meaningful lives
- All students take four humanities courses as part of the General Education curriculum.
- Students have freedom and flexibility in choosing the four courses!
- You can also complete a variety of majors and minors!
Danielle Tarin is an Appellate Attorney for the National Security Division at the U.S. Department of Justice. She represents the United States on appeals in national security cases involving terrorism and law-of-war offenses. She recently won a case in the Supreme Court challenging the simultaneous service of military officers on both the criminal courts of… [Read More]
“If I had to do it all over again, knowing that I would go to law school and knowing that I would go into politics and public service, I would have taken more courses in English and Philosophy, because that’s where you learn to read and to think critically and to construct a powerful argument.” … [Read More]
Majors: East Asian Studies & International Relations Master of International Affairs, Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M Federal employee following China-related policy “I’m currently working at a federal job I’ve wanted since I was 16 but always thought was impossible. My mentors at AC helped guide and push me there, and… [Read More]
Majors: History & Philosophy J.D., Harvard University Attorney, Mosaic Family Services Alison worked as a clerk in the Alaska Supreme Court before becoming a public defender in Alaska. From there, she was a Special Project Attorney for Disability Rights Texas. She is currently a staff attorney for Mosaic Family Services, which provides legal services in… [Read More]
Major: Spanish & International Studies International Marketing Director, American Heart Association “I am the International Marketing Director for the American Heart Association. In this role, I help bring the organization’s hundred years of science and programs that have helped transform heart and brain care in the US beyond our borders. I credit much of my… [Read More]
Majors: Spanish & Sociology Director, Strategic Communications and Media Relations, ACLU – New Mexico “My dual degrees from Austin College in Spanish and Sociology led to a career in non-profit communications because I was equipped with the ability to communicate in Spanish language media and break down complex ideas into accessible and compelling stories. I got… [Read More]
Major: East Asian Studies J.D., University of California, Los Angeles Senior Manager, Deloitte’s Risk Advisory/Global Export Controls and Sanctions Practice in London “At AC, I was told to do what I enjoyed, to do what interested me. This was a completely foreign concept to me. But once you figure out what you like, what you… [Read More]
Major: History, with a minor in Spanish Deputy Director for Western Native Voice “Humanities courses, including history, philosophy, and foreign language, helped me gain an understanding of systems both in historical and cultural contexts. My professors at Austin College provided me the tools to think critically, assess needs of others as my own, and have… [Read More]
Majors: East Asian Studies & Computer Science Master of Entertainment Technology, Carnegie Mellon University Interactives Engineer, Universal Creative at Universal Parks and Resorts “I was interested in East Asia before beginning my journey at Austin College. During my freshman year, I took a Janterm course on Unity, a game development software, which changed the way… [Read More]
Majors: Spanish & International Relations J.D., University of Tulsa Associate Attorney at Lira Bravo Law, PLLC “While a student at Austin College, I was encouraged to seek out opportunities to explore my passions academically. Beginning with my C/I, Model U.N. and continuing through experiences such as the Jordan Family Language House, JanTerm in Argentina, study… [Read More]
Majors: Philosophy & English M.A., Rice University, Philosophy Senior Research Assistant at the Center for Outcomes Research, a joint collaboration between the Houston Methodist Research Institute in partnership with Texas A&M University “Alongside clinical scientists and health services researchers, I help design and conduct both internally-funded and grant-supported studies focused on improving patient health outcomes,… [Read More]
Majors: Spanish & Political Science, minor in Philosophy J.D., The University of Texas at Austin Attorney and Equal Justice Works Fellow, Equal Justice Center – Dallas “I work to vindicate the rights of workers experiencing wage theft and discrimination in the workplace. I knew I wanted to become a lawyer and serve lower-income and Spanish… [Read More]
Major: History, minor in Chemistry M.A., East Carolina University, Maritime Studies Maritime Archaeologist, US Department of State’s Cultural Heritage Center “My history major, especially training in writing, is what got me a spot at one of the top archaeology grad schools in the country. Additionally, as a chemistry minor (a possibility at a liberal arts… [Read More]
Majors: English & self-designed major in Museum Studies M.A., George Washington University, Museum Studies Exhibition Project Manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of History “Austin College helped me hone in on where I really wanted to be. I knew I wanted to work in museums. At AC, I was supported by grants and internship programs… [Read More]
Major: Communications TV News Anchor and Motivational Speaker and Trainer “I am an Emmy award-winning television news anchor and motivational speaker and trainer. Like many humanities majors, when I graduated, I had a general sense of what I wanted to do but wasn’t sure how that would look, specifically, in my life. I want to… [Read More]
Majors: English & Communications M.F.A, Southern Methodist University Professor of Theater at Santa Clara University I am a Professor of Theatre Arts and a professional actor. I served as Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Santa Clara University, and Artistic Director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre of San Francisco, which makes works by and… [Read More]
Majors: East Asian Studies & International Relations Child Programs Team Lead at the North Texas Food Bank “My time at Austin College, particularly my GO Fellowship to Taiwan in the summer of 2011, sent me down my path of service and community engagement. One of the biggest challenges I’ve experienced (and I think many women… [Read More]
Any student, regardless of class year or major, can take specialized courses usually reserved for majors and graduate students at other colleges and universities:
- The Quest for Civil Rights
- Literature, Medicine, and Culture
- Intro to 3-D Art
- Classical Mythology
- Rise Up! Protest and Dissent in American Literature
- Intro to Buddhist Traditions
- Women and the Bible
- African History and Cultures
- Intro to Creative Writing
- Happy vs. Meaningful Lives
- Costume & Makeup Design
- Masterpieces of Music
- History of Rock and Roll
- Japanese Pop Culture
- Hollywood Stars
- Shakespearean Comedy
- Money & Power in French Literature
- The Beat Rebellion
- Asian Ceramics
- Natural Disasters in the U.S.
- Games in Contemporary Culture
- Law and Morality
- History of the Art of Comic Books
- Chinese Medicine