Certificate students in Humanistic Studies reflect explicitly on the frontiers of disciplines, the bridges that connect them, and the insights gained from approaching one field with the questions and methods of another. Our students engage with emerging fields of study, such as medical, environmental, urban, and digital humanities.
Students from all divisions—natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and the humanities—who want to forge meaningful connections with another field are welcome to apply.
Candidates for the Certificate must complete, during their first two years, two interdisciplinary courses that study history, literature, arts and/or culture over a span of historical time.
Most students present as prerequisites one of the following pairs of courses: (1) Any two HUM-designated courses (e.g. HUM 346: Introduction to Digital Humanities); (2) HUM 216-217 or 218-219: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture; (3) HUM 233-234: East Asian Humanities; (4) HUM 247-248: Near Eastern Humanities; or (5) HUM 346: Digital Humanities and other DH courses. While these are the usual ways to fulfill the prerequisite, any 200- or 300-level HUM designated course may serve as a prerequisite. If you seek to fulfill the prerequisites with other courses, please submit syllabi of the two courses you are proposing as prerequisites.
Beyond the two prerequisites, candidates complete six courses:
- Four of the six courses must be explicitly interdisciplinary in intellectual focus. (In most cases, these courses may also be used to fulfill departmental requirements. Please check with your director of studies for approval.)
- The remaining two of the six courses are chosen in consultation with the Humanistic Studies adviser and tailored to the student’s individual plan of study. In these courses, students are expected to forge their own interdisciplinary connections and pursue them in written work.
- One of the six courses is a team-taught capstone seminar created specifically for Certificate students, HUM 470: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities. Its topic varies from year to year, depending on the focus of the faculty. HUM 470 invites experimentation with new constellations of texts, objects, and images.
Candidates must also complete either an interdisciplinary senior thesis in their home department or an interdisciplinary research paper written specifically for Humanistic Studies.
Certificate students chart pathways guided by their own intellectual commitments. In consultation with the Humanistic Studies adviser, they propose a curriculum for their junior and senior years that combines the requirements of their home departments with courses best suited to develop their interests. Here are five examples of pathways followed by students in Humanistic Studies; we invite you to invent your own.
1. Bridges within the humanities and arts: Deepen the study of one partnership among the possible combinations of religion, philosophy, history, literature, and the arts.
2. Bridges between the humanities and related social sciences: Focus on the intersections between a specific branch of the humanities and a neighboring field of anthropology, sociology, or politics.
3. Intercultural studies: Compare cultures through diverse methodologies.
4. Bridges between the humanities and the sciences: While majoring in the humanities or social sciences, explore links to cognitive science, environmental studies, or other sciences.
5. Digital approaches to the humanities: With or without a background in computer science, learn how new media and technology empower us.
You may apply as early as your first-year spring, if you have completed the two prerequisites. Applying early makes you eligible for reserved spaces in the capstone seminars and other desirable courses.Apply
Please contact Stephanie Lewandowski, Program Manager, Humanistic Studies, with questions about academic requirements.
For students interested in:
- Learning more about the Certificate in Humanistic Studies
- Discussing the requirements of Humanistic Studies in relation to their academic goals and interests
Submit the email form below and the Program Manager for Humanistic Studies, Stephanie Lewandowski, will confirm your appointment.
Current Certificate students may also use this form to make an appointment to discuss progress on requirements, course selection, summer opportunities, and other humanities-related research projects or questions.