Broaden your horizons and gain a critical understanding of the world through a comparative study of the ideas and values of cultures by pursuing a humanities degree.

Like other liberal arts majors, a major in humanities offers a solid base of critical thinking on which to build a career or further study. This major will broaden your understanding of yourself and your interaction with the world and provide a perspective on cultural and intellectual heritage while offering tools to use that knowledge in the real world. You’ll explore how individuals and groups understand their existence, their place within their cultures, and their responsibility to others and the physical world.

These program requirements are for students who enroll in the 2019–2020 academic year. For prior year academic requirements, visit the catalog archive in the Current Students section.

About the Humanities Bachelor's Degree

Our online degree in humanities offers an interdisciplinary curriculum in which you'll develop the analysis and communication skills that employers value. You'll be immersed in a multidisciplinary study of global culture as you analyze art, philosophy, literature, religion, film, theater, music, and technology.

What You'll Learn

Through your coursework, you will learn how to

  • Plan, communicate, and implement coherent and justifiable practices that improve human conditions
  • Analyze ideas critically and defend recommendations for improving the conditions of society
  • Act in a personally and socially responsible manner, recognizing the complexity and diversity of the human experience
  • Identify and use technology to research, collect, analyze, and interpret data and effectively communicate information that educates and influences others

Coursework Examples

In past projects, students have had the opportunity to

  • Choose a political, economic, or cultural issue or trend and study how it developed from the 1970s to the present; examples have included the legalization of marijuana, same-sex marriage, and the conservative movement
  • Choose a specific Greek sculpture and write a script in first person in which the sculpted figure talks to a present-day audience about the sculpture's life, accomplishments, and experiences

Humanities Bachelor's Degree Requirements

Our curriculum is designed with input from employers, industry experts, and scholars. You'll learn theories combined with real-world applications and practical skills you can apply on the job right away.

Courses in the Major

This program requires 33 credits of coursework in the major.

  • HUMN 100
  • PHIL 100
  • PHIL 140
  • HIST 115, HIST 116, HIST 141, or HIST 142
  • MUSC 210 or any MUSC course
  • ARTH 372 or any upper-level ARTH course
  • PHIL 304 or any upper-level PHIL course
  • HUMN 351 or any upper-level HUMN course
  • PHIL 349 or any upper-level PHIL course
  • ENGL 406 or any upper-level ENGL course
  • HUMN 495

Electives

This program requires 46 credits of minor and/or elective coursework.

General Education Requirements

This program requires 41 credits of general education coursework.

Research and Computing Literacy

  • PACE 111C or other PACE 111 course
    (to be taken in first 6 credits)
  • LIBS 150, CAPL 398A, or other general education elective
  • CMST 301 or another computing course appropriate to the major

Communication

  • WRTG 111 or other writing course
  • WRTG 112
  • SPCH 100 or other communication, writing, or speech course
  • WRTG 391 or other advanced upper-level writing course

Mathematics

  • MATH 105 or other approved math or statistics course

Arts and Humanities

  • HIST 125 or other arts and humanities course
  • ENGL 240 or other arts and humanities course

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • ECON 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course
  • BEHS 103 or other behavioral and social sciences course

Biological and Physical Sciences

  • One of the following pairs of lecture and laboratory courses in the same session:
    • BIOL 101 and BIOL 102
    • NSCI 100 and NSCI 101
    • Other paired science lecture and laboratory courses taken in the same session
  • GEOL 100 or other science lecture course

Since some recommended courses fulfill more than one requirement, substituting courses for those listed may require you to take additional courses to meet degree requirements. Consult an advisor whenever taking advantage of other options. Please also see more information on alternate courses (where allowable) to fulfill general education requirements.

Overall Bachelor's Degree Requirements

In addition to the general education requirements and the major, minor, and elective requirements, the overall requirements listed below apply to all bachelor's degrees.

  • You must complete a minimum of 120 credits.
  • You must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 overall and a minimum grade of C for any class applied to the academic major or minor.
  • Within the 120 credits required, the following coursework must be taken through UMGC:
    • 30 credits (normally the final 30)
    • Half of the required number of credits within both the major and the minor
    • 15 credits at the upper level (earned in classes numbered 300 to 499), preferably within the major or minor
  • At least 45 credits must be upper level and include at least half of the credits required for the major. The remaining upper-level credits can be earned in any part of the curriculum.
  • At least half the required number of credits for any academic major or minor must be earned through graded coursework. Credit earned by examination, portfolio assessment, or noncollegiate training does not count as graded coursework.

Double majors: You can earn a dual major upon completion of all requirements for both majors, including the required minimum number of credits for each major and all related requirements for both majors. The same class cannot be used to fulfill requirements for more than one major. Certain restrictions (including use of credit and acceptable combinations of majors) apply for double majors. You cannot major in two programs with excessive overlap of required coursework. Contact an admissions advisor before selecting a double major.

Second bachelor's degree: To earn a second bachelor's degree, you must complete at least 30 credits through UMGC after completing the first degree. The combined credit in both degrees must add up to at least 150 credits. You must complete all requirements for the major. All prerequisites apply. If any of these requirements were satisfied in the previous degree, the remainder necessary to complete the minimum 30 credits of new classes should be satisfied with classes related to your major. You may not earn a second bachelor's degree in general studies and may not obtain a second associate's degree within the second bachelor's degree. Contact an admissions advisor before pursuing a second bachelor's degree.

Electives: Electives can be taken in any academic discipline. No more than 21 credits can consist of vocational or technical credit. Pass/fail credit, up to a maximum of 18 credits, can be applied toward electives only.

Career Preparation

This program is designed to help you develop skills that are applicable to careers in fields as varied as education, publishing, journalism, advertising, sales, law, management, human resources, and insurance and at institutions such as museums and other nonprofit organizations.