Coordinator: Dr. Dennis Beck

The Arts and Humanities area shows students what it means to live lives enriched by reflection, imagination, and creativity. It does so by offering each individual a multidisciplinary experience within the arts and humanities, those areas of endeavor that humans have long valued for their intrinsic worth and that invite a deeper appreciation of the human experience. 

The broadly stated goals for Arts and Humanities are:

  • To introduce students to cultural, historical, aesthetic, and theoretical expressions of and questions about human experience.

  • To expose students to multiple academic disciplines in the arts and humanities and their methods and unique perspectives.

  • To inspire a deeper awareness of how the interplay between culture and expression affects both collective and individual identities.

  • To foster appreciation of the aesthetic and formal qualities of literary, visual, and performing arts.

  • To engage students in thinking critically and communicating clearly about enduring questions concerning human life, culture, and history.


Arts and Humanities consists of three courses that may be taken concurrently or in any order. Students must take one course for each of the following requirements within the area: Human Questions and ContextsVisual and Performing Arts, and Literature.



After completing a Human Questions and Contexts course, students should be able to:

  • Question their own and others’ opinions about and responses to the world.
  • Apply the methods of the discipline(s) studied to material from the humanities.
  • Identify and evaluate arguments using appropriate concepts and techniques and to formulate logical arguments on the same basis.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of broader cultural, historical, or conceptual contexts of particular issues, ideas, objects, or events- past and present.
  • Experience appropriate humanities events (such as exhibits, films, performances or public lectures).

COURSE OPTIONS (complete one of the following)

  • AMST 200: Introduction to American Studies
  • ANTH 205: Buried Cities, Lost Tribes
  • HIST 101: World History to 1550
  • HIST 102: World History since 1550
  • HUM 250: Foundations of Western Culture
  • HUM 251: Modern Perspectives
  • HUM 252: Global Cultures
  • LAXC 252: Introduction to Latin American, Latinx and Caribbean Studies
  • PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy
  • REL 101: Religions of the World
  • REL 102: Religion, Spirituality and the Meaning of Life


After completing a Visual and Performing Arts course, students should be able to:

  • Explain how artistic works and culture are interrelated.
  • Recognize that the arts are accessible and relevant to their lives.
  • Demonstrate disciplinary literacy (vocabulary, concepts, creative processes) in a major art form.
  • Produce an informed response to the form, content, and aesthetic qualities of artistic works.
  • Experience arts events.
  • Acknowledge relationships among the arts.

COURSE OPTIONS (complete one of the following)

  • ART 200: Art in General Culture
  • ARTH 204E: Art, Power and Society (experimental course)
  • ARTH 205: Survey of World Art I: Prehistoric to Renaissance
  • ARTH 206: Survey of World Art II: Renaissance to Modern 
  • DANC 215: The Dance Experience
  • MUS 200: Music and Culture 
  • MUS 203: Music in America
  • MUS 206: Introduction to Global Music 
  • THEA 210: Introduction to Theatre

Literature and Writing Infusion: The courses that satisfy this requirement are designated as writing-infused. Students will write a minimum of 5,000 words (approximately 15 pages double-spaced in a standard font) in assignments that may include both informal and formal, ungraded and graded forms. The extensive opportunity to produce and receive feedback on various genres of academic writing will help students sharpen their responses to interesting, thought provoking texts, and promote more engaged and sophisticated reading strategies.


After completing a Literature course, students should be able to:

  • Generate increasingly nuanced questions (interpretations, ideas) about literature and explain why those questions matter.
  • Use appropriate vocabulary and tactics to analyze specific literary expressions of culture and the relationship between the reader, the author, and text.
  • Define ways that texts serve as arguments and identify rhetorical and formal elements that inform these arguments.
  • Recognize appropriate contexts (such as genres, political perspectives, textual juxtapositions) and understand that readers may interpret literature from a variety of perspectives.
  • Articulate a variety of examples of the ways in which literature gives us access to the human experience that reveals what differentiates it from, and connects it to, the other disciplines that make up the arc of human learning.

COURSE OPTIONS (complete one of the following)

  • ENG 221: Literature/Culture/Ideas 
  • ENG 222: Genre(s) 
  • ENG 235: Survey of English Literature: From Beowulf to the 18th Century 
  • ENG 236: Survey of English Literature: 18th Century to Modern 
  • ENG 239: Studies in World Literature 
  • ENG 247: Survey of American Literature: From the Beginning to the Civil War
  • ENG 248: Survey of American Literature: From the Civil War to the Modern Period 
  • ENG 260: Survey of African-American Literature 
  • HUM 200: Great Works

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