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School of Humanities and Global Studies (HGS)

About the School of Humanities and Global Studies (HGS)

HGS aims to create a holistic educational experience that enables students to become literate, intentional and empowered global citizens who are well-versed, not only in specifically recognized fields, but also in interdisciplinary dialogue. Through varied offerings in Anthropology, American Studies, World Languages, History, International Studies, Literature, Political Science, Humanities and Global Studies (Contract Major), and Philosophy, the School seeks to enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of the complex cultural, political, and imaginative dimensions of human existence.

At the heart of the School’s curriculum is a commitment to a liberal arts education. This curriculum is designed to help students to communicate effectively in writing and speaking; think, read, write, analyze, and make presentations with developed critical skills; understand and appreciate cultural differences; understand trends in and problems facing the global community; understand major philosophical, political, literary and social thought and become familiar with primary sources in these areas; conduct research using a variety of methods and sources; participate in civic and political life; speak another language; understand intercultural and international complexities; use disciplinary and interdisciplinary analysis in problem solving; apply classroom and co-op experiences to new professional, personal and cultural environments; and understand historical change.

HGS programs prepare students for graduate and professional studies as well as for a rich diversity of careers and life experiences. Since its creation, thousands of students have graduated from HGS. They have pursued successful careers in law; graduate school with programs in the humanities and social science; consulting; social science research; management positions in business as well as state, local, and federal governments; leadership in non-governmental organizations; journalism and publishing; community organizing and public interest advocacy; advertising and public relations; and teaching.


1. The Undergraduate Program

The undergraduate curriculum of the School consists of a series of carefully designed and intellectually stimulating academic connections. These include a core curriculum, nine disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors, and over a dozen minors. Students may select a single major, a double major, or combine a major with a minor.

HGS students must provide proof of proficiency in a world language other than English at the “intermediate low level” or complete up to three 4-credit courses in one of the languages offered in the School’s curriculum subject to availability. Language instruction is regularly offered in Spanish, Italian and French. Other languages may be offered subject to availability of qualified instructors and sufficient enrollment.

For more information on the world language requirement and proficiency testing procedures, visit the “Language Requirement and Testing” page on the HGS website at

Each HGS major provides a depth of intellectual and critical study and a mode of inquiry in a particular field of knowledge. HGS students are required to choose and complete a major. HGS undergraduate majors leading to Bachelor of Arts degree are: Africana Studies, American Studies, History, International Studies, Humanities and Global Studies (a contract major), Literature, Political Science, Philosophy, and Spanish Language Studies

HGS also offers several minors. Minors provide focused learning and scholarship related to the major or unrelated but of special interest to students. Minors are available in most of the above majors, as well as in Anthropology, Civic & Community Leadership, East Asian Studies, French, Italian, Judaic Studies, Latino/a and Latin American Studies, Museum & Exhibition Studies, Philosophy, Creative Writing, Human Rights and Genocide Studies, and Public Policy.

2. General Education Courses

HGS also offers the Studies in the Arts & Humanities and Critical Reading and Writing courses. Both of these are part of the College’s General Education program and are offered in multiple sections each semester. Readings in the Humanities courses examine philosophical and literary works from the ancient period to the present, Critical Reading and Writing courses help students read critically and write with clarity and precision.

3. Co-curricular Events

Each term the School organizes a number of  events designed to supplement and enhance classroom/academic learning and educate and inform the internal and external communities of the College.  These events are organized by the School’s Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the Colloquium Series, Readings of Visiting Writers/Poets Series, the Film Series, and the Jane Addams Papers Project.