Degree Requirements

Requirements for the B.A. Major

Humanities Major Core Knowledge and Skills

The Humanities major requires a total of 30 credit hours. Students must take courses in at least 3 humanities or social science departments or programs with a maximum of 15 hours from 1 department (except HWC in which students will take more than 15 hours). 18 of the 30 credit hours must be in courses numbered 300 or above.

Note: Sharing course work (credit hours) between any of the HWC major tracks and another major is restricted to 6 hours.

All other courses taken toward the major must be approved by the HWC undergraduate coordinator.

Majors must choose 1 of the following tracks: Civilizations in a Global Context, World Literatures, or Peace and Conflict Studies.

Majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad. Please see your advisor about this opportunity.

Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade-point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 30 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 18 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Graduation Plan

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in 4 years. Download a sample 4-year plan for humanities.

Track 1: Civilizations in a Global Context

Civilizations in a Global Context. This track studies aspects of the cultures of Western civilization and of one non-Western civilization (e.g., Africa, Asia, the Middle East, or Latin America). It is designed to provide the student with knowledge of diverse civilizations and with methods for investigating their differences and commonalities. 30 credit hours, to include the following:

6 hours of introductory and capstone coursework:

  • HWC 110 /HWC 111 Introduction to Humanities
  • HWC 424 Senior Seminar (The senior essay for this track is to be a comparative and integrative study of a topic that bridges the two civilizations studied.)

24 additional hours to include:

  • HWC 206 Contemporary Western Civilization
  • HWC 430 European Civilization in World Context
  • 9 hours in aspects of the cultures of Western Civilization, 1 of which must be an HWC course.
  • 9 hours in aspects of the cultures of non-Western civilization.

Track 2: World Literatures

This track offers literary-critical studies of both Western and non-Western literatures. It provides the student with knowledge of diverse literary traditions and methods for investigating their differences and commonalities. Majors choosing this option must complete 30 credit hours to include the following:

6 hours of introductory and capstone coursework:

  • HWC 110 /HWC 111 Introduction to Humanities
  • HWC 424 Senior Seminar (The senior essay for this track is to be a comparative literary-critical study.)

24 additional hours to include:

  • 6 hours in the “Masterpieces of World Literature” series: HWC 304, HWC 308, HWC 312
  • 6 hours of additional literature coursework chosen from among the following:
    • the third HWC Masterpiece of World Literature course
    • any other HWC literature course upon approval from an advisor
    • a course in American, British, or Irish literature (or any other English language or literature course)
  • 6 hours in the literature of a non-English-language European culture in translation (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, etc.). Students possessing a reading knowledge of one of the European languages are strongly encouraged to take one of the literature courses in the original language.
  • 6 hours in the literature of a non-Western culture in translation. Students possessing a reading knowledge of a Non-Western language are strongly encouraged to take one of the literature courses in the original language.

Track 3: Peace and Conflict Studies

This track provides students with opportunities to study issues of violence and methods of peace-making from an interdisciplinary humanities perspective. Majors choosing this option must complete 30 credit hours to include the following:

9 hours of introductory and capstone coursework:

  • HWC 110 /HWC 111 Introduction to Humanities
  • PCS 120 Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies
  • PCS 650 Senior Seminar in Peace and Conflict Studies (students are required to carry out a substantive research project to produce a term paper or comparable work.)

21 additional hours to include:

  • 6 hours PCS upper division courses (2 out of 3):
    PCS 550 Classics of Peace Literature
    PCS 555 Peace Education
    PCS 565 Literature of Human Rights
  • 6 hours of interdisciplinary core courses, for example:
    ANTH 501 Anthropology of Violence
    HIST 314 History of Globalization
    POLS 674 International Ethics
    POLS 684 or 685 International Law
    REL 667 Religious Perspectives on War and Peace
    REL 669/ COMS 669 Human Conflict and Peace
    SOC 650 Transnational Migration
  • 9 hours of courses from one of the three designated areas:
    Area 1: The pursuit of social, economic and environmental justice, for example:
    HIST 314 History of Globalization
    POLS 663 Protest and Revolution
    SOC 351 Africa Today
    SOC 521 Wealth, Power, and Inequality

    • Area 2: The role of nation-states and of international norms and institutions, for example:
      HIST 334 The Great War: History of World War I
      HIST 340 History of the Second World War
      POLS 661 Politics of the Middle East
      POLS 678 Chinese Foreign Policy
      POLS 689 Topics in International Relations: Human Rights

      Area 3: The impact of religious, philosophical, and cultural influences, for example:
      ANTH 501 Anthropology of Violence
      ENGL 536 Readings in the Holocaust
      PCS 555 Classics of Peace Literature
      REL 665 Religious Ethics
      REL 669/ COMS 669 Human Conflict and Peace
      WGSS 665 Women, Health, and Healing in Latin America

Contact Info

Humanities and Western Civilization Program

Bailey Hall
1440 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 308
Lawrence, KS 66045-7545
785-864-3011
785-864-3023
hwc@ku.edu
http://www.hwc.ku.edu/
Sandra Zimdars-Swartz, Director
785-864-3011
Antha Cotten-Spreckelmeyer, Associate Director and Undergraduate Coordinator
785-864-3011
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