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Humanities Major

The Humanities major is an interdepartmental evening major available to Bachelor of Arts students in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. In this major, you will choose your degree courses with the advice and consent of the major advisor, designing a curriculum at the intersection of your interests in the humanities.

You are strongly advised to develop and submit a written description of the program of courses you and your advisor have chosen when you formally declare the major and before any of your major requirements have been fulfilled. You may make modifications to this plan if your needs or interests change, but such an amendment to the program requires a new written statement.

Students must take advanced courses in at least two of the clusters. Independent studies can be challenging to arrange, and students should consult the Independent Study policy and procedures in the Student Handbook (PDF).

Major Advisor:
Dr. Deborah Burnham
Associate Undergraduate Chair
Department of English
(215) 898-8126
dburnham@english.upenn.edu
Fisher-Bennett Hall 114
3340 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Humanities Major requirements are subject to change. Students are advised to consult with Dr. Burnham for current requirements.

Humanities Major: 34 total Course Units (c.u.)*

Total Major Requirements: 14 Course Units (c.u.)

The Primary Concentration Area: 6 Course Units (c.u.)
In selecting courses for the primary Humanities concentration, students should select at least one upper-level course and otherwise be guided by departmental minors where appropriate. Six course units in one of the following humanities fields as approved by the major advisor:

  • Classical Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • East Asian Languages and Culture
  • English
  • Folklore
  • History of Art
  • Music
  • Near Eastern Languages and Culture
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • South Asia Studies

If Philosophy is chosen as the Primary Concentration, two course units in Religious Studies may be used as part of the requirement.

The Secondary Concentration Area: 3 Course Units (c.u.)
Three course units in one of the areas listed above that was not chosen as the primary concentration area.

Other Humanities Courses: 4 Course Units (c.u.)
This area includes advanced courses in foreign languages and any of the areas listed but not used in 1 or 2 above.

A Seminar or Independent Study Course: 1 Course Unit (c.u.)

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). Generally, a 1 c.u. course at Penn is equivalent to a three or four semester hour course elsewhere. In general, the average course offered at Penn is listed as being worth 1 c.u.; courses that include a lecture and a lab are often worth 1.5 c.u.s.

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