Why choose a degree in Humanities?

The BA in Humanities is an interdisciplinary degree program that provides excellent preparation for twenty-first century careers. Students choose from three major tracks and complete coursework in three or more humanities departments or programs across the university. The program's focus on values, ethics, and civil debate is also reflected in its emphasis on critical thinking, reading and writing, and on individualized student advising and a flexible curriculum.

Undergraduate Admission

Admission to KU

All students applying for admission must send high school and college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Unless they are college transfer students with at least 24 hours of credit, prospective students must send ACT or SAT scores to the Office of Admissions. Prospective first-year students should be aware that KU has qualified admission requirements that all new first-year students must meet to be admitted. Consult the Office of Admissions for application deadlines and specific admission requirements.

Visit the International Support Services for information about international admissions.

Students considering transferring to KU may see how their college-level course work will transfer on the Office of Admissions website.

Admission to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Admission to the College is a different process from admission to a major field. Some CLAS departments have admission requirements. See individual department/program sections for departmental admission requirements.

Requirements for the B.A. Major

Humanities Major Core Knowledge and Skills

The Humanities major requires a total of 30 credit hours. 18 of the 30 credit hours must be in courses numbered 300 or above.

Note: Sharing course work (credit hours) between the HUM major and another major is restricted to 6 hours.

All non-HUM courses taken toward the major must be approved by the HUM undergraduate coordinator.

Majors must choose 1 of the following tracks: Global Humanities or Peace and Conflict Studies.

Track 1: Global Humanities

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

Introduction to Humanities
HUM 110Introduction to Humanities3
or HUM 111 Introduction to Humanities, Honors
World Literature
HUM 304World Literature I3
or HUM 308 World Literature II
or HUM 312 World Literature III
Western Civilization
HUM 204Western Civilization I3
or HUM 205 Western Civilization II
or HUM 206 Contemporary Western Civilization
One Asian, African, Latin American or Indigenous Studies course from HUM or another department as approved by a HUM advisor (One EALC, AAAS, or ISP course at the 300 Level or above)3
One Digital Humanities or one Peace and Conflict Studies course3

15 remaining credit hours of major electives  at the 300-level or above in a student's area of interest to include a minimum of two courses (6 CR) from upper-division HUM courses and a maximum of three courses ( 9 CR) from other CLAS departments chosen in conjunction with an HUM advisor.

Courses at the 300-level or above in the following CLAS departments may be counted towards major elective credit for the Humanities degree:


Additionally, courses in these departments at the 300-level or above may also serve as major electives with HUM advisor approval:


Track 2: 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:

Introductory and Capstone Coursework
9 hours of introductory and capstone coursework:
HUM 110Introduction to Humanities3
or HUM 111 Introduction to Humanities, Honors
PCS 220Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies3
PCS 650Senior Seminar in Peace and Conflict Studies (students are required to carry out a substantive research project to produce a term paper or comparable work.)3
21 additional hours to include:
6 hours PCS upper division courses (2 out of 3):6
Classics of Peace Literature
Topics in Peace and Conflict Studies: _____
The Literature of Human Rights
6 hours of interdisciplinary core courses, for example:6
Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology: _____
Environmental Geopolitics
Globalization: History and Theory
Ethics in International Relations
International Law: The State and the Individual
International Law: Laws of Armed Conflicts
Religious Perspectives on War and Peace
Human Conflict and Peace
Transnational Migration
9 hours of courses from one of the three designated areas:9
Area 1: The pursuit of social, economic and environmental justice, for example:
Globalization: History and Theory
Africa Today
Wealth, Power, and Inequality
Area 2: The role of nation-states and of international norms and institutions, for example:
The Great War: The History of World War I
The History of the Second World War
Politics of the Middle East
Chinese Foreign Policy
Topics in International Relations:
Area 3: The impact of religious, philosophical, and cultural influences, for example:
Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology: _____
Readings in the Holocaust
Topics in Peace and Conflict Studies: _____
Religious Ethics
Human Conflict and Peace
Women, Health, and Healing in Latin America

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.

Sample 4-year plans for the BA degree in Humanities with the following concentrations can be found here: Global Humanities and Peace & Conflict Studies, or by using the left-side navigation.

Departmental Honors

An undergraduate student must maintain a minimum overall grade-point average of 3.25 and of 3.5 in the major. Students must be recommended for honors by the advisor of the comprehensive project completed for HUM 424 Senior Seminar in Humanities. Members of the HUM advisory committee then evaluate the project to determine whether the student should be awarded honors.