About

The humanities major condenses art history, music history, and literature—cultural expression in every significant form—into one powerful major. You’ll survey the human experience through various lenses: One course might examine the art of the ancient Greeks, another might analyze contemporary music and songwriting, and another might examine Civil War literature. At Suffolk, you’re within blocks of thriving museums, landmark music venues, and libraries.

Often, General Humanities majors continue to graduate school in art history, English, or other liberal arts disciplines. Others pursue careers in arts management and museum work: Recent graduates have gone on to careers at deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum, one of the country’s pre-eminent houses of contemporary art, and New York City’s Transportation Museum.

You’ll choose from three concentrations:

  • Art History

    Art History is a visual survey of the past. You’ll study groundbreaking artists and significant pieces of art to better understand and evaluate world events and contemporary culture. Suffolk’s access to some of the country’s top museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, act as learning laboratories. Many Art History students spend junior year abroad in an artistic center like Rome or Paris.

  • Music History

    The major offers a window into the very soul of society: You’ll evaluate groundbreaking musicians and composers for their artistic merits and also for their social and cultural impact. Learning about Medieval troubadours and chants, for instance, unearths the world of the Roman Empire; a course on jazz spotlights the socially charged era of the Harlem Renaissance. Suffolk has a hugely varied course catalogue in music history; you’ll study large movements like the blues and hip-hop, and you’ll also go hyperlocal, with courses on music as close to home as Boston and as far away as Africa. You’ll take advantage of Suffolk’s proximity to top music venues like the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Opera House.

  • Humanities

    General Humanities celebrates cultural expression through literature, with additional courses in history and philosophy. The focus here is on understanding cultural evolution and the human experience through story-telling—if you’re a bookworm, this concentration is ideal. You can also supplement your coursework with upper-level classes in music and art.

Minor Requirements

Minors require six courses (24 credits) of coursework and are available in art history, music history, and general humanities. See the art history and music history pages of the catalog for specific requirements.

General Humanities Minor

Required (4 courses, 16 credits)

  • ARH-101 Art History I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A survey of the art of western civilization from prehistoric caves to the cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented in their historical context. Course covers Egyptian, Ancient Near Eastern, Greek, Roman, early Islamic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ARH-102 Art History II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A survey of the art of Europe and America from the Renaissance to the present. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented in their historical context. Course covers the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, and Post-Modernism.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ENG-113 World Drama I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Survey of drama and theatre as part of world culture from classical Greece through 18th-century China. Normally offered yearly.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement,Cultural Diversity Opt B

  • ENG-114 World Drama II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Survey of drama and theatre as part of world culture from the 19th century to the present.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement,Cultural Diversity Opt A

  • ENG-123 Great Books of World Lit. I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Literary masterpieces from ancient times to the Renaissance, including: Homer's Odyssey, Sophocles' Oedipus, Virgil's Aeneid, selections from the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels, and Dante's Divine Comedy. List may vary at the discretion of the instructor.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ENG-124 Great Books of World Lit II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Literary masterpieces from the 17th century to the 20th, including Don Quixote (Spain), Faust (Germany), Madame Bovary (France), War and Peace (Russia) , One Hundred Years of Solitude (Colombia), The Rouge of the North (China), The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptomist (Israel), and So Long a Letter (Senegal). List may vary at the discretion of the instructor. Normally offered yearly.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • PHIL-210 History of Ancient & Medieval Philosophy

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    The study of philosophical thought from the period of the ancient Greek philosophers through the Medieval thinkers, including such philosophers as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Zeno, Parmenides, Pythagoras, Protagoras, Augustine, Aquinas, Anselm, and Abelard. An introductory course designed to equip the student with a well grounded understanding and appreciation of Philosophy. 1 term - 4 credits. Normally offered every year.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • PHIL-211 History of Modern Philosophy

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A study of the prominent modern thinkers, such as Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. The course is an historical survey of the key concepts, problems and developments in modern philosophy including rationalism, empiricism, and skepticism. The following themes central to Modern philosophy will be addressed: the nature of reality; the limits of human knowledge; self and self-identity; mind and body; freedom in theory and practice; reason vs. sentiment in ethics. 1 term - 4 credits. Normally offered every year.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

Choose Two Advanced Courses (8 credits)

Two ARH or MUH courses at the 200-level or higher

Notes:

  • A maximum of two courses taken at other institutions or as part of a study abroad program may apply toward the minor.
  • Any Seminar for Freshmen with a topic related to art/art history, music/music history, literature, or other areas of humanistic inquiry counts toward the minor.

Major Requirements

The department offers the BA in art history, music history, and general humanities. All majors require ten courses/38-40 credits of coursework. See the requirements for art history and music history.

General Humanities Major

Prerequisites

  • ARH-101 Art History I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A survey of the art of western civilization from prehistoric caves to the cathedrals of the Middle Ages. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented in their historical context. Course covers Egyptian, Ancient Near Eastern, Greek, Roman, early Islamic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ARH-102 Art History II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A survey of the art of Europe and America from the Renaissance to the present. Works of painting, sculpture, and architecture are presented in their historical context. Course covers the Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, and Post-Modernism.

    Term:

    Offered Both Fall and Spring

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ENG-113 World Drama I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Survey of drama and theatre as part of world culture from classical Greece through 18th-century China. Normally offered yearly.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement,Cultural Diversity Opt B

  • ENG-114 World Drama II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Survey of drama and theatre as part of world culture from the 19th century to the present.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement,Cultural Diversity Opt A

  • ENG-123 Great Books of World Lit. I

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Literary masterpieces from ancient times to the Renaissance, including: Homer's Odyssey, Sophocles' Oedipus, Virgil's Aeneid, selections from the Hebrew Bible and the Gospels, and Dante's Divine Comedy. List may vary at the discretion of the instructor.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • ENG-124 Great Books of World Lit II

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    Literary masterpieces from the 17th century to the 20th, including Don Quixote (Spain), Faust (Germany), Madame Bovary (France), War and Peace (Russia) , One Hundred Years of Solitude (Colombia), The Rouge of the North (China), The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptomist (Israel), and So Long a Letter (Senegal). List may vary at the discretion of the instructor. Normally offered yearly.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • PHIL-210 History of Ancient & Medieval Philosophy

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    The study of philosophical thought from the period of the ancient Greek philosophers through the Medieval thinkers, including such philosophers as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Zeno, Parmenides, Pythagoras, Protagoras, Augustine, Aquinas, Anselm, and Abelard. An introductory course designed to equip the student with a well grounded understanding and appreciation of Philosophy. 1 term - 4 credits. Normally offered every year.

    Term:

    Offered Fall Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

  • PHIL-211 History of Modern Philosophy

    Credits:

    4.00

    Description:

    A study of the prominent modern thinkers, such as Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. The course is an historical survey of the key concepts, problems and developments in modern philosophy including rationalism, empiricism, and skepticism. The following themes central to Modern philosophy will be addressed: the nature of reality; the limits of human knowledge; self and self-identity; mind and body; freedom in theory and practice; reason vs. sentiment in ethics. 1 term - 4 credits. Normally offered every year.

    Term:

    Offered Spring Term

    Type:

    Humanities & History,Humanities Literature Requirement

Six Advanced Courses

Two ARH courses at the 300-level or higher
Two MUH courses

Two courses in Literature and/or Philosophy selected from the following:
  • Any ENG course numbered 217 or higher
  • Any PHIL course except 119, 123, and 127
  • Any GER course numbered 216 or higher
  • Any FR course numbered 205 or higher
  • Any SPAN course at the 300 or 400 level

Notes:

  • A maximum of four courses taken at other institutions or as part of a study abroad program may apply toward the major.
  • Departmental honors: Candidates must register for HUM 502 in the fall semester of the senior year and complete an honors thesis under the supervision of a faculty member. HUM 502 counts toward completion of the major.
  • Any Seminar for Freshmen with a topic related to art/art history, music/music history, literature, or other areas of humanistic inquiry counts toward the major.

    Honors

    Students interested in honors should consult with the department chair during the spring semester of their junior year. Qualifying students must have a 3.2 overall GPA as well as a 3.5 GPA in humanities courses.

    Honors candidates should register for HUM 502 in the fall semester of the senior year. Under the guidance of a faculty member they will use this course to complete a research paper, which will be evaluated by all the professors in the student’s field of study. If the evaluation is positive, the student will make an oral presentation of the paper in the spring.