A professor stands in front of a group of students at a Smart Museum exhibit titled "Poetry is Everything."


Humanities Collegiate Division

The Humanities Collegiate Division is the College’s home for humanistic inquiry and artistic practice. There are many ways for College students to study the humanities or to make art. In the Humanities and Arts Cores, students learn to read closely, think critically, write and speak effectively, or make and interpret art. Through the Humanities Signature courses students get to sample the best the humanistic disciplines have to offer. They can study one of more than 50 languages or join one of many student-run theater productions. They can intern at the Smart Museum of Art or conduct their own research project in the College Summer Research Institute. And of course, they can pursue one of 26 major or minors offered by the Humanities Collegiate Division.

Humanities and Arts Curriculum

    In the small discussion-based seminars of the Humanities Core, students enter into conversation with great thinkers of the past and present about questions and issues that have preoccupied mankind for millennia. Satisfying the general education requirement in the humanities, the Humanities Core teaches students to read closely, think critically, and communicate effectively.

    The Arts Core allows students to engage critically and creatively with art in a wide variety of courses. By training students’ critical imagination, they are enabled not only to perceive and understand art more thoughtfully but create their own art more self-reflexively. The Arts Core Curriculum draws on courses from Art History, Cinema & Media Studies, Creative Writing, Music, Theater & Performance Studies, and Visual Art.

    Clear and compelling communication is one of the main aims of a liberal arts education and is the domain of the humanities. The College’s Writing Program and the Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse offer a variety of courses and services to students.

    Students can learn over 50 languages at the University of Chicago. Through one of the many Study Abroad programs or through a Foreign Language Acquisition Grant (FLAG) students can deepen their immersion and improve their proficiency.

    Humanities Signature Courses introduce students to exciting themes, ideas, and materials in the humanities. They are designed as gateway courses that open up fields and disciplines for further exploration. While they have no prerequisites and are open to all students, they may satisfy major and minor requirements.

    Course Clusters enable students to explore topics or fields of wide intellectual concern from the vantage points of multiple disciplines. Cluster Courses have no prerequisites and are aimed at a general audience.

    Not limited to the sciences, undergraduate research in the humanities and the arts allows students to experience the thrill of discovery and to acquire the transferable skills of humanistic inquiry. The College Center for Research and Fellowships works with faculty and programs in the Humanities to provide a variety of research opportunities for students in the College.

Internships and Careers

Whether humanities is your main interest or you want to double major in another field, a humanities degree can support your career success. UChicago is a top destination for interdisciplinary exploration—in fact, the percentage of students simultaneously pursuing majors in the humanities and beyond the humanities has more than doubled in the last 10 years. Humanities students have applied their studies to tech, consulting, the arts, law, medicine and more. These fields increasingly seek students with strong interdisciplinary backgrounds and humanistic skills. Humanities majors nationwide tied with math and statistics majors for the highest acceptance rates to medical school in the 2023 cycle.

A humanities degree from UChicago prepares students for a highly diverse range of career paths.

  • Arts and Culture: Use your creative and organizational skills at leading cultural institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Christie’s, the Smithsonian Institute or Sotheby’s.
  • Business & Tech: Apply your analytical skills to solve complex programs with top consulting and tech firms such as Amazon, BCG, Google or McKinsey.
  • Language Careers: Build cross-cultural understanding in public sector agencies such as the Peace Corps and U. S. State Department, or at global companies such as Bosch and Siemens.
  • Storytelling & Creative Media: Bring stories to life as a book writer, journalist, screenwriter, or game designer with studios and publications such as Amazon Originals, CNN, Electronic Arts, Netflix, New York Times, Paramount or Riot Games.

Learn more about the resources in the College that can help you apply your humanities degree to a meaningful career.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

Take advantage of experiences off campus, in Chicago, across the nation, and around the globe.

Programs of Study