College of Humanities & Fine Arts

BA in Humanities


The term “Humanities” refers to a broad range of subjects—including art, architecture, history, music, dance, languages, literature, philosophy, ethics, and religion.  Students who select Humanities as a major study the achievements of the human heart and mind; they work within a variety of disciplines in order to acquire a deeper understanding of themselves, civilization, and the world.

A degree in Humanities provides a classic liberal education, an education which helps prepare students for any occupation in the business or professional world that requires understanding, sensitivity, imagination, skill in oral and written communication, and the adaptability that comes from a broad cultural and intellectual background. It also provides a firm foundation for those students who hope to attend graduate school and who, thereafter, intend to pursue a career in higher education.

As an interdisciplinary program with links to every department within the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Humanities program provides access to a nationally acclaimed faculty, leading-edge research facilities, and award-winning arts programs.

A Humanities major or minor is ideal for students who are interested in the artistic, spiritual, and intellectual traditions that stand behind and continue to shape the world in which they live.


The Humanities Program at California State University, Chico exists to 1) educate students in the appreciation, scholarly analysis and critical assessment of the artistic and intellectual creations of Western and non-western cultures; 2) promote student understanding of the disciplines that comprise the study of the humanities together with the aesthetic, intellectual, political, and religious dimensions of culture; 3) deepen students' appreciation of the development of ideas and artistic creations in changing historical and social contexts; 4) empower students to exceptional fluency in written and oral communication; 5) cultivate an appreciation of the relationship between language and the humanities through significant study of a foreign language; 6) encourage a deep knowledge and personal experience of a foreign culture.

Goals & Objectives

  • Possess an appreciation of the nature, scope, and historical contingency of the development of Western and select non-western cultures, including intellectual traditions, the arts and architecture, and language and literature.
  • Understand how various academic disciplines (including philosophy, religious studies, history, languages and literatures, art, music, theater, and anthropology) are effectively employed in the study of the humanities and material culture.
  • Understand how the humanities inform and are informed by various dimensions of human experience and knowledge, including social organization, politics, religious belief, economics, science, and gender and ethnicity; and how various humanities disciplines are used to better understand these.
  • Acquire the skills of critical reading, listening, and reasoning that foster conversation and the study of the humanities
  • Develop the ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing in a variety of formats.
  • Master the research skills and methods appropriate to the contemporary study of the humanities, including library, internet, and field research.
  • Develop proficiency in a modern language or classical language
  • Pursue studies in the humanities in another country or culture through a study abroad program.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students can demonstrate factual knowledge of the emergence and development of a set of ideas, an artistic form or medium, or a religious, philosophical, or artistic tradition.
  2. Students will be able to apply methodological approaches of at least two academic disciplines in the humanities.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to perform close analysis of  or assess a given cultural artifact with reference to  standards appropriate to the medium, cultural origin and time period of the work.
  4. Students can make clear, well organized, and substantive written presentations.
  5. Students can make clear, well organized, and substantive oral presentations.
  6. Students will be able to read and comprehend beginning or intermediate level prose in the foreign language.