What is a Humanities Degree?
A Humanities Degree is like a big adventure into the world of people’s history, creations, and thoughts. It’s a study about humans, mainly focused on stuff that isn’t science or math, but everything else that tells us what it has been like to be a person throughout time. You dive into fascinating subjects, like how people have lived, the stories they’ve told, the languages they’ve spoken, and the beliefs they’ve held close.
When you go for a Humanities Degree, you sort of become a time-traveler, detective, artist, and philosopher, all rolled into one. By choosing this type of learning, you’re saying yes to unlocking mysteries of the past, interpreting words and art, and getting into the minds of great thinkers. This journey isn’t only about reading and listening; it’s about discussing ideas, understanding different perspectives, and contributing your unique voice to the conversation.
Types of Humanities Degrees
- Associate’s Degree: This two-year journey is like dipping your toes into a lake of knowledge. It’s perfect for those who want to get a feel for what studying Humanities is like and who want a strong foundation before deciding which direction to swim in deeper waters.
- Bachelor’s Degree: Over four years, you get to choose a path and follow it into a forest of learning. Whether it’s journeying through historical events or exploring philosophical ideas, this degree is a deeper dive where you find your passion and focus on learning all about it.
- Master’s Degree: If your thirst for knowledge isn’t quenched, a Master’s Degree will take you on a one to two-year expedition up the mountain of expertise. At this level, you’ve got a strong base camp, and now it’s time to talk with the experts and move towards peaks of understanding with your own research project.
- Doctorate Degree: Earning this top title means committing to a lifelong adventure. It’s an intense journey, and those who take it become masters of their subject. If you plan on climbing this mountain, prepare to break new ground and contribute to the world’s knowledge.
Examples of Humanities Degrees
- Bachelor of Arts in English: By choosing this degree, you step into a garden of words and learn how to create enchanting bouquets of thought. This is an example of a Humanities Degree because you examine and appreciate what writers have said about the human experience across time.
- Bachelor of Arts in History: With this choice, you become a detective of time, unraveling the stories and secrets of our past. It’s a Humanities Degree because it examines the paths people have taken and the legacies they’ve left behind, and how those connect to our present.
- Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy: Going after a Philosophy degree is like joining a gym designed for your mind. It’s fitting within the Humanities since you challenge your thoughts, learning to ask big questions and find thoughtful answers about existence, morals, and knowledge.
Why is a Humanities Degree Important?
Some may ask, “Why bother with subjects that don’t seem connected to jobs?” A Humanities Degree is crucial because it equips you with special tools for your mental toolbox. It sharpens your ability to think through puzzles and tough questions, which is vital in any field. By studying different cultures and viewpoints, you’re getting ready to connect with the diverse world we live in. And let’s not forget communication—the power to express ideas and stories clearly, whether in writing or out loud. Every job needs these skills, and so does life beyond work.
Origin of the Humanities
Long before our time, ancient thinkers in Greece and Rome valued knowing how to write, speak, and think clearly, and understanding ethics. These core studies were central to being well-rounded, educated citizens. “Humanities” comes from a Latin word meaning “the study of what it means to be human.” It’s about the skills and knowledge that help us connect and contribute to society.
Controversies Surrounding Humanities Degrees
While the world often emphasizes the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) for jobs, Humanities maintain that understanding people will always matter. Not everyone is set out to be a scientist or engineer, and that variety is good. The debate rages over whether Humanities should stand strong in universities when technology and science dominate job markets. But the value of Humanities is timeless, as a mirror to our society and nurturer of critical thinking and communication.
Why Should We Care About Philosophy in Humanities?
Philosophy is to Humanities what squats are to bodybuilding—it strengthens the core. Philosophy pushes your mind to tackle complex puzzles, judge what’s right or wrong, and ponder the universe’s big secrets. This mental exercise prepares you for all kinds of challenges, making you a strong thinker and reasoned decision-maker.
New Section: Related Topics
- Art History: When you study Art History, you’re looking at the timeline of human creativity. Each painting and sculpture tells a story about when and why it was created. It’s tied to the Humanities because looking at art is another way we explore the human spirit and its expression through the ages.
- Cultural Studies: It’s like being a cultural explorer. You investigate how people live—their customs, celebrations, and the little things they do every day—that make up a society. Cultural Studies connects to Humanities because it aims to understand the diverse ways of being human in the world.
- Linguistics: Linguistics zooms in on language to see how it works on a structural level—like the mechanics behind our words. It’s a part of Humanities because language is our main tool for sharing experiences and ideas, making it central to human life.
- Comparative Literature: This field invites you to travel across borders through books. As part of Humanities, it enriches our understanding of cultures by comparing their stories and literary traditions, showing our differences and what we share as humans.
Despite the debates, the wisdom and abilities you gain from a Humanities Degree last a lifetime. The power to dive deep into thought, see the world from various viewpoints, and communicate effectively is invaluable in nearly every career—and in life. More than anything, studying Humanities isn’t just about acquiring knowledge; it’s about cultivating a life filled with empathy and connections. Humanities teach us not just to know the world, but to truly understand it and relish our part in the human story.