Humanities is a central liberal arts field in many universities.
Humanities is a central liberal arts field in many universities.

The humanities field incorporates a wide variety of disciplines, all of which are related to human culture. Courses explore the wide range of human interactions and behavior. Humanities programs are commonly found in liberal arts schools, although classes are also available at community colleges and even technical universities. Humanities students are bright, cultured, introspective and excellent communicators. According to a 2015 American Academy on Arts & Science, humanities graduates most often find jobs in management, education and the legal profession.

Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy and religion courses examine the basic "human" questions that have been asked throughout history. Philosophy classes in logic teach reasoning skills. Studying world religions increases cultural awareness. Philosophy questions the reasons for human thought and analyzes human activity. Religion and theology explore the origins of human existence, moving beyond the physical realm of the hard sciences. Both subjects also question morality, as well as the various ethical systems that have been developed throughout history. Philosophy and religions have great leaders whose ideas advanced civilization.

Literature and Language

Literature and language courses explore the various means of human communication throughout history and in contemporary times. Literature courses usually involve reading and analyzing various works, such as novels, plays and ancient forms of literature like Greek tragedy. Students analyze the author's intent in the books and explore various themes in the stories. Most literature courses are centered around a theme, such as Russian literature or British women novelists of the 20th century. Language courses may study the history and origins of languages or the structure of a particular language. Courses may also discuss new movements in modern linguistics, such as computer language.

The Arts

Courses in the fine arts are also considered part of the humanities field, since they offer insights into the various types of human expression. Music, art, film and theater courses are all part of the humanities as well. Typical introductory classes include music appreciation, film study and introduction to theatre. More advanced courses in art criticism explore different art forms and their appeal to a specific audience. Fine arts courses may also be historical in nature and focus on how a particular art formed has developed throughout the centuries.

History and Anthropology

Courses in history and anthropology are also part of a typical humanities curriculum. These classes explore the rise and fall of various cultures throughout the ages in an attempt to interpret human action and political development. Sub-topics in these courses may include classes in politics, archaeology, sociology, government and economics. General education requirements typically include introductory classes in U.S. history, social problems and political science, for instance. The humanities field tends to be more interpretive and reflexive than the more numerical, fact-based social sciences and the quantitative method of the physical sciences.