Choosing to Study the Humanities

October 31, 2019 Choosing to Study the Humanities

When selecting an area of study, students are faced with a plethora of choices. Dozens of programs offering hundreds of classes can feel overwhelming, and even just narrowing choices down to a overall field or area of study can be difficult.

At colleges and universities, programs are often divided into broad areas of study, falling under such umbrellas as the sciences, the humanities, the arts, the social sciences, education, and so on. Even these umbrellas can be confusing, as some categories can actually lie within others. For example, the arts and social sciences actually fall under humanities, something that sometimes confuses new students.

The humanities is the study of how people throughout history and around the world, have explored the world around them, and how they have processed their discoveries and documented them, as well as what they have learned about and from the past and what they predict for the future. Seemingly all-encompassing, the humanities include the arts, law, philosophy, religion, languages, anthropology, history and much more. Choosing to study the humanities, therefore, far more complicated than simply deciding that, since you have no interest in the sciences, you’ll instead pursue the humanities.

It is a good idea, if you are unsure what exactly you’d like to study, to take an introductory course in the humanities, to get a solid overview and to help you understand the general topic and the areas of study to be found within it. Community colleges and online universities are good places to find introductory classes that can be taken even while still in high school or over the summer before beginning studies at a college or university.