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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Humanities

Majors Overview March 12, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in humanities and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Humanities

Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in humanities are commonly allowed to tailor coursework in accordance with their interests, and they are allowed to focus on an area or theme of interest.

The coursework in the majority of humanities programs combines cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary educational opportunities, whereby students can develop theories and concepts specifically relevant to their area of interest.
Varying by school, numerous areas of humanities are offered for students to focus on, including writing, architecture, history, religion, philosophy, theatre, music, film, art, languages, and literature. Following selection of an area of specialization, enrolled students can obtain instruction on general education and be guided by their specialization area in examining and evaluating traditions and cultures. Students may gain skills in critical thinking, writing, oral and written communication, analysis, and adaptability as well as gain a broad understanding of cultural and intellectual backgrounds.

Programs often offer students the opportunity to participate in internships or study abroad opportunities to develop their study further. Some programs require students to formulate a written argument or thesis on a relevant issue related to the modern world, ethics, or social sciences in order to promote intellectual integrity. Most programs also require that students become proficient in a language other than their native language.

Applicants to a bachelor’s degree program in humanities should submit official high school transcripts or GED scores.

Coursework

A student’s specialization area would dictate the coursework in a bachelor’s degree program with a focus in humanities; this may include advanced-level coursework with a focus on the particular discipline of study. For instance, a specialization in philosophy would point to coursework topic areas such as ancient philosophy, aesthetics, or existentialism. A specialization in film may indicate coursework focused on film history and digital video.

The majority of humanities and liberal arts courses include general education and foundation coursework of a universal nature, such as:

•History
•Creative arts
•Culture
•Classical literature
•Composition
•Philosophy
•Modern language

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in humanities may seek employment in the fields of performance, journalism, administration, media, or education. They may seek job positions such as:

•Teacher
•Writer
•Editor
•Reporter

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of 3% have been predicted for writers. Over the same period, job growth for editors could remain stagnant. Reporters and correspondents could see a decline of 13% driven by a fall in numbers of viewers and readers of news shows and newspapers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, editors brought home an average annual wage of $53,880, while reporters and correspondents earned $37,090 and writers banked $55,940 (BLS).

Job growth and wage rates vary by the level of work done (BLS). For example, while elementary and middle school teachers are expected to witness 12% job growth over the 2012 – 2022 period, high school educators are expected to see a 6% growth during the same period. In May 2012, elementary teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers brought home respective average annual wages of $53,090, $53,430, and $55,050 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may opt for continuing education by earning an interdisciplinary master’s degree in humanities. The broad program allows flexibility for students to examine their area of interest in greater depth.

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