Interdisciplinary Studies (Humanities Concentration)

The humanities are the backbone of civilization; the history of where we came from, the art that inspires us, the language that allows us to communicate and the philosophies that guide our actions. They are what transform a group of human beings into a civilized community. The humanities concentration further examines these facets of society and how they affect one another. 

All students are presented with foundational coursework in the liberal arts through the General Education Program including math, English, history, science and a broad range of other related subjects. Through the Concentration, students pursue personal or professional interests in the humanities through introductory and upper division courses in Art/Art History, Communication Studies, Modern and Classical Languages, English/Literature, Music, Theatre & Film, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Theology, 

Goal 1: Students will develop content knowledge of the disciplines of the humanities.

Outcome 1.1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of key theories, concepts, and/or issues within the study of History, Languages, Literature, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Theology, and/or the Arts.

Goal 2: Students will develop an understanding of the methods of inquiry and critical thinking that typify the study of the humanities.

Outcome 2.1: Students will closely read, accurately analyze, and evaluate primary texts and/or works of art. 

Outcome 2.2:  Students will discuss how the texts/art works studied contribute to larger historical conversations, debates, and cultural traditions. 

Outcome 2.3: Students will analyze texts or works of art as resources for understanding and appreciating the complexities of human identity, dignity, and experience.

The General Education Program (GEP) at Saint Joseph’s University involves a distinctive liberal arts education in the Jesuit, Catholic tradition.  General education is essential to the University’s mission, providing all students with the broad knowledge, essential skills, appreciation of diversity, and ethically informed perspective needed by those who would aspire to be “men and women for others.” The GEP ensures mastery of skills required for further study, exposes students to the principal achievements and problems of the major fields of human learning, and introduces them to new disciplines that they may or may not wish to pursue. The Major component gives depth in a particular field and is thus a preparation for an effective career or for graduate study in that field. Free or general electives allow students to pursue interests, explore new fields, or to continue concentration in their major. 

The Degree Completion Education Program (GEP) applies to students who are completing a Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS) or Bachelor of Business Administration degrees (BBA). 

The Degree Completion GEP is comprised of Signature Core, Variable Core,  Integrative Learning courses and a Diversity Overlay.

Signature Core

PHL 154Moral Foundations3
THE 154Catholic Theological Tradition (or THE 153 Encountering the New Testament, or THE 155 Catholic Social Tradition)3
ENG 102Texts & Contexts3
HIS 154Forging the Modern World3
Any course certified as Faith & Reason3
Any course in written and oral communication

Variable Core

  • One approved course in Art, Literature, or Music, Theater, Film.

  • One course in the Natural Sciences (lab-based or lecture based) in biology, chemistry, environmental science, or physics.

  • Two courses in Mathematics.  BLS degree majors require MAT 101 or higher; BBA degree majors require MAT 103 (or MAT 120 precalculus) and MAT 123 (or an alternate calculus course).

  • One course in a Non-Native Language (e.g., SPA 111-SPA 112) or one approved alternative course in Literature in Translation or Classics. Students who are bilingual may request an exemption for the language requirement from the Department of Linguistics and Languages.

  • One course in the Social-Behavioral Sciences including Political Science, Economics, Sociology, and Psychology.  Please note that some majors require a specific course.

  • One course that is certified as a Philosophical Anthropology course.

  • One course from Religious Studies or Theology that is certified as a Religious Difference course.

  • ENG 101 Craft of Language.

Integrative Learning Courses

(2 courses required)

  • Courses approved for ILC requirements will vary by major. Some majors have specific courses that must be taken.


  • Adult Learner Program students are required to complete one couse that is certified as a diversity overlay.

Free Electives

Except for Early Childhood/Elementary Pre K-4 Education majors, all students must complete a minimum of 18 free elective credits.  Elective credits may be used to pursue a minor or secondary major.

Humanities Courses

Select two introductory level Humanities courses6
Complete six upper division courses in the humanities from three disciplines including:
Art and Art History
Communication Studies
Modern & Classical Languages
Theater and Film
Theology & Religious Studies