Why study the humanities?

Humanities Commons: What Does it Mean to be Human?

New versions of first-year courses in Religious Studies, Philosophy, History, and English seek to educate in the spirit of the Common Academic Program (CAP) and will be part of a Humanities Commons program that introduces each of the seven CAP student learning outcomes while meeting appropriate disciplinary objectives.

In addition, these courses will create a foundation for student learning in the rest of the Common Academic Program and in majors. The courses will exhibit, at an introductory level, the value of humanistic inquiry and reflection as a means of advancing the seven learning outcomes. Particular emphasis will be placed on the diversity outcome.

Collectively, these courses will introduce students to the concept that learning is a process of integrating knowledge within and across disciplines. To help students understand the differences among disciplines and to begin to understand the importance of integrating knowledge across those disciplines, the faculties of the departments offering these courses will develop other common elements, questions or themes to be considered in these courses. These courses challenge students to ask the question: "What does it mean to be human?" When considered collectively, these courses will familiarize students with central concepts and texts of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

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