Humanities and Liberal Studies

Humanities and Liberal Studies

at a glance

Major icon MAJOR

In the Humanities and Liberal Studies major, you’ll delve into the wealth and wisdom of the greatest minds of our western intellectual tradition. Our classes are given in seminar format with a maximum enrollment of 20 students so you can benefit from more individualized learning attention, better self-expression and intellectually significant classroom conversation.

Careers: Graduate Studies, Education, Philosophy, Theology, Performing Arts

humanities the death of socrates


In Humanities at AMU, you’ll embark on a comprehensive study of western philosophy, literature, theology, the arts and history. You can also tailor your own path of studies by selecting suitable electives from the best courses that we offer. If you’re a spirited student who loves great books, beautiful language and powerful ideas, you belong here!

light bulbFast Fact: Our Humanities & Liberal Studies reading list is based on the Great Books program to give you a truly integrated curriculum.

humanities bookshelf skills you will gain

Skills you will gain with

A Humanities and Liberal Studies DEGREE

  1. Writing and communication. Learn to write skillfully to express, explain and argue your ideas clearly and thoroughly, and to persuade your listeners.
  2. Research and critical thinking. Many of your courses have research papers that challenge you to dig deeper into specific topics and compare and evaluate the insights of different thinkers.
  3. Integral perspective. Come to better understand yourself and the world by reading what the best authors have thought about the most important questions.
humanities bookshelf skills you will gain


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A look into the

Humanities and Liberal Studies DEPARTMENT

Welcome to the study of humanitas.  Our students’ high standards of self-expression, the intellectually significant classroom conversation, and a unique program await you.  Indeed, our students tailor their own path of studies by selecting suitable electives from the best courses that the university offers.  As a result, the major offers a broad liberal arts education through a comprehensive study of the western intellectual tradition as presented especially in philosophy, literature, theology, the arts, and history.  To major in humanities, we seek spirited students who love great books, beautiful language, and powerful ideas.

In addition to the core curriculum, humanities majors take the following courses

  • HUMS 206/LITR 206 Shakespeare
  • HUMS 301 Humanities Seminar I
  • HUMS 302 Humanities Seminar II
  • HUMS 370 C.S. Lewis: Theological Apologetics
  • HUMS 490 Thomas More
  • POLT 402 Modernity and Post-modernity, POLT 403 Tyranny and Totalitarianism, or POLT 404 Technology, Science, and Politics
  • 12 credits in Humanities electives

Sample Electives

  • COMM 230 Rhetoric
  • COMM 250 Public Speaking and Discourse
  • GREK 203 Greek Readings: Prose
  • HIST 366 The History of the British Empire
  • HIST 367 War and Culture
  • HUMS 325 Jane Austen and Samuel Johnson
  • HUMS 330 Shakespeare in Performance
  • LATN 204 Golden Age Poetry
  • LATN 304 Latin Church Fathers
  • LITR 491 Capstone in Literature
  • PHIL 405 Philosophy of Science
  • POLT 201 Introduction to Political Thought
  • POLT 302 Catholic Political Thought
  • POLT 310 Media and Politics

Given the overlapping character of many courses offered by various departments, courses from any department with substantial interdisciplinary content or within the Western intellectual tradition are eligible as electives or as replacements for required courses, subject to the prior approval from the Department Chair.

Click the button to view our typical 4-year plan.

John Colman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Politics

Education: B.A., Political Science, Carleton University; M.A., Political Science, Carleton University; Ph.D., Political Science, Boston College
Office: Thomas Student Union 2007B
Phone: (239) 280-1609

Travis Curtright, Ph.D.

Chair of the Humanities Department, Director of Shakespeare in Performance, Professor of Humanities & Literature

Education: B.A., Philosophy, University of Dallas; M.A. Literature, University of Dallas; Ph.D., Literature, University of Dallas
Office: Canizaro Library 219
Phone: (239) 280-1612

Michael Dauphinais, Ph.D.

Chair of the Theology Department, Fr. Matthew L. Lamb Professor of Catholic Theology, Professor of Theology and Humanities

Education: B.S., Engineering, Duke University; M.T.S., Theology, Duke Divinity School; Ph.D., Systematic Theology, University of Notre Dame
Office: Henkels 3005
Phone: (239) 280-2538
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Andrew Dinan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Classics

Education: B.A., Liberal Studies, University of Notre Dame; M.T.S., Moral Theology, John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage & Family; M.A., Greek & Latin, Catholic University of America; Ph.D., Greek & Latin, Catholic University of America
Office: Henkels 2050
Phone: (239) 280-1619

More to help you


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Career Services prides itself on providing students, alumni and employers with the opportunity to connect. No matter where you are in your career search, whether it’s deciding on a path, preparing for your first job interview or working on graduate school or fellowship applications, we can help.

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Catholic Culture

The spiritual life on campus is the beating heart of Ave. Whether it’s attending Mass, receiving the sacraments, participating in retreats or getting spiritual direction, you’ll find the spiritual support you need from the priests and staff of Campus Ministry.

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With AMU’s core curriculum, you’ll not only achieve breadth of knowledge, but also depth of knowledge. You’ll encounter the truth about God and His creation more completely through the dynamic interplay of all of the liberal arts, including theology and natural science.

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Shakespeare in Performance is a unique minor in which students form a troupe of actors, singers, musicians and dancers and perform to sold-out audiences. You’ll learn to speak Shakespeare’s language with confidence; carefully read his plays to better understand the human condition; and train in voice, dramaturgy, movement and a common artistic vocabulary of acting as a gift of self. In short, you will find yourself saying, “I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”


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