Humanities & Liberal Studies


The Humanities and Liberal Studies Program’s reading list is inspired by the Great Books. The major offers its students a broad liberal arts education through a comprehensive study of the Western intellectual tradition as presented in philosophy, literature, theology, history and, to some extent, in the experimental sciences and mathematics. Under optimum circumstances, classes are conducted as seminars with a maximum enrollment of twenty students. This interdisciplinary major allows Ave Maria University to offer its students the opportunity to be nourished in a truly integrated curriculum, as with Great Books Colleges and Programs elsewhere. The Major in Humanities and Liberal Studies is a properly catholic discipline for a Catholic University.

Explore the Humanities & Liberal Studies Program

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

Sample Electives (12 Credits Required)

  • 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

See the Academic Catalogue for course descriptions

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: Canizaro Library 161B
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 161A
Phone: (239) 280-1612

Barry David, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Philosophy
Education: B.A., History & Classical Philosophy, University of King’s College & Dalhousie University; M.A., History, Classics, & Religion, Carleton University; Ph.D., Medieval Philosophy, University of Toronto
Office: Henkels 3046
Phone: (239) 280-2534

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

Michael Sugrue, Ph.D.

Professor of History and Humanities 
Education: A.B., History, University of Chicago; M.A. History, University of Chicago, M.Phil. History, University of Chicago, Ph.D., History, Columbia University
Office: Henkels 2018
Phone: (239) 280-1624