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Motivating curious students to develop their own unique major
Due to the flexibility of this major, students study a wide range of topics that go beyond traditional disciplines associated with Humanities, such as arts and literature. While Liberal Arts classes provide the foundation for the Humanities major, many students integrate courses from other colleges. Recent Humanities contracts have included topics such as “Women’s Roles in Globalized Medicine”, “Human Rights”, “Children’s Visual Media”, and “Game Theory”.
As honors students, Humanities majors are engaged in research. This unique major culminates in a required honors thesis written during the senior year. The thesis allows students to design a project, conduct in-depth research, and work closely with a faculty supervisor.
While Humanities students’ unique majors set them apart, they come together by joining a small, close-knit community within the Liberal Arts Honors Office. The many benefits of the program include individualized advising from the program Director, eligibility to apply for LAH scholarships, and access to the LAH computer lab and commons room.
The Humanities Program offers highly motivated students the opportunity to design their own course of study as a major for the B.A. degree. Each applicant to the program consults with the Humanities advisor to create a flexible and self-mapped major consisting of forty-two credit hours beyond The University's basic education requirements.
Students blend a range of courses and disciplines connected by a single theme, going beyond the traditional disciplines associated with the Humanities. Each course in the “contract” — the individual program of study — must clearly contribute to a coherent major with a focus on a particular theme, idea, or question. That interdisciplinary subject may be as specific as Humanitarian Aid in Central Asia and Latin America, or as comprehensive as Literature, History, and Art.
Each unique major culminates in a two-semester honors thesis — the student designs a project, conducts in-depth research, and works closely with a faculty supervisor. On occasion the thesis may be an original creative work such as a documentary film, a collection of poems, or an art installment. Humanities seniors present their thesis findings at a conference for the academic community each semester.
One recent graduate drew from the collection of disciplines she most enjoys — Government, Women and Gender Studies, and Rhetoric — to form her unique major: “Human Rights and the Media.” For her thesis she compared NGO and newspaper coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis. In her analysis she found that the distinction between journalists and NGOs is blurring, as NGOs adopt common news frames for their reporting. Her project is just one example of the wide-ranging research that honors students perform in the Humanities Program.
What permits such comprehensive and diverse undergraduate research to happen? The answer is the program’s tight-knit, academically motivated community. In addition to in-depth research, students benefit from the program’s many other offerings: individualized advising, the Liberal Arts Honors commons room and computer lab, stipends for unpaid internships, and scholarships for research and study abroad.
This major is not appropriate for the student who hopes simply to sample many interesting courses with no particular direction. Nor is it appropriate for the student who has a strong interest in a subject taught by a given department, but hopes to avoid certain parts of the major in that department. Proposals that fall into either of those categories will not be approved.
You can invest in the College and provide opportunities to students and faculty through either planned giving or outright gifts that often carry special tax incentives. Your donations will be used to help us expand our educational and scholarly mission.
How to Give
To make a gift online, visit our secure website. You may use American Express, Discover, Master Card or Visa to make a gift.
- "College of Liberal Arts" and then "Humanities Program" should be pre-populated.
- Enter the gift amount.
- If the gift is in honor of someone, please specify the person's name in the box provided below.
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Of course, we welcome the opportunity to meet with you and seek your guidance in assisting the College. If you would like to make a gift, please mail your pledge to:
Justin Michalka, Executive Director of Development
College of Liberal Arts
The University of Texas at Austin
University Development Office
P.O. Box 7458
Austin, TX 78713
You may also e-mail Justin Michalka at email@example.com or call (512) 471-8861 to receive more information.
The Humanities Honors Program offers motivated and curious students the opportunity to develop a unique major around a specific research interest or idea. As an interdisciplinary degree, students have the ability to pull together courses from across the university and connect them under an overarching theme.
Scheduling Advising Appointments
Advising appointments are recommended to be held via Zoom.
Advising appointments can be scheduled online here:
Dr. Linda Mayhew, Humanities majors and LAH advising: http://calendly.com/lindamayhew
*COVID-19 IMPACT ON ADVISING*
- All advising appointments will be held via Zoom. You can connect with a computer or phone.
- Advising appointments can be scheduled online here:
Dr. Linda Mayhew, Humanities majors and LAH advising: https://calendly.com/lindamayhew