If you come to Boston University and take our exciting humanities classes in the College of Arts & Sciences, you will meet world-class professors who want to teach you:

  • How to bridge the different cultures of human experience.
  • How to acquire the creative and analytical skills to last a lifetime.
  • How to develop an adaptable intelligence.
  • How to think critically, speak clearly, and write convincingly.
  • How to tell again the stories that connect us, that challenge our minds and souls, but also that ground us in the world.

If you come to BU, you will also meet smart students who want to take fascinating humanities classes in the following disciplines:

Learn about the cultural environment in which you live, and how American culture and society compare to those of other parts of the world.

American & New England Studies website

Major: American Studies

Minor: American Studies

Resources: Graduate-undergraduate mentorship program

More reasons to major in American Studies.

Learn about Greece and Rome—myth, drama, history, and the origins of Western civilization.

Classical Studies website

Majors: Ancient Greek, Ancient Greek & Latin, Classical Civilization, Classics & Philosophy, Classics & Religion, and Latin

Minors: Ancient Greek, Classical Civilization, Latin, Modern Greek, and Myth Studies

Resources: Undergraduate Classics Association, BU Philhellenes, Classics HouseLanguage Link (language discussion groups), Academic Advising (language advising), study abroad

Find out why one student chose to leave an Engineering track to follow his passion for Classics.

Learn how to read beautiful literature carefully, and how to write about it critically.

English website

Major: English

Minor: English

Resources: London History & Literature Program, London Internship ProgramSydney Travel Writing and Internship Program (Summer)

Learn how three CAS English majors fell in love with literature. And check out the paths that two of our alums took after graduation.

Learn how remarkable buildings, paintings, sculpture, photographs, films, and the decorative arts have changed over time and around the globe.

History of Art & Architecture website

Majors: History of Art & Architecture, History of Architecture, Architectural Studies

Minor: History of Art & Architecture (Option 1: Western Art; Option 2: Non-Western Art; Option 3: Architectural History)

Resources: London and Paris internship programs in the artsLondon Art History Program with the Courtauld Institute of Art, Paris and London Architecture and Urbanism Program (Summer), Undergraduate HAA Association

Learn what all human languages have in common and how they differ, how they change over time and give shape to society, and how children and adults learn languages.

Linguistics website

Majors: Linguistics (BA or BA/MA), French & Linguistics, Italian & Linguistics, Japanese & Linguistics, Linguistics & Philosophy, Linguistics & Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, and Spanish & Linguistics

Minor: Linguistics

Resources: BU Undergraduate Linguistics Association Facebook page, BU Linguistics Facebook page

Alex Williams parlayed the study of Turkish, German Literature, and Linguistics into a fascinating academic journey. Read his story.

Debate the profound meanings of knowledge, values, the mind, and reality.

Philosophy website

Majors: Philosophy, Philosophy & Classics, Linguistics & Philosophy, Philosophy & Math, Philosophy & Physics, Philosophy & Political Science, Philosophy & Psychology, Philosophy & Religion, Philosophy & Neuroscience

Minor: Philosophy

A BA/MA program in philosophy is also offered.

Resources: Undergraduate philosophy association, undergraduate philosophy journal

Learn about the diverse spiritual beliefs, worldviews, and ways of worship shaping our communities.

Religion website

Majors: Religion, Anthropology & Religion, Classics & Religion, Philosophy & Religion

Minor: Religion

Learn more about what you can do with a major in Religion.

Malisha Shah (CAS’15) shares her experiences in finding her major in Religion.

Learn the special languages and literatures of Spain, France, Latin America, and Italy.

Romance Studies website

Majors: French Studies, French & Linguistics, French Studies/French Language & Literature (BA/MA), Italian Studies, Italian & Linguistics, Spanish, Spanish/Hispanic Language & Literatures (BA/MA), Spanish & Linguistics

Minors: French, Italian, Portuguese & Brazilian Cultural Studies, Spanish

Beginning and advanced courses offered in: Portuguese

Resources: French House, Italian House, Spanish House, Spanish-language study abroad programs, French-speaking study abroad programs, study abroad in Italy, Portuguese-speaking study abroad program (Brazil)

Study the literatures and cultures of Europe, Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East, and learn languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish.

World Languages & Literatures website

Majors: Chinese Language & Literature, Comparative Literature, German Language & Literature, Japanese Language & Literature, Russian Language & Literature

Minors: Arabic, Chinese, Comparative Literature, German, Hebrew, Japanese Language & Literature, Korean, Russian

Beginning and advanced classes offered in: Hindi-Urdu, Persian (Farsi), Turkish

Resources: Chinese HouseGerman HouseJapanese HouseLanguage Link (language discussion groups), Academic Advising (language advising), Arabic-speaking study abroad programsChinese-speaking study abroad programsGerman-speaking study abroad programsJapanese-speaking study abroad programs,

Alex Williams parlayed the study of Turkish, German Literature, and Linguistics into a fascinating academic journey. Read his story.

In addition to the programs above, the College of Arts & Sciences offers a grounding in the classic works of the humanities, as well as the natural and social sciences, through the Core Curriculum.

Why study the humanities at BU?

Employers in today’s most competitive fields understand the value of creative thinking and cultural insight. The skills and knowledge you develop through studying the humanities at BU will prepare you for success in a broad range of fields after graduation—and you will find yourself pulling from your humanities background 10, 20, and 30 years from now.

Most importantly, studying the humanities at Boston University will teach you what it means to be quintessentially human.

For a taste of what it’s like to immerse yourself in the humanities at BU, check out these students’ collaboration with former U.S. Poet Laureate and BU Professor of English Robert Pinsky: