Core Humanities

Cross Training for Your Mind

"The ability to adapt and thrive in a world certain to keep changing is based not on instruction in the specific jobs of today but in the developing of long-term qualities of mind: inquisitiveness, perceptiveness, the ability to put received ideas to a new purpose, and the ability to share and build ideas with a diverse world of others." - (Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences, The Heart of the Matter (2013))

Core Humanities is an award-winning interdisciplinary program that forms the heart of the Core Curriculum at the University of Nevada, Reno. Faculty and graduate assistants from five different disciplines (English, history, philosophy, political science, and world languages and literatures) participate in teaching the humanities courses required of all students at the university:

Collectively, these courses examine the history, philosophy, cultural values, political systems, literature, and artistic works that have shaped societies in every continent from ancient times to the present. After completing the Core Humanities sequence of courses, students have a solid grounding in the knowledge and skills they need to navigate a complex and fast-changing world, including:

  • an understanding of the historical forces that created modern, diverse human cultures and the ways these cultures are interconnected both within the United States and across nations.
  • the ability to read, understand, summarize, analyze, and synthesize information drawn from a variety of written and cultural sources.
  • the ability to formulate interpretations and arguments, support them with evidence, and present them clearly and persuasively in both written and oral expression.
  • informed perspectives on the major political and ideological debates of our times and the ability to participate in those debates as American and global citizens.

Core Humanities and the Silver Core Curriculum

Under the Silver Core curriculum, which applies students who began their degrees in Fall 2016 or later, students must take two Core Humanities courses to satisfy Core Objective 5 (History and Culture). Students may choose any two courses out of CH 201, CH 202 OR CH 212, and CH 203. All Core Humanities courses satisfy Core Objective 5. In addition, CH 212 satisfies Core Objective 9 (Science, Technology and Society) and CH 203 satisfies Core Objective 8 (Constitution).

Students who are completing their degrees under the old core curriculcum (i.e., those who began at the University before Fall 2016) must take all three CH courses (CH 201, CH 202 OR CH 212, and CH 203). Students may choose to meet the requirements of either the catalog that was in effect when they began their studies (old core curriculum), or the catalog that is in effect in the semester they graduate (Silver Core Curriculum).

Note that although the new core curriculum requires one less CH course, it includes other, additional requirements that students must meet. Depending on the courses you have taken already, you might complete your degree more quickly by taking all three CH courses and graduating under the old core requirements rather than the new ones. Be sure to consult with your major adviser to see what would be the best course of action for your particular case and to make sure you complete the appropriate paperwork for changing catalog years if that is your best option.

Contact Us

Contact Core Humanities (0151)

1664 N. Virginia Street

Reno, NV 89557


Phone (775) 784-4447

Fax (775) 784-1658

Thompson Building, Room 102