The Value of Core Humanities

Skills developed by CH courses

  • 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

Core Humanities by the numbers

  • 4 courses
  • 6,000 students per year
  • 6 affiliating departments
  • 4,000 years of human cultural expression

What students are saying

"The Core Humanities program offers practical applications as well. Like the rest of our world, every area of study (whether it be liberal arts, STEM, or somewhere in between) has been created by humans. Understanding this human context is crucial for thinking critically about what we learn, how and why this knowledge has been brought to us (and by whom), and how the application of this knowledge impacts human lives."

"I cannot stress enough the value these courses have had for me during my academic career. Beyond being valuable in its own right, study of the humanities is an essential supplement to all other areas of study. I truly feel the Core Humanities are a fundamental part of a holistic education and are a crucial subject for all undergraduates to be exposed to."

"Opening one’s mind to perspectives outside their own is a difficult process, but I think the Humanities opens that door and I think that is why taking these courses is a crucial part of being a student here at the University of Nevada, Reno."

"As a third-year pre-medical student, my schedule at that time was packed with STEM courses. I would spend hours poring over figures and equations, preparing for tests that never seemed to end. That semester, which was especially tough, my Core Humanities class was the only course that engaged my creativity and kept me in touch with the world."

The importance of humanities now and in the future

“The sciences are the ‘how’ and the humanities are the ‘why’ — why are we here, why do we believe in the things we believe in. I don’t think you can have the ‘how’ without the ‘why’.” – George Lucas

“Business leaders love the humanities because they know that to innovate you need more than rote knowledge. You need a trained imagination.” – Martha Nussbaum

“The humanities are not only relevant but give us a toolbox to think seriously about ourselves and the world.” –Nicholas Kristoff

“The humanities teach us who we are and what we can be.” – Ronald Reagan