University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
Connecting Learning to Life


Humanistic Studies

Interdisciplinary Major or Minor (Bachelor of Arts)

Professors - Gregory Aldrete
Associate Professors - David Coury (chair), Jennifer Ham, Aeron Haynie, Catherine Henze, Derek Jeffreys, Peter Kellogg, Hye-Kyung Kim, E. Nicole Meyer, Cristina Ortiz, Lisa Poupart, Brian Sutton, Denise Sweet
Assistant Professors - Russell Arent, Rosemary Christensen, Clifton Ganyard, Stefan Hall, Rebecca Meacham, Jason Nice, Angeles Rodriguez Cadena, Heidi Sherman, Aixa Said-Mohand, Bryan Vescio, David Voelker
Lecturers - Carl Battaglia, Deborah Burden, Dianne Gordon, Karla Larson, Linda Toonen, Carol Van Egeren

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Humanistic studies is an interdisciplinary program for the study of human values. Students in humanistic studies study the best and most influential expressions of values in a variety of time periods and cultures in order to understand what it is to be human, to give direction to their own lives, and to understand the lives of others. In the process of studying values, students sharpen their skills in reading, writing, oral presentation, and critical thinking: all skills that are demanded by employers in any field.

The humanistic studies major offers four areas of emphasis:

  • The western cultures emphasis. In this track students will study the development of values and their effect on cultural identity and change in western cultures from prehistory until the present. Students will also study values in other cultures to provide a basis for comparison.
  • The First Nation studies emphasis. In this track students will focus their learning on values in American Indian nations, the impact of the contact between native peoples and European-based cultures, and the rich heritage that exists among American Indian peoples today.
  • The religious studies emphasis. In this track students will have an opportunity to understand how the religions of the world have affected values, human behavior, and human institutions.
  • The linguistics/teaching English as a second language emphasis. In this track students will study language structure, sociolinguistics, second language acquisition, second language assessment, ESL teaching methods, and other languge or culture-based electives as initial preparation for teaching in an ESL classroom or for graduate-level programs.

The humanistic studies minor offers two areas of emphasis:

  • One area emphasizes culture and values.
  • Another area emphasizes linguistics / teaching English as a second language.

While the factual content of humanistic studies courses ranges widely in subject matter, all courses emphasize a distinct set of broadly useful skills. Among these are the ability to express one's ideas in a clear, organized, well-reasoned, and grammatically correct manner in both speech and writing; to think critically and analyze texts; to make arguments and present them effectively; to understand context (how history and culture shape us); to recognize and appreciate nuance and complexity of meaning; and to understand and appreciate cultural diversity.

A program in humanistic studies complements other courses of study. It is a natural accompaniment to majors or minors in history, philosophy, English, French, German or Spanish, as well as to minors in American Indian studies and women's studies. Humanistic studies also complements majors and minors in business, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and the fine arts.

In conjunction with other courses of study, a humanistic studies major or minor is an excellent preparation for many graduate programs in the humanities and in law, medicine or engineering. The general intellectual skills emphasized in humanistic studies courses and the flexibility and versatility they impart help graduates succeed in today's rapidly changing job market, where specific factual knowledge can quickly become outdated. The two most common career paths of humanistic studies majors are in the fields of education and business, but the skills acquired by humanistic studies students are applicable to nearly any career.

Students may study abroad or at other campuses in the United States through UW-Green Bay 's participation in international exchange programs and National Student Exchange. Travel courses are another option for obtaining academic credits and completing requirements. For more information, contact the Office of International Education at (920) 465-2413 or see

Humanistic Studies Major Requirements
Humanistic Studies Minor Requirements
Course Descriptions