The humanities encompass the full range of human thought and creativity, including languages, religion, philosophy, and the broad spectrum of the arts (including the performing arts and the visual arts). Humanities education explores the commonalities and differences in self-expression that humans have exhibited through the ages and continue to demonstrate today. The humanities have always been and will continue to be the basis of human cultures and source of our perceptions of different cultures.
In the academic realm, a student may study any or all of the humanities as part of a formal degree program such as a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities. These programs expose students to diverse ideas from around the world, broadening their knowledge and developing their critical thinking abilities.
Are the Humanities Important?
People from all walks of life, across philosophical and political perspectives, agree on the importance of the humanities. Famed “Star Wars” director George Lucas said this of the humanities: “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.’”
Former President Ronald Reagan believed that, “The arts and humanities teach us who we are and what we can be. They lie at the very core of the culture of which we’re a part.” J. Irwin Miller, famed industrialist and civil rights proponent, also spoke to the transformative nature of the humanities when he stated, “The calling of the humanities is to make us truly human in the best sense of the word.”
The broadly applicable skills that the humanities offer also directly benefit individuals in their personal and professional lives. As American philosopher and law professor Martha Nussbaum notes, “Business leaders love the humanities because they know that to innovate you need more than rote knowledge. You need a trained imagination.”
What Skills Can You Gain by Studying Humanities?
Humanities expand our knowledge of human cultures and help us understand what binds us together and what differentiates us from one another. In addition to these high-level insights, however, they also provide practical applications that can enhance your professional skillset and give you a competitive edge. By studying humanities in a formal university-level program, you can acquire transferrable, marketable skills and qualities that will be an asset to you in your professional pursuits. What will you learn in a humanities program? Examples include:
- Critical Thinking—The ability to receive and analyze knowledge and to use your creativity to develop innovative solutions to problems.
- Communication—The ability to form unique viewpoints and to express yourself clearly and persuasively in both written and spoken forms.
- Empirical and Quantitative Reasoning—The ability to comprehend and use numerical data to formulate and deliver educated decisions.
- Teamwork—The ability to understand and accept the viewpoints of others and to work collaboratively with them to achieve common goals.
- Personal Responsibility—The ability to see the consequences for your actions and take responsibility for and justify the choices you make.
- Social Responsibility—The ability to see what’s best for society and the world as a whole and to act accordingly.
Employers want professionals who can come up with fresh approaches to solving problems, express themselves clearly, collaborate with others, and act in a responsible, ethical manner. These abilities are the foundation for nearly every career path, as well as many graduate-level programs. Equipped with these skills, you’ll be prepared to take on a diverse range of career paths, including:
- Public relations manager
- Advertising sales agent
- Travel agent
- Event organizer
- Military service member
Why Earn Your Degree in Humanities From The University of Texas Permian Basin?
The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online Bachelor of Arts in Humanities program goes beyond discussions of the world’s great works of art and philosophies. This immersive, affordable program empowers you with the key skills today’s employers value most.
Our BA in humanities program is unique in that, as a student, you’re not given a preset path to follow; the program enables you to choose concentrations based on your personal areas of interest. Our faculty advisors work with you to develop an individualized plan of study with an interdisciplinary theme, period, set of problems, specialization, or perspective that you can’t get by combining a major and minor in the traditional way. You’ll choose a minimum of two concentration areas in art, communication, English, history, or music, totaling 24 credits of specialized coursework in these areas.
Our program is flexible not only in terms of what topics you may study but in how you complete your degree. The 100% online format allows you to complete coursework anytime, at any location with internet access. You can choose from six start dates a year and enjoy condensed eight-week courses and an accelerated completion time. All courses are taught by the same esteemed faculty who teach on campus at UT Permian Basin. When you’re ready to graduate, you’ll receive the same valued degree that campus-based students receive.
Are you ready to learn more about the essential skills and flexibility our online Bachelor of Arts in Humanities program provides? Explore the benefits of humanities in more detail now.