Jun 17, 2024  
ARCHIVED 2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
ARCHIVED 2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Humanities, B.A.

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The Shimer School Humanities Major introduces students to various modes of critical reflection on and methodical investigation of human expression and thought.  Classic and major contemporary works of visual and musical art, literature, philosophy, theology and related fields form the core of the Humanities sequence of courses in this major.  Students come to know and understand these texts and works of art partly through individual reflection, but also in small-class discussions with their peers and in intensive writing, peer-editing and re-writing of essays and in creative work guided by course materials.  Each course involves integrating insights into two or three distinct fields in the Humanities, though each follows a focused, inter-disciplinary theme, pushing students to devise increasingly broad yet nuanced accounts of the nature of humanistic inquiry and practice.

Breadth and depth of knowledge and skills characterize graduates of the Shimer School.  Through the core curriculum of the Shimer School they immerse themselves in major classic and contemporary works of human expression, social thought and scientific knowledge and practice.  Their broad familiarity with fundamental ideas and methods across the Liberal Arts provides the foundation on which they build increasingly refined understanding and skills in more specialized courses in chosen disciplines taught across North Central College.  Shimer School graduates thus find meaningful employment in an unusually broad array of fields, including teaching, social work, law, small business and entrepreneurial enterprise and non-profit administration among the most common.

For additional programs and courses in this school, see Shimer Great Books School .

Major Requirements

Humanities Electives

Eight elective credits in Humanities:

  • Four credits that carry a prefix of SGBH at the 300-level or above
  • Four credits from the SGBH prefix or another approved Humanities course carrying a prefix outside the Shimer School.


*Consult with the Department Chair for a list of approved courses

Comprehensive Examination

  • Pass the Shimer Great Books Basic Studies Comprehensive Exam (following successful completion of at least six of the required courses at the 100-level).

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements  within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

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