Professor Graziella Parati: "If you really want to become a citizen of the world, you have to have the humanities. You have to be able to be open to otherness."

Dartmouth combines a depth of traditional resources with innovative approaches to teaching and research to create a unique learning experience. Whether you're flipping through a first edition of The Book of Mormon in the Rauner Special Connections Library as part of your research or using the Rassias Method, invented at Dartmouth, to gain fluency in a foreign language, you'll be supported by accessible faculty and a small-classroom experience dedicated to your success.

Our Faculty of Humanities Say

A photo of professor Lynn Patyk

Professor Lynn Patyk

From terrorism as it has been influenced by the literary imagination to concepts of political paranoia and conspiracy theories, Professor Patyk looks at cognition and narrative to ask “how do we know which stories to believe, and how do stories influence our perceptions of reality?”

Learn more about Lynn Patyk, Assistant Professor of Russian
A photo of professor Yasser Elhariry

Professor Yasser Elhariry

Born in Cairo, Elhariry says he “…was expected to…go to the U.S., acquire this knowledge, and then go back to Egypt…” “But on his way to earning his BS in computer engineering from Purdue, Elhariry—who grew up learning English, Arabic, and French—took a French literature class. “I totally fell in love with Baudelaire—a major 19th-century poet, anti-poet, super-poet, the most Christian, the most decadent, the central figure of poetic modernity,” he says. “That’s how I fell in love with literature.”

Learn more about Yasser Elhariry, Assistant Professor of French
A photo of Vievee Francis

Professor Vievee Francis

“Poetry is a foundational art. It precedes the novel. It precedes the essay. And as such, all writing is served by the study of poetics. Everyone needs poetry when other means of communication fail. We don’t live life on the surfaces. We have to go underneath, and poetry—the lyric poem in particular—forces us to look at the emotive self and what that means.”

Learn more about Vievee Francis, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing
A photo of professor Jonathan Smolin

Jonathan Smolin

"The Bernstein Chair will help support my research and teaching in critical ways just as we’re launching our new Middle Eastern Studies Program. My research in general examines the links between politics and popular culture in the contemporary Arab world."

Learn more about Jonathan Smolin, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor in Asian Studies

Cool Classes

Dartmouth creates a rich academic culture imbued with critical thinking and creativity, one that promotes experimentation, reflection, learning, and leadership. But don't take our word for it. We asked our students to tell us about some of their favorite humanities courses.

Academics at DartmouthDartmouth Humanities NewsResearch at Dartmouth

Humanities Alumni

Nobel laureates, government leaders, judges, scientists, writers, scholars, journalists, entertainers-Dartmouth alumni have distinguished themselves in all fields. Here are some notable alumni in the field of humanities making a difference in the world.

Learn More About Our Alumni

Study the Humanities Off Campus

At Dartmouth, we have taken the traditional study abroad model, erased its boundaries, and expanded its parameters. Study abroad here is not an isolated semester in another country. Arranged through Dartmouth's Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education, these powerful learning experiences are enhanced through faculty mentorship. The curriculum and structure of the school year allow students to follow their research around the world.

Dartmouth's Global Impact
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  • Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages

    Bachelor of Arts

    Asian cultures have long and productive traditions in science and technology, arts and literature, political philosophy, business and economics, religious beliefs and practices—traditions that have become dominant forces in the contemporary world. A basic knowledge of Asia as a field of study is thus vital to globally-minded students. At Dartmouth, ASCL courses offer students the opportunity to explore a range of critical theories and methodologies used by Asia specialists from various disciplines. They also provide students with broader perspectives on Asia and opportunities to focus on Asia's shared cultural heritages and humanistic responses to historical and sociological phenomena. Both ASCL majors and minors are required to complete upper-level Asian language coursework.

    Students interested in learning more about issues related to international law and human rights, the environment and global warming, economic development and migration, media and the arts, and technology may find themselves drawn to Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages as a field of study. Depending on the amount of language incorporated into their programs, students pursuing an ASCL major enter fields of journalism, finance, and teaching without further study. Others attend graduate school and pursue careers in medicine, law, international affairs, and academics.

  • Classics

    Bachelor of Arts

    Classics lies in the heart of what a liberal education can be. The study of Classics offers students knowledge about the ancient world and an education of lasting personal and professional value. Courses in the Classics address a wide set of critical concerns and maintain a steady focus on sharpening analytical thinking and writing skills. Classical education invites students to share appreciation for—and scrutiny of—the legacies of the ancient world.

    The Dartmouth Classics Department studies every aspect of ancient life and thought, from the Greek and Latin languages to literature, history, philosophy, archaeology and the study of the material cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. The Department of Classics offers a wide-ranging curriculum taught by faculty scholars firmly committed to excellence in undergraduate education.

  • English

    Bachelor of Arts

    The study of English teaches students critical modes of thinking that are beneficial in almost any academic or professional endeavor. By focusing on major theoretical schools of the twentieth century--such as structuralism, post-structuralism, feminism, Marxism, deconstruction, queer theory, psychoanalysis, and post-colonialism—students studying English learn how to integrate an array of demanding analytic paradigms.

    A corollary set of intellectual skills developed as a Dartmouth English major is the knowing deployment of a sophisticated critical vocabulary.  In recent years, approximately 100 members of each Dartmouth class have graduated as English majors. Some continue their study in graduate school; others prepare to teach English in secondary schools; others become journalists, writers, and editors; and many go on to law school and medical school.

  • French and Italian

    Bachelor of Arts

    The study of French and Italian embody the idea that learning another language is about more than learning different words for the same things—the study of a new language is about learning different ways of thinking about things.

    Dartmouth's Department of French and Italian is one of the largest foreign literature departments relative to undergraduate population in the United States, and it offers a wide array of courses, from beginning language to surveys of literature to single-topic advanced seminars. Students may elect either a major or a minor through the department. A total of ten term-long study programs take place in France and Italy every year, and students consistently cite these programs—which are well-established and designed to coordinate with on-campus coursework—as high points in their Dartmouth careers.

  • German Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    The importance of German within the liberal arts setting is indisputable. German-speakers occupy a prominent place on any list of the world's great artists and thinkers, and many academic disciplines have strong German traditions. In fact, the modern university itself—with its combination of teaching and research—is a German invention.

    Dartmouth's German Studies curriculum appeals to a wide range of interests. German majors have pursued careers in business, engineering, finance, law, journalism, government service, medicine, and the sciences, as well as in art, literature, philosophy, music, and film. Non-majors have also found that their knowledge of German complements fields like architecture, economics, government, history, engineering, and computer science. No matter their future, Dartmouth students have found that German Studies enriches their professional and personal lives.

  • Philosophy

    Bachelor of Arts

    Students who major or minor in philosophy learn to follow complex lines of reasoning, expose presuppositions, weigh evidence, craft arguments, make objections and replies, offer creative answers to philosophical questions, and construct independent solutions to philosophical problems. The benefits of a philosophy major extend well beyond philosophy, as students go on to pursue careers in many areas, including law, medicine, finance, the arts, and academia.

    Dartmouth's Philosophy Department offers an array of courses that reflects the diversity of philosophical topics and student interest in them. Introductory courses in topics like time travel, personhood, and puzzles of perception provide exciting points of entry for any student, and students who major in Philosophy work closely with professors to structure a major around their interests and coordinate their plans of study accordingly.

  • Religion

    Bachelor of Arts

    Since religion is at the core of all cultures and societies, an objective understanding of the subject is a crucial component of a liberal arts education. The foundation of thought and inquiry that students gain in the study of religion has prepared them for post-collegiate lives in medicine, education, law, government, and a host of other academic and professional fields.

    Dartmouth's Department of Religion offers courses on the major religions of the ancient and modern world, as well as courses on religion and ethics, the nature of religious belief and language, myth and ritual, women and religion, and many other topics on the intermediate and advanced seminar levels. The Department also offers a foreign study program at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Many students find that a major or modified major in religion is an excellent choice for a concentration in the liberal arts.

  • East European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies

    Bachelor of Arts

    Featured Program News

    The newly renamed major in East European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies combines study of the language of Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Gorky, Tolstoy, Gogol, and Solzhenitsyn with an opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the history, politics, and cultures of the many countries that border and interact with Russia in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. This major provides a deeper context for art history, business, diplomacy, engineering, humanities, law, philosophy, computer science, and religious studies majors, as well as for students of the natural sciences.

    In addition, the East European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies programs at Dartmouth provide students with a solid capability in the Russian language, as well as a familiarity with the literature and culture of Russia. The East European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies major is intended for students interested in the literature and culture of Russia and its impact on regions impacted by its colonial legacy, or for those who seek mastery of the Russian language. The Area Studies major is for students wanting to learn Russian or work in international studies. The minor in East European, Eurasian, and Russian Studies explores language and literature without the requirements of a major, and the Minor in Russian Area Studies teaches students about literature and civilization without advanced language study.

  • Spanish and Portuguese

    Bachelor of Arts

    Featured Program News

    Spanish is spoken by more than 300 million people around the world and more than 10% of the U.S. population. It is second only to Chinese among all of the world’s languages in total number of speakers. Portuguese is the native tongue of countries on four continents and is nearly as widely spoken as Spanish. Its impact on history, art, contemporary economics, and international relations is self-evident.

    Dartmouth’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese features a major, minor, and modified major in Hispanic Studies, Romance Studies, and Lusophone Studies. It also offers a major in Romance Studies, a modified major and minor in Lusophone Studies, and a minor in Hispanic and Lusophone studies. The Department also runs three levels of off-campus programs in Spanish and one in Portuguese and offers an honors thesis program with student funding available.