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The Division of the Humanities


  • Anne W. Robertson

Dean of Students

  • Shea Wolfe

Students in the Division of the Humanities investigate the varied achievements of the human mind in language and literature, music, the visual arts, and philosophy. These investigations can range from the methods of the established humanistic disciplines to the newer alliances of humanities and social sciences, from the history of a civilization to the philosophy of science, from the aesthetics of a literary genre to the broader cultural occasions that bring the visual arts into contact with linguistic theory or musicology into contact with anthropology. The division regards a multiplicity of questions and approaches as the hallmark of its intellectual life and encourages its students to share in this diversity.

The academic units of the division guide and support the students’ scholarly interests and inquiry and are correspondingly varied. These programs of study are described in detail in this section of the Announcements.

The University is known for its interdisciplinary approach. Students cross disciplines easily by taking courses in different fields as well as through participation in Graduate Workshops, established under the auspices of the Council on Advanced Studies. These interdisciplinary workshops bring together students and faculty in the Divinity School, the Division of the Humanities, and the Division of Social Sciences for ongoing and collaborative exchange of ideas around particular areas of interest. Interdisciplinary work also takes place in many different venues such as the Centers for Area Studies,  Interdisciplinary Centers, and Interdisciplinary Programs. The interdisciplinary and area centers are described in another section of these Announcements.

Admission to the Division

The Division of the Humanities invites applications from students whose breadth of academic experience and fitness for the specific field of study suggest the potential for scholarly achievement. In general, only applicants holding the bachelors degree or equivalent, with excellent academic records, are admitted. Faculty recommendations and the applicant's statement of purpose are carefully weighed. Research papers, publications, and other works may also be considered by the admissions committees during their evaluations. The admissions selection committee for each department reviews all the applications submitted by the deadline for admission for autumn quarter of the following year. During this selection, all available places and financial aid are allocated for the following academic year. An offer of admission is made only for the next academic year.