Liberal Studies

BA in Liberal Studies, Humanities

General Overview

Explore history, philosophy, art, literature, language and more with the distinguished Humanities faculty at USM. This major provides the opportunity to combine existing liberal arts credits from other institutions with USM Humanities courses to create an efficient and coherent path to degree completion.

The humanities is the study of the human condition and its relationship to human cultures, social and political formations, and the natural world.  The humanities comprise a variety of disciplines such as history, philosophy, religion, the arts, language, and literature.  Methodologically, humanists are eclectic, drawing upon multiple approaches ranging from critical theory and cultural studies to empiricism, hermeneutics, historicism, philology, narrative, and exegesis.  The humanities also includes scholarly, professional, technical, and creative writing. 

The Humanities offer the framework and skills for meeting the challenges of our complex and constantly changing world:

  • knowledge of cultural, intellectual, artistic, and literary traditions
  • appreciation of the cultural and historical contours of diversity
  • skills of close reading, analysis, synthesis, persuasion/rhetoric, and communication
  • intellectual curiosity
  • global, historical, and ethical awareness

7-Week Online and Traditional Live Format:

This major has been developed to be offered in both a traditional live format as well as in an online format.  LSH-prefixed courses are offered online only.

Finishing a degree is challenging. Work and family commitments often make it difficult to maintain steady progress toward a degree. USM's 7-week online format offers students both the convenience of taking classes online and the opportunity to focus on one course at a time. The traditional 15-week fall and spring semesters are divided into two 7-week sessions. Students can make steady progress while taking one course per session. If life interrupts a session, the next session is right around the corner. In addition, USM offers a 4-week online winter session, and two 7-week sessions each summer. Graduation is a step closer every seven weeks.

The Liberal Studies, Humanities Council consists of the following faculty: Meghan Brode (Theatre) Libby Bischof (History) Lucinda Cole (English) Gary Johnson (History) Bud McGrath (English) Julien Murphy (Philosophy) Gerald Peters (English) Eve Raimon (English) Adam Tuchinsky (History) Jeanine Uzzi (Classics) Kate Wininger (Philosophy)

Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

All students are reminded that, in addition to meeting Departmental requirements for a major leading to a baccalaureate degree, they must also meet the requirements of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the University's Core curriculum.

Major Credit and Grade Policy

Courses to be taken for major credit at other institutions must be approved in advance. Grades of C or better must be achieved in all courses for major or minor credit. Courses taken pass/fail are not acceptable.

Required Courses* (36 total credits)

Please note prerequisites.

  • LSH 240 Introducing the Humanities* (3 credits)
  • Foundation Courses* (12 credits)
    • Western Civilization: HTY 101 or HTY 102
    • Language, Literature, and the Arts
      • One of the following: ENG 245, PHI 220, HUM 300
        AND
      • One of the following: GRE 101, 102, or 251; LAT 101, 102, or 251; CLA 171, ENG 330, ENG 305, LIN 185
    • Philosophy: PHI 102, 103, 105, 106, 107, 109, 110, or 112
  • LSH 340: Topics in the Humanities (3 credits)
  • Sequence* (15 credits)
    In consultation with the humanities track coordinator, students will complete one of the following sequences.
    1. Media, Art, Literature
    2. Religion and Ethics
    3. Gender, Race, and Identity
    4. Students may also complete a period, region, or theme-based sequence in consultation with the coordinator.
  • LSH 440: Capstone in the Humanities* (3 credits)

Below are the course options to complete the required upper-level sequences. With the permission of the program coordinator, students may substitute relevant courses. At least three courses must be at the 300-level or above.

Media, Art, and Literature

ARH 310 Art History: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

ARH 311 Gender Identity and Modern Art

ARH 318 History of Photography

ARH 321 Classical Art

ARH 322 Medieval Art

ARH 323 Renaissance Art

ARH 324 Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Art

ARH 325 American Art

ARH 326 Nineteenth-Century European Art

CLA 283 The Epic Hero in Ancient Literature

CLA 285 Classical Mythology

CLA 384 What Would Antigone Do?

CLA 410 Capstone

CMS 374 Media Criticism and Aesthetics

CMS 380 Film Genres

CMS 384 Film and Cultural Studies

CMS 394 Theories of Film

ENG 315 Ancient Literature

ENG 316 The Bible

ENG 317 Studies in Ancient and Biblical Literature and Culture

ENG 318 Autobiography

ENG 319 Studies in Genre and Form

ENG 320 Continental Literature

ENG 321 Modernisms

ENG 322 Modern Autobiography

ENG 324 Studies in Canadian Literature and Culture

ENG 325 Epic and Romance

ENG 326 Studies in International Literature Since 1900

ENG 327 Modern Short Story

ENG 328 Modern Novel

ENG 329 Modern Drama

ENG 330 History of the English Language

ENG 336 Old English Language and Literature

ENG 337 Studies in Rhetoric

ENG 340 History of Literary Criticism and Theory

ENG 341 Contemporary Critical Theories

ENG 344 Sex/Gender and Sexuality

ENG 345 Racial Formations

ENG 346 Language, Literature and the Politics of Identity in Contemporary Ireland

ENG 350 Medieval English Literature

ENG 351 Chaucer and the Medieval World

ENG 352 Medieval Drama

ENG 353 Medieval Women Writers

ENG 354 Studies in Medieval Literature and Culture

ENG 355 English Renaissance Literature and Culture

ENG 357 Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama

ENG 360, 361 Shakespeare

ENG 362 Studies in Shakespeare

ENG 363 Studies in the Renaissance

ENG 365 Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture

ENG 366 Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century

ENG 367 Literature and Culture of the Early Republic

ENG 368 Studies in Eighteenth-Century American Literature and Culture

ENG 369 Emergence of the Novel

ENG 370 Literature of Discovery, Exploration, and Colonialism

ENG 371 Romantic Writing

ENG 373 Studies in Romantic Literature and Culture

ENG 375 Nineteenth-Century British Novel

ENG 376 Victorian Literature and Culture

ENG 377 Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Culture

ENG 378 The Novel of Self Development

ENG 379 Earlier Women Writers

ENG 380 Early Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture

ENG 382 The Earlier American Novel

ENG 383 Studies in African-American Literature and Culture

ENG 384 Late Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture

ENG 385 Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture

ENG 387 Women Writers Since 1900

ENG 390 British Poetry Since 1900

ENG 391 American Poetry Since 1900

ENG 392 British Novel Since 1900

ENG 393 The American Novel Since 1900

ENG 394 Studies in American Literature and Culture Since 1900

ENG 395 Irish Literature and Culture

ENG 396 James Joyce

ENG 397 Studies in Irish Literature and Culture

ENG 398 Studies in British Literature and Culture Since 1900

FRE 293 French Cinema

FRE 331 Workshop in French Literary Analysis

FRE 367 Genres and Periods in French Literature

FRE 369 Topics and Themes in French Literature

FRE 467 Genres and Periods in French Literature

FRE 469 Topics and Themes in French Literature

HTY 311 Medieval Civilization

HTY 312 Renaissance and Reformation

HTY 355 The Age of Jackson

HTY 374 Photographing American History

HTY 377 Chinese Thought

MUS 206 Jazz History

MUS 220 20th Century Music

MUS 225 World Music

PHI 211 Media Ethics

PHI 215 Philosophy of Literature

PHI 220 Philosophy of Art

PHI 221 Philosophy of Film

PHI 235 Philosophy and Social Media

PHI 275 Nature of Compassion

PHI 310 History of Ancient Philosophy

PHI 380 Postmodernism

PHI 390 Hermeneutics

RUS 281 Russian Literature in English

RUS 293 Russian Cinema

RUS 351 Seminar in Russian Literature

THE 351-3 Dramatic Literature and Theatre I-III

THE 360 Butches, Bitches, and Buggers

THE 480: Adaptation, Text, Theatricality

Religion and Ethics

ARH 321 Classical Art

ARH 322 Medieval Art

ARH 323 Renaissance Art

ARH 324 Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Art

BIO 602 Ethical Issues in Biology

CLA 285 Classical Mythology

CLA 292 Rome, from Republic to Empire

CLA 384 What Would Antigone Do?

ENG 316 The Bible

ENG 317 Studies in Ancient and Biblical Literature and Culture

HTY 303 History of the Ancient Near East and Greece

HTY 304 History of Rome

HTY 305 The Historical Jesus

HTY 306 Roman Sexuality and Early Christianity

HTY 307 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

HTY 308 Polytheists, Jews, and Christians in the Roman Empire

HTY 309 Religious Violence and Persecution in Early Western History

HTY 311 Medieval Civilization

HTY 312 Renaissance and Reformation

HTY 326 History of England

HTY 351 Colonial America

HTY 366 History of Religion in America

HTY 372 American Social and Intellectual History I

HTY 373 American Social and Intellectual History II

HTY 377 Chinese Thought

PHI 211 Media Ethics

PHI 212 Environmental Ethics

PHI 230 Philosophy of Religion

PHI 235 Philosophy and Social Media

PHI 240 Political Philosophy

PHI 260 Philosophy of Law

PHI 285 Genetics and Society

PHI 295 Medicine Madness and Disease

PHI 310 History of Ancient Philosophy

PHI 315 Eastern Philosophy

PHI 320 History of Medieval Philosophy

PHI 330 History of Early Modern Philosophy

PHI 340 History of Late Modern Philosophy

PHI 350 American Philosophy

PHI 360 Existentialism

PHI 370 Analytic Philosophy

PHI 380 Postmodernism

PHI 390 Hermeneutics

POS 390 Ancient and Medieval Political Theory

POS 391 Modern Political Theory

POS 392 American Political Thought

Gender, Race, and Identity

ARH 310 Art History: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

ARH 311 Gender Identity and Modern Art

ARH 325 American Art

ARH 326 Nineteenth-Century European Art

CLA 283 The Epic Hero in Ancient Literature

CLA 285 Classical Mythology

CLA 292 Rome, from Republic to Empire

CLA 321 Art, Architecture, and Archeology of the Ancient World

CLA 384 What Would Antigone Do?

CLA 410 Capstone

ENG 318 Autobiography

ENG 321 Modernisms

ENG 322 Modern Autobiography

ENG 326 Studies in International Literature Since 1900

ENG 344 Sex/Gender and Sexuality

ENG 345 Racial Formations

ENG 346 Language, Literature and the Politics of Identity in Contemporary Ireland

ENG 353 Medieval Women Writers

ENG 367 Literature and Culture of the Early Republic

ENG 370 Literature of Discovery, Exploration, and Colonialism

ENG 371 Romantic Writing

ENG 373 Studies in Romantic Literature and Culture

ENG 375 Nineteenth-Century British Novel

ENG 376 Victorian Literature and Culture

ENG 377 Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature and Culture

ENG 378 The Novel of Self Development

ENG 379 Earlier Women Writers

ENG 380 Early Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture

ENG 382 The Earlier American Novel

ENG 383 Studies in African-American Literature and Culture

ENG 384 Late Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture

ENG 387 Women Writers Since 1900

ENG 391 American Poetry Since 1900

ENG 393 The American Novel Since 1900

ENG 394 Studies in American Literature and Culture Since 1900

ENG 395 Irish Literature and Culture

ENG 396 James Joyce

ENG 397 Studies in Irish Literature and Culture

HTY 306 Roman Sexuality and Early Christianity

HTY 307 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

HTY 308 Polytheists, Jews, and Christians in the Roman Empire

HTY 309 Religious Violence and Persecution in Early Western History

HTY 311 Medieval Civilization

HTY 312 Renaissance and Reformation

HTY 316 French Revolution and Napoleon

HTY 326 History of England

HTY 341 Black Women in the Americas

HTY 351 Colonial America

HTY 355 The Age of Jackson

HTY 377 Chinese Thought

MUS 206 Jazz History

MUS 225 World Music

PHI 225 Philosophy of Mind

PHI 235 Philosophy and Social Media

PHI 312 Gender in African Film and Literature

PHI 360 Existentialism

POS 392 American Political Thought

THE 360 Butches, Bitches and Buggers

THE 480: Adaptation, Text, Theatricality