CHC Scholars have the opportunity to major and minor in one (or more!) of the many humanities fields offered by CWRU’s College of Arts and Sciences. If you click on each discipline’s name in the list below, you’ll be taken to CWRU’s website for that department or program. If you have any questions about the CHC’s available majors, please email Lisa Nielson, the CHC Associate Director, at


CWRU Humanities Programs

Anthropology – Anthropology is offered as both a major and minor. Anthropology, with its broad comparative approach, is in a strategic position to contribute to the identification and resolution of many of the problems, both local and global, that challenge society today. The undergraduate program provides a cross-cultural perspective on human behavior, culture, and biology. Students may choose from four major concentrations, including General Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, or Archaeology.

Art History – Art History is offered as both a major and minor. The curriculum is designed to give students a broad grounding in the study of the visual arts, with a strong emphasis on understanding the cultural context in which they were produced. Students also develop a technical and critical vocabulary as well as sound writing skills to express ideas and perceptions about works of art.  Internships (both credit and non-credit) at local museums and other arts institutions provide experiential learning opportunities for those interested in careers for art history majors and minors.

Asian Studies – The undergraduate program in Asian studies offers a major and a minor. Students are encouraged to take courses in different disciplines in order to obtain broad exposure to the languages, literature, art, culture, religious traditions, and political, economic, and social institutions of Asian countries. The Asian Studies Program also offers an honors program to qualified majors.

Chinese – Chinese is offered as a major and minor at CWRU. The Chinese minor at CWRU offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced Chinese courses for non-native and heritage speakers of Chinese, as well as Chinese literature in translation.

Classics – Students are able to both major and minor in Classics. The Department of Classics offers courses in Greek and Latin languages and classical literature, as well as ancient history and other aspects of classical culture and life. The department acquaints students with the cultural achievements of the classical world that have served as the basis for Western society.

Creative Writing – Creative Writing is offered as a minor at CWRU and is housed in the English Department. Students will take courses in two genres—poetry and fiction— and will be required to have an intro/intermediate sequence in one of those genres (e.g., ENGL 213 and ENGL 303, in the case of a fiction sequence; or ENGL 214 and 304, in the case of a poetry sequence). Students are encouraged to sample creative writing genres in ENGL 203 as a means of deciding whether to pursue a minor, and in what genre.

English – English is offered as both a major and minor. Students also have the option to major in English with a concentration in Film Studies. The English Department at Case Western Reserve promotes intellectual curiosity, analytical inquiry, and creative thinking about the rich variety of fields in our discipline. Building on the passion our students bring to the literary arts, the Department’s faculty encourages the formation of new knowledge through careful examination of both real and imagined worlds.

Ethics – Ethics is offered as a minor, and is housed in the Department of Philosophy. The minor in ethics allows undergraduate students in any field to pursue a concentration of studies in ethics from multiple perspectives: theoretical and practical, philosophical and empirical/ interdisciplinary. The goal is to encourage analytical reflection on the principles and situations of ethical action, social, interpersonal, or individual, in historical and contemporary contexts.

Ethnic Studies – Ethnic studies is offered as a minor at CWRU. Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary program which develops fundamental skills in critical and global thinking and in comparative analysis, as well as an understanding of the interactions of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the experiences of a range of social groups. It is designed to bring together a community of students, faculty and staff devoted to the transmission of knowledge and the discovery of new ideas in the field of ethnic studies. Students can choose from the following concentrations: African Studies; African-American Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, or Global Ethnic Studies.

Film Studies – Film Studies can be taken as a minor, or as a concentration within an English major. Undergraduate and graduate students can take film courses on a wide range of topics, taught by faculty across the university. The campus and surrounding area institutions provide a rich environment for watching and discussing films.

French – The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures offers French as both a major and minor. The French program at CWRU takes a global approach to French in its broadest context, and our curriculum reflects the diversity of the Francophone cultures of Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Students who wish to major in French choose between the French major and the French and Francophone Studies major. Both options stress proficiency in the French language and encourage students to strive for some mastery of oral and written language skills throughout the program of study. The French major is designed for students who wish to focus primarily on literature and culture (film and the arts).

French and Francophone Studies – French and Francophone Studies is offered as both a major and minor. Designed to develop cross-cultural awareness and to foster international understanding in a global world, the French and Francophone Studies (FFS) Program adds an exciting new dimension to the traditional liberal arts curriculum. The French and Francophone Studies major differs from the traditional French major in two respects: by its interdisciplinary nature and by its greater flexibility to accommodate students’ own areas of interest. The FFS major answers the needs of students with a strong interest in cultural issues in general and in French Francophone history and society in particular.

German – German is offered as both a major and minor. With courses ranging from Goethe to contemporary German bestsellers, from the urban modernity of Munich and Berlin to representations of the Holocaust, the program’s advanced curriculum offers a multi-faceted exposure to German culture and its national and international context.

History – History is offered as both a major and minor. The goal of the Department of History at Case Western Reserve University is to enable students to grapple with the complexities of the present by equipping them with a deeper understanding of the past. In addition, the members of the Department seek to convey to students the exhilaration and fun of learning more about the past. Furthermore, historical study is central to a liberal arts education and provides career and skills preparation for a great variety of fields including law, government, journalism, teaching, business, public administration, the foreign service, editing, archival administration, museum administration, historical restoration and preservation.

History and Philosophy of Science – The Department of Philosophy and the Department of History together offer both an undergraduate major and minor in the history and philosophy of science. The purpose of the major is to develop a humanistic understanding of the nature and development of science through the combined use of philosophical and historical methods. The major provides a foundation for graduate study in a range of academic disciplines and for careers in such areas as business, medicine, law, public policy, and science journalism.

International Studies – International Studies is offered as a major only at CWRU. By completing a major in International Studies, students develop expertise in a region of the world, including one of its languages, and in a transnational topic. They also become familiar with a variety of international issues and frameworks. They use this expertise and knowledge to understand and analyze the dynamics and complexity of the human world.

Italian – Italian is offered as a minor at CWRU. The Italian minor at CWRU offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced Italian courses for non-native and heritage speakers of Italian, as well as Italian literature in translation.

Japanese Studies – Students may pursue a major or a minor in Japanese studies. The program offers a variety of courses to fulfill the requirements, ranging from five levels of the Japanese language to courses about Japanese cinema, literature, and pop culture. Besides these core courses, we encourage the student to take related courses in such interdisciplinary areas as Asian art, cinema, comparative literature of Japan and the West, Japanese religion and history, and international business.

Judaic Studies – The Judaic Studies minor offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the history, religion, social experience, and culture of the Jewish people. By bringing a variety of fields and disciplines to bear on its subject, the program intends to convey to students the complex interaction of forces that create and express Jewish ethnic and religious identity. Students completing the program will have a broad knowledge of the field along with the tools necessary for continued study of Jewish civilization in all its manifestations.

Music – Music is offered as both a major and minor. The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music is for students who wish to achieve a high level of musical skill and knowledge by majoring in music within the context of a liberal arts education. This group includes students who plan to pursue graduate study or careers in music as well as those who plan careers in other fields.

Philosophy – Students may major or minor in Philosophy. The major program, besides offering a solid foundation for advanced study in philosophy and enriching programs in other disciplines, develops the skills for analytical and critical thinking, effective communication, and rational decision making needed in a wide range of endeavors. The department emphasizes the relevance of philosophy to mathematics, computer science, the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities and arts, and law.

Religious Studies – Religious Studies is offered as both a major and minor. The Department of Religious Studies examines religious beliefs, institutions and practices using approaches from the humanities, arts, social sciences and sciences. The academic study of religion, combined with appropriate courses in other fields, provides an excellent background for any professional career—including law, engineering, medicine and health care professions, journalism, social work and others—and for graduate studies in a number of fields.

Russian – Russian is offered as a minor at CWRU. The Russian minor at CWRU offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced Russian courses for non-native and heritage speakers of Russian, as well as Russian literature in translation.

Social Justice – The Social Justice minor program prepares students across the university to address national and global inequities. The curriculum will emphasize history, theory, and practice of social justice; the distribution of power, resources, and opportunities; and appropriate individual and collective remedies for social injustices. Through cross-disciplinary study, dialogue, research, active community engagement, and advocacy and leadership development, the curriculum promotes understanding of one’s place in and responsibility to community, country, and planet.

Spanish – Spanish is offered as both a major and minor. The department encourages students to strive for some mastery of oral and written language skills throughout the program of study. Several courses are taught outside  Spanish offerings which are closely related to Spanish or Latin American culture: Art History, Classics, History, Philosophy, Political Science as well as other language and literature courses.

Teacher Licensure – The Teacher Licensure program at CWRU is available as a second major only. Within the humanities departments, students majoring in Classics, English, French, History, Italian, or Spanish may consider adding Teacher Licensure as a second major. Teacher Licensure programs at Case Western Reserve University are accredited by the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Board of Regents, and nationally by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC).

Theater – Theater is offered as both a major and minor at CWRU. The Department of Theater seeks to develop artists who have a mastery of craft, breadth of vision, and liveliness of thought. The liberal arts education we offer our undergraduates provides a solid preparation for careers in the performing arts and related endeavors. The Department offers education and participation in all aspects of drama with course offerings in acting, directing, design (costume, lighting, and scenic), dramatic writing, and history, literature, and criticism. Students have the opportunity to perform on stage as well as serve on the design and technical crews in mainstage theatrical productions each year.

Women’s and Gender Studies – Women’s and Gender Studies, offered as both a major and minor, is an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to think critically and creatively by employing gender as a primary category of analysis. The program is set up to examine a variety of issues of specific interest to women and of general interest to scholars of gender studies across a variety of diverse cultural and historical settings.

World Literature – Students may major or minor in World Literature. The World Literature Program is a multi-disciplinary program that draws together literatures and cultures of a wide variety of countries and regions, including Western and non-Western ones. It emphasizes literatures and cultures of the past (ancient Greece and Rome, for example) as well as the present. It understands “minority” or “third world” literatures as being just as worthy of study as European literatures; it recognizes the importance of the “classics” of both the West and East. The program requires study in a language other than English, thus emphasizing that literature and language are intimately related.