BA in Humanities

Online Degree Completion Program

Chico Distance and Online Education ProgramImmerse yourself in the great cultures of the world. Learn about the intellectual and artistic forces that shaped the world that we live in today. Humanities is a program devoted to the study, appreciation, and analysis of cultural traditions from an interdisciplinary perspective. It focuses on the arts (including literature, music, theatre, sculpture, painting, architecture, film) and ideas (philosophical trends, artistic movements, and religious traditions) by examining individual works and thinkers in their cultural and historical contexts. Humanities helps you to render a comprehensive, competent, and constructive assessment of today’s world. You will learn how to write clearly and convincingly, how to reason about a problem, and how to do serious and reflective research. This degree will help you to negotiate life and build bridges across cultures in the diverse world in which we live.

Why a Degree in Humanities?

Those who are employed in almost any field today—business, health care, education, law enforcement, social work, journalism, you name it—find themselves working with diverse populations that they need to understand in order to be effective. A Humanities degree is clear evidence of the strong writing and critical thinking skills and multicultural competence that are sought by today’s employers. When you complete this program, you’ll be a well-rounded and educated problem solver, a fluent writer, and a person who can examine issues from many perspectives. You’ll have significant technological and research skills; will be able to handle data interpretation and qualitative analysis; and be prepared to work effectively in challenging and culturally diverse settings. You will learn a foreign language as part of the program. Your sensitivity to the ethnic, religious, and socio-economic identities that people bring to the table will be one of your strongest attributes.

I am an intern at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development based in Paris, where I do research and policy analysis. I cannot stress enough how much my BA in Humanities has helped. The exposure to diverse subjects, extensive research and in-depth analysis prepared me very well for the work and research I am doing now.

Yuliana Calvillo Solis, '21

Graduates of our program have gone on to successful careers in teaching, business (corporate and start-ups), law, health care administration, national security, high school teaching, not-for-profit administration, and higher education. They are especially well-prepared for work in public service and public policy, international affairs, and leadership as a result of their global and cultural literacy and their ability to reflect on questions of meaning and value in complex social contexts.

Program Highlights

  • Engaged and learned faculty who are well respected in their field
  • Small classes with the opportunity to get to know the instructors
  • Study Abroad opportunities to immerse yourself in a culture from around the world
  • Learn a foreign language such as Spanish, French, German, Hebrew or even Greek and Sanskrit
  • Interdisciplinary courses with a wide variety of electives from many different fields
  • Active Student Society with online events to meet other students


This is an interdisciplinary degree that gives you a wide range of possible courses from a variety of departments. All students will take the Core courses and two semesters of a language plus at least one course on Literature, Historical Studies, The Arts and Theory.  You will take 40-42 units in the program, along with 9 units of Upper Division GE and 11 units of electives to graduate.

Students study in a library.Few BA degrees at the college level pack as much learning into their classes as this major, which is designed optimally to be completed in four semesters along with all other required courses needed for a full college BA. This program is designed for students who have at least 60 units of lower-division credit completed, and are looking to finish their college requirements and bachelor's degree. Everything you need to complete your BA requirements in two years is offered in an online format. Majors courses may be viewed synchronously, where you can watch and participate in the live classroom lecture or asynchronously, with the ability to view or re-watch the lectures on your own 24/7 schedule.

All Humanities Majors take these Core Courses: 16 units

• HUMN 320W Seminar: Ancient and Medieval Art and Literature
• HUMN 322W Seminar: Arts and Ideas from the Renaissance to the Present
• HUMN 324W Seminar: Asian Film and Literature
• HUMN 312 Digital Humanities
• HUMN 400W Seminar in Humanities
• HUMN 402 Research Tools and Methods in the Humanities

Language Requirement: 6-8 units

(or pass an oral and written proficiency exam) Choose two courses in the same language, such as:

Professor Daniel Veidlinger leads a Chico Museum tour of Chinese cultural relics from Northern California.• HUMN 201/202 Ancient Languages
• FREN 101/102/201/202 French
• GERM 101/102/201/202 German
• ITAL 101/102/201/202 Italian
• SPAN 101/102/201/202 Spanish

Approaches to the Humanities: 12 units 

Pick four, one from each section

• FLNG 340 Literature in Translation
• ENGL 350W Science, Technology and the Literature of Cultural Change
• AIST 365 American Indian Storytelling/ Oral Narrative

Historical Studies
• HIST 435 The US in the Age of the World Wars
• HIST 313 Early Modern History
• RELS 300W Religions of East Asia
• RELS 310 Religions of South Asia
• RELS 306 Roots of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

The Arts
• ARTH 411W Greek Art and Architecture
• AFAM 320 Hip Hop Culture
• RELS 403 Religion and the Arts
• RELS 365 Religion and Film

• PHIL 337W Philosophy of Race
• RELS 480 Theories and Criticisms of Religion
• WMST 300 Feminist Theory
• HUMN 300/W Conservatives and Liberals

Electives: 6 Units

Pick Any two from below OR from unused electives in the other categories

• ENGL 342W Literature of the Child
• HUMN 254 Chicano/a Arts and Ideas
• HUMN 281W Food and Film
• GEOG/LAST357 Lands and Peoples of Latin America
• ANTH 377/W Anthropology of the Islamic World
• RELS 323 Religion and Nature
• RELS 308 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam Since the Crusades
• ANTH 376W Africa: Continuity and Change

View full curriculum

Application Process

Statues on the Chico State campusStudents who meet Chico State admission requirements are eligible to apply to the Humanities Online program.

Application Periods:

• To start in Fall: Apply October 1–February 15
• To start in Spring: Apply August 1–31

Complete the Request for Information form in the sidebar for additional application and program information and to be notified about online information sessions.

View complete application and admissions information.