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Learn about the humanities

Explore the origins of humanities and learn how the study of art, history, and philosophy can expand your professional skill set.

What are the humanities?

The humanities are a group of educational disciplines that cover the study of human society, culture, and beliefs. How have past interactions of the humans that lived thousands of years ago shaped the way that people think and interact today? How do the stories that have been passed down between generations help people make meaning of their lives? The humanities encompass fields such as history, literature, the arts, philosophy, and religion. They encourage learners to explore central questions of life and develop new perspectives about what it means to be a human. And through this exploration of the human experience, learners can develop a wide range of skills that foster critical thinking and innovation.

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Humanities courses and certifications

edX offers a variety of humanities classes to choose from for every learner level. You can study both ancient and modern literature from around the world or take a course on music theory that explores the influence of music on the cultures of different regions. Aspiring philosophers can study the classic philosophical works, learn about the role that different religions play in philosophy, and examine the connection between human rights theory and philosophy. Learners can also expand their language skills with a wide range of courses that can help you practice your conversational skills in French, Mandarin, and more, while also teaching you about culture.

Career opportunities with humanities

Whether you're learning comparative literature or studying political science, these academic disciplines can build a lifelong love of learning, and develop critical and creative thinking skills. Humanities disciplines encourage people to ask "why" as they navigate their human journey. And the knowledge you gain can be directly applicable to your professional career. Study of the fine arts builds a critical eye. Learning modern languages helps with forming professional relationships. 

Discover all that the humanities have to offer and begin your learning journey today with edX.