Humanities Honors GE

Founded in 1954, the Humanities Honors program has played an integral role in San José State University's history and boasts a network of alumni with distinguished careers in fields including business, California state politics, non-profit advocacy and policy work, museum curation, education, medicine and public health, and journalism (in print, broadcast, and "new" media). Over its history, Humanities Honors has been a model for honors programs at other colleges and universities.

In 2024–25, the program's 70th anniversary year, the Humanities Department is excited to launch a streamlined and updated version of its landmark Humanities Honors GE sequence for first- and second-year students.

The Humanities Honors program consists of two GE course sequences:

  1. for first-year and second-year students, a lower-division sequence of four courses (12 units) that, as of 2024–25, can be completed in either one year or two years and that fills the GE requirements least likely to be covered by AP exams in Area A (English Language Communication and Critical Thinking) and Area C (Arts and Humanities);

  2. for upper-division and transfer students, a one-year advanced course sequence (9 units) that fills the upper-division GE (or "SJSU Studies") requirements for most majors.

What makes Humanities Honors courses special?

  • Humanities Honors courses are multidisciplinary, combining art, literature, philosophy, history, political theory, and scientific thought to offer a comprehensive view of human cultures and their development.
  • Humanities Honors courses are team-taught by professors with complementary expertise in different fields.
  • Humanities Honors courses provide an introduction to the global humanities, with each course focused not on a single part of the world or time period but exploring East-West, Global North-Global South, and past-present cultural connections.
  • The Humanities Honors program runs on a cohort model to build a strong sense of learning community. Students are recruited into the sequence as a group and move through it together, so you will have many of the same classmates if you fill the sequence in one or two years.
  • Students in Humanities Honors courses benefit from community-building program events including field trips, cultural experiences, and social and professional events such as alumni mixers and Honors colloquia—as well as additional program-specific opportunities!

Want to Find Out More?

Interested in either course sequence? Review the page for the lower-division sequence (for first- and second-year students) or for the Advanced Honors sequence (for transfers and upper-division students). Then, contact the program coordinator with any questions!

Kerri MalloyErik L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Coordinator, Humanities Honors Program
Office phone: (408) 924-5110
Program email:
Clark Hall 414LOffice hour booking

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