Humanities (AA or BA)

The Humanities major includes those branches of learning that are concerned with human thought and experience in history, language and literature, philosophy, religious studies, fine arts and music. Its goal is to lead the student to appreciate those aspects of his or her own culture, as well as their relationship to the cultures of other times and places. Although the humanities major is not oriented toward a particular career, its emphasis on critical understanding and disciplined reflection prepares a student for later training in many fields of employment including law, government, journalism, teaching and human services.


Students must maintain an overall 2.0 cumulative average to graduate with a degree from Canisius.


All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Students interested in pursuing this degree at either the Associate- or Bachelor-level should contact an Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

AA Curriculum

The associate of arts degree in humanities program requires the completion of 60 credit hours of coursework. The program has two basic purposes:

  1. It offers an immediate goal for students seeking a general introduction to the humanities (history, languages, literature, philosophy, religious studies, fine arts and music).
  2. It provides a basic foundation for those who wish to go on for a bachelor’s degree.

The program contains a second track designed for the prospective business major. Students who plan baccalaureate studies in the future are encouraged to choose the track that fits their individual goals. If a student remains at Canisius College, all of the coursework in the associate degree program is transferable and applicable to the bachelor’s program.

Core Curriculum Requirements

All students complete Core Curriculum requirements as part of their overall Canisius Education. These requirements can be found on the Core Curriculum website.  

Major Course Requirements

Select one of the following tracks (6 courses):
Humanities Track:
English: two 200 level courses
Religious Studies: two courses
Humanities: two courses, to be selected from Fine Arts, English, History, Modern Language, Music, Religious Studies, or Philosophy 300 level
Business Track:
Art and Literature: two courses
Religious Studies: two courses
Business Electives: two courses

Free Electives

Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 60 credit hours for graduation with an Associates degree.

Other Associate’s Degree Regulations

The basic residency requirements for AA degrees is 30 credit hours, at least 15 of which must be completed in traditional classroom situations. No more than 30 credits may be transferred from another institution. Not all courses at other institutions are applicable to the associate degree, and transfer students are required to have a transfer evaluation completed by the college registrar.

For more information contact the Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.

BA Curriculum

An Ignatian Foundation

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum. Many schools refer to their college-wide undergraduate requirements as "general education" requirements. We believe that the core curriculum and the honors curriculum are more than a series of required classes; they provide the basis for a Jesuit education both with content and with required knowledge and skills attributes that are central to our mission.

Free Electives

Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Free electives are courses in addition to the Canisius Core Curriculum or All-College Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation.

Major Requirements

English: two 200 level courses plus two 300 - 400 level courses in a major literary genre
History: two 300/400-level courses
Philosophy: four 200/400-level courses
Religious Studies: two 300/400-level courses
Modern Language: two courses in Modern Language or Literature in Translation and/or Civilization
Humanities: two courses to be selected from Fine Arts, History, Music, Religious Studies, Philosophy 300 level
Concentration: Three additional 300/400-level courses in one of the following departments: Fine Arts, English, History, Modern Language, Religious Studies, Philosophy