Study of humanities at Inver Hills Community College, a top value educator in the Twin Cities area

One of the main branches of learning, the humanities are home ground to scholars who study how people comprehend and record the human experience. The humanities give us the capacity to connect with people and civilizations from the past, relate with more insights to contemporary cultures, and anticipate human adventures and accomplishments of the future.


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Humanities students develop skills that transfer to any number of career paths. Below are five key skills that appear in every humanities student’s portfolio:


The humanities teach you how to approach concepts and issues creatively while harnessing your power to write and speak with clarity.

Interpersonal relations

Delivering the core import of the humanities is tough to replicate online, which means as a humanities student you will become adept at engaging and inspiring people in person while gaining a greater appreciation for diverse backgrounds.


Many humanities majors minor in a tech-related field, a strategy that offers a strong edge in the job market and the ability to excel in a variety of workplace settings.


Collaboration is a crucial element across every field of endeavor, from law to business to health care to high technology. As a humanities student, you will not only investigate how people working as a team have shaped human history, but you'll also discover your own capacity to contribute in a team-based environment.

Critical thinking

Seeing the big picture, formulating breakthrough ideas, solving difficult problems and identifying the smartest way forward are the bread and butter of humanities students. All are more important to modern employers than knowing how to carry out a specific technical task.

The Humanities department at Inver Hills offers interdisciplinary approaches to studying cultures and periods around the world and throughout history. Course topics cover art, literature, music, history, language, philosophy and religion from different perspectives. Specific topics address the Holocaust, study Hispanic cultures and explore the ancient world. You can apply your coursework toward transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a humanities discipline.

What are the humanities?

"The term 'humanities' includes, but is not limited to, the study and interpretation of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life."

National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, 1965, as amended

Course Descriptions

HUM 1110  The Ancient World through the Renaissance   4.0 cr

Course Outline for HUM 1110

Examines literature and other written works, art, architecture, philosophy, religion, and music in their cultural contexts from ancient cultures, Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance: e.g., such works as Greek literature, Roman architecture, the medieval cathedral, renaissance art, and religions and philosophies; and such artists and writers as Plato, Sappho, Michelangelo, Rumi, Machiavelli, and Shakespeare. Covers primarily Western culture with some global culture added

HUM 1111  From the Baroque Period to the Modern World   4.0 cr

Course Outline for HUM 1111

Examines literature and other written works, art, architecture, philosophy, religion, and music in their cultural contexts from the European Enlightenment to the modern world; e.g. such artists, writers, and musicians as Rembrandt, Bach, Voltaire, Wollstonescraft, Blake, Tolstoy, Stravinsky, and Camus, and such movements as Baroque, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, and Existentialism. Covers primarily Western culture with some global culture added.

HUM 1115  Holocaust & Genocide Studies In Film   3.0 cr

Course Outline for HUM 1115

Visits the Holocaust and other 20th century genocides through a chronology of films depicting both the horror and the hope. Films include award-winning, acclaimed stories and documentaries of the Holocaust and other Genocides, which demonstrate bravery, inhumanity, and the will to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to maintain human dignity. Films will be followed and preceded by discussion sessions, visits from speakers and survivors, and opportunity for students to participate with humanitarian organizations and with optional service learning. Note: FS 1115 and HUM 1115 are co-listed; department should be selected at registration. Credit will be given in only one department.

HUM 1140  Latin American Culture and Civilization   3.0 cr

Course Outline for HUM 1140

Provides a panoramic view of Latin America from Pre-Columbian times to the present. Highlights major events and figures, but also key issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, language, geography, religion, and class, and how they have shaped and continue to shape Latin American identities and experiences. Considers cultural production from a sociohistorical perspective.

HUM 1177  Holocaust Through Multiple Lenses   3.0 cr

Course Outline for HUM 1177

Examines how the Holocaust has been remembered historically through different forms of media, including literature, drama, personal testimony, music, video, and art. Students will evaluate different media forms and participate in two field trips to determine how authentic and reliable their historical depictions have been and how they have varied over time.

HUM 2250  Special Topics in Humanities   cr

Course Outline for HUM 2250

Study of a prominent theme, figure, period, or genre through art and literature and possibly philosophy, music or history. Topics will be determined in advance by the instructor and published in the class schedule.

Meet the Faculty

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Learning at its finest

The humanities encompass culture from every imaginable perspective. As a humanities student, you'll study languages, literature, art, history, music, philosophy, religion and more. The skills you hone discovering the wonders of the human experience give you a global understanding that spans time and cultural divides. You master the art of learning, think in novel ways, become a research savant, write with clarity and elegance, and plow through abstract problems.

Pursuing the humanities as your major depends on finding the best match for your personality and interests. Your career choice should involve the ability to absorb new, fast-moving information about virtually any aspect of the human condition. You need to be open-minded, flexible and ready to take on unexpected challenges. Humanities graduates have the broad intellectual foundation that’s invaluable in the modern workplace.

The humanities are bursting with diverse disciplines, which can make narrowing down you career choices a welcome problem. Many humanities grads become policymakers, researchers and marketing professionals. Below are a few career options that align with the knowledge and tools gained from studying the humanities:


Understanding the inner workings of human cultures and societies promotes exceptionally creative thinking.

Foreign service

Focusing on a specific cultural realm opens doors to a career in the diplomatic corps working overseas.


Correspondents investigate, analyze, make reasoned decisions and communicate on point, all qualities of a humanities graduate.


Law schools appreciate humanities majors for their ability to think critically, view issues at the micro and macro levels, and find useful correlations between current affairs and past events.

Public administration

Keeping society running smoothly for every citizen is the role of public servants, a role humanities majors understand from studying social orders of all kinds in places all around the planet.


Because they have read and critiqued the very best of world literature, humanities majors not only recognize top-quality writing, but are also equipped to handle the ever-changing landscape of the publishing industry.


Humanities grads are passionate about their focus of study. That passion translates as a talent for passing on their accumulated observations and wisdom to future generations.

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can start by taking Humanities courses at Inver Hills.

Why Inver Hills?

Completing your Humanities course obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. You will receive an outstanding education with one-on-one interactions with humanities faculty
  2. You will develop the strong foundation you need to select a career path that best meets your interests
  3. You will save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt *

* On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.2 trillion, which is greater than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. In Minnesota, the average debt for four-year grads tops $30,000; 70 percent carry a student debt load.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,300. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. instructors and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars. It's a no-brainer.

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