Bachelor of Arts in Humanities

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

The department's lower division General Education courses (HUM 220, HUM 225) or other lower division courses concerned with ideas, social conditions, and art forms are recommended for students planning to major or minor in humanities. HUM 130 may be counted toward the major as an elective in Cross-Cultural studies. Study or practical experience toward mastery of a foreign language is strongly recommended along with the major or minor.

Humanities majors who successfully complete HUM 300GW in spring 2010 or thereafter will have satisfied the University Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).

Humanities (B.A.) — 42 units

Core (15 units)

HUM 300GWJunior Seminar Humanities Writing - GWAR3
HUM 301Form and Culture3
HUM 303History and Culture3
HUM 425Thought and Image: Humanities3
HUM 690Senior Seminar in the Humanities3

Cross-cultural Studies (6 units)

Units selected from the following, or other appropriate courses on advisement:

HUM 130The Humanities: Major Works3
HUM 302Theories and Methods in the Humanities3
HUM 320Music, Ideas, and Culture3
HUM 345Humanism and Mysticism3
HUM 360Styles of African Cultural Expression3
HUM 361Cultural Expression in Islam3
HUM 375Biography of a City (Istanbul, Cairo, Cape Town)3
HUM 377Jerusalem3
HUM 390Images of Eroticism3
HUM 415Contemporary Culture3
HUM 496Islam and the Poetics of Space3
HUM 501Judaism, Christianity, and Islam3
HUM 510Comparative Form and Culture3

European Culture Studies (6 units)

Units selected from the following, or other appropriate courses on advisement:

HUM 302Theories and Methods in the Humanities3
HUM 375Biography of a City (Berlin, Florence, London, Moscow, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Naples)3
HUM 378Athens3
HUM 401Ancient Greek Literature3
HUM 402Ancient Roman Literature3
HUM 403The Early Middle Ages3
HUM 404The High Middle Ages3
HUM 405Art, Literature, and Power in the Renaissance3
HUM 407Romanticism and Impressionism3
HUM 410The Modern Revolution3
HUM 432Nietzsche and Postmodernism3
HUM 434Arendt and Heidegger3
HUM 550The Art of Autobiography3

American Culture Studies (6 units)

Units selected from the following, or other appropriate courses on advisement:

HUM 321Jazz and Blues in Film3
HUM 375Biography of a City (Los Angeles, Mexico City, New Orleans, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Havana, Chicago, Boston, Buenos Aires)3
HUM 376San Francisco3
HUM 450California Culture3
HUM 455Humanities of the Americas (San Francisco)3
HUM 470American Autobiography3
HUM 480Thought and Culture in America to 18803
HUM 481Thought and Culture in America: 1880 to the Present3
HUM 485The Arts and American Culture3
HUM 490American Images: Photography and Literature3
HUM 520North and South American Cultural Expression3

Asian Culture Studies (6 units)

Units selected from the following, or other appropriate courses on advisement:

HUM 366India's Gandhi3
HUM 375Biography of a City (Beijing, Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai)3
HUM 507Art of China3
HUM 526Culture of Japan before 18503
HUM 527Japan and Modernity3
HUM 530Chinese Civilization3
HUM 531Images of Modern China3
HUM 532From Ghost Stories to Short Stories: Japanese Fiction in Comparative Contexts3
HUM 535Classical South Asian Cultural Forms3
HUM 536Modern South Asian Cultural Forms3

Additional Courses (3 units)

Units selected from one of the above culture study areas, or other appropriate courses on advisement

Note: Up to three appropriate courses (9 units) in related departments or programs may be substituted for departmental course work in the culture-study areas. Core courses must be taken for a letter grade. No more than one elective course (3 units) may be taken CR/NC. Up to three units lower division coursework can be counted as an elective in the major.

Complementary Studies

Twelve units of complementary studies are required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities. These units must come from courses bearing a prefix other than HUM and not cross-listed with HUM. Humanities majors will be offered several pathways toward completing this requirement, each of which is designed to facilitate graduation in a timely manner. Humanities majors may, with the approval of a Humanities department advisor, elect to apply 12 units in a single foreign language of their choosing, courses taken in an approved study abroad program (e.g., CSU Study Abroad), courses taken as partial completion of a second major, a minor or a certificate, or courses in a related discipline. Related disciplines typically include: African American Studies, American Indian Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Art, Asian American Studies, Broadcast and Electronic Communication, Cinema, Classics, Comparative World Literature, Creative Writing, English, Foreign Languages, History, International Relations, Jewish Studies, Journalism, Liberal Studies, Middle East and Islamic Studies , Modern Greek Studies, Music , Philosophy, Political Science, Race and Resistance Studies, Theatre Arts, and Women and Gender Studies.

These courses should either have a direct bearing on the study of the humanities, or they should be shown to deepen and enrich the study of humanities in particular and articulable ways. Up to 9 units of Complementary Studies can count toward the major, leaving 3 other units to be met by another course in consultation with an advisor in the department. Advisors may use a slightly higher standard for complementary for the 9 units that count for the Major than for the 3 units that do not.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Art History

California legislation SB 1440 (2009), mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation, and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals sixty units and includes completion of all lower division GE and at least eighteen units in a specific major. Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and is continuing in this major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab and displays

  • How many lower division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.