At McMaster, Humanities means leadership. Look at any list of the attributes of effective leadership, and what do you find?
- Strong personal and ethical values
- The ability to influence others through reasoned argument
- Emotional intelligence, achieved both by knowing oneself, and by being able to see the world from the perspective of others
- Social intelligence, the ability to collaborate, to engage others in conversation, to be sensitive to social situations and to work with those culturally different from ourselves
- Communication, conveying complex ideas in clear and inspiring ways
- Creativity, particularly an openness to new ideas and a willingness to question everything, not for the sake of asking questions, but to make this a better world.
These are the so-called “soft skills”. “Soft skills” build careers. “Soft skills” build leaders. They are the skills that build leaders in our communities, neighbourhoods, classrooms, social agencies, arts organizations, and in businesses, from corporations to start-ups.
In Humanities, you’ll encounter productive, award-winning professors who bring their real-life experience as researchers and writers to the classroom, and who believe that the best university education is student-centred research-focused. You’ll join a community of scholars who are not afraid to cross the boundaries between subjects, who have dynamic and diverse individual interests, experiences and talents, but who share an enthusiasm and curiosity about the past, present and future.
We look forward to having you in our classrooms, our workshops, our performance spaces and our laboratories. We will work with you and help you work with others to build the skills you need to be the agents of change that our world so desperately needs.
Why Humanities at McMaster?
Students entering the Faculty of Humanities take a general first-year program – Humanities I. The Humanities I program offers students an enormous amount of flexibility and a real chance to explore various options in their first year of university.
Students in Humanities I can pursue subjects in which they have already developed an interest, as well as trying some they may never have taken before. This provides an excellent base from which to specialize in upper levels.
Applied Humanities Courses
Upper-level students in the Faculty of Humanities have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by applying academic skills to practical areas outside the classroom. With the approval of the Associate Dean, students work with a supervising professor to define learning goals and objectives, then participate in research projects, pedagogy and work placements in fields which interest them and are related to a Humanities discipline.
Undergraduate Student Research Awards
McMaster Undergraduate Student Research Awards provide qualified students in the Faculty of Humanities with $6000 to cover 15 weeks of full-time research-based activity in the summer. Recent winners have explored many diverse topics, including language and memory, water sustainability, and body, self esteem and the media.
One of the goals of a Humanities education is to increase global awareness. For many students, participating in an exchange program is one of the most exciting ways to do this. The exchange program allows students to spend all or part of their third year studying at universities in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Austria, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.