United States Air Force Academy

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A Well Rounded Approach to Humanities


Cadet with thumbs up

The Humanities major at the U.S. Air Force Academy provides cadets with the opportunities to explore the breadth of the humanities disciplines and to pursue interdisciplinary as well as individualized learning and research. The program is jointly administered by the Departments of English (including the Fine Arts faculty), Foreign Language, History, and Philosophy.

There are two dimensions to the program. First, students take a set of courses that are foundational to the Humanities from across the contributing departments. Second, students select among a variety of electives in order to construct a multi-disciplinary educational pathway tailored to their specific interests and aspirations. Graduates with the Humanities major will provide the Air Force with officers with unique talent and experience in conceptual integration, lateral thinking, and strategic sensitivity.

  • Analyze, evaluate, and formulate conceptual thinking related to a variety of references in thought, literature, music, and art.
  • Develop deeper understanding of and appreciation for the human condition, human cultures, and human societies.
  • Develop sophisticated oral and written communication skills, ideally as well in a foreign language.
  • Develop higher-order critical reasoning and creative thought skills.

The Humanities major contributes to both the development and assessment of the USAFA Institutional Critical Thinking Outcome.


140 Total Semester hours

  1. 93 Semester hours of Dean’s academic core courses to include:
    Core Requirement Required Core Options/Substitutes
    P/C/B Option 1 Choose 1
    P/C/B Option 2 Choose 1
    Statistics Choose 1
    Adv STEM Option Choose 1
    Adv Sociocultural Option War Literature and Film English 411
    Adv Open Option Choose 1
  2. 5 Semester hours of Director of Athletics core courses.
  3. 42 Semester hours of major’s courses:
    1. Research Methods and Critical Enquiry requirement (choose one):
    a. English 241
    b. History 200
    c. Philosophy 200 or any 300- or 400-level philosophy course other than Philos 370.
    d. English 200S
    e. Cadets transferring to Humanities from other majors may substitute courses approved by the Humanities Division Chair. For example, Pol Sci 300 fulfills the Humanities RMCE requirement for former ForArStu majors.
    2.–3. Two Fine Arts courses
    4.–6. Humanities distribution (one of each):
    a. Any literature course taught by DFENG for which the prerequisites are met
    b. Any 300- or 400-level non-core course offered by DFH
    c. Any non-core course offered by DFPY
    7.–14. Humanities options: 24 semester hours of courses offered by the Humanities
    Division and its departments (usually eight courses). Humanities major advisors are
    encouraged to use Hum 400S as a capstone unless circumstances such as a semester abroad
    preclude doing so.

Supplemental Information:
Proficiency in foreign language facilitates the study of many disciplines and provides a muchneeded capability in the operational Air Force. To realize these benefits, Humanities majors may earn a foreign language minor by taking courses at the 200 level and above that double-count for the minor and Humanities options.