About the Humanities
Who are we? The Faculty of Humanities comprises over 125 full-and part-time faculty researching and teaching in nine departments. Over 3,000 undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. students from across Canada and around the world are enrolled in our programs. They join the many thousands who have graduated from humanities programs at McMaster since its establishment in 1887.
An institution’s declared vision is a good indicator of its deepest values and strongest aspirations. The vision of our Faculty is centered on excellence in research, innovation, and teaching. Of course, visions are nothing without achievements. McMaster Humanities’ achievements are everywhere: from the research projects and innovative teaching of our faculty to the intellectual and social engagement of our students at McMaster and in the wider world.
The Faculty of Humanities first came into being as a result of The McMaster University Act, 1976. The act officially launched the modern era creating the Faculties of Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences. All references to Humanities prior to 1976 came under the contexts of the Arts, from 1968 to 1976, and as the Faculty of Arts and Science from 1930 (when the university opened its door in Hamilton, Ontario) to 1968.
The liberal arts lie at the heart of any great university. At McMaster University, we believe in a liberal arts mission that builds on the strengths of our various disciplines.
Our Faculty is committed to:
- Seeking excellence in research, innovation in teaching, and creativity in the performing arts.
- Encouraging critical reflection and logical thinking through written and verbal expression.
- Recognizing the cultural diversity of our university, nation, and world.
- Instilling in our students the importance of responsible and sensitive global citizenship, through cultural self-reflection, ethical reasoning, and historical understanding.
- Knowing the value of languages and new media, as a means of opening our minds to new ways of communicating and new ways of understanding.
- Venturing into new domains of research, including the cognitive dimensions of music, language, and communication.
- Defining a liberal arts education in the 21st century, one that prepares our students for the major challenges of the next generation.
Buro Millennial / Pexels
The Faculty of Humanities is dedicated to cultivating a teaching and research environment which reflects the highest standards of our disciplines, and to undertaking ventures in new areas of interdisciplinary inquiry and pedagogy. In the Arts, we continue to strive for a balance between the best traditions of Humanities education and the new forms of knowledge emerging within and at the intersections of disciplines. By learning from past and pressing issues facing our global world today, we promote advances in knowledge that make innovative, positive differences in the diverse lives of our students.
The Mission of the Academic Advising Office is to assist students in the Faculty of Humanities in realizing their full potential. The academic advising staff interacts with students in a variety of settings, evaluating their needs and teaching them how to navigate the higher education system. We work with students to develop and implement individual plans for the purpose of achieving both academic and personal goals.
Upon entering the faculty, students are paired with an advisor who will support them from the first year through to graduation with all their academic needs.
Academic Advisors provide support in the following areas:
- Identifying individual education goals.
- Program and course registration.
- Interpretation of academic regulations.
- Academic work accommodations.
- Exploring other resources on campus as necessary.
Major New Initiatives and Gateways
The Faculty has proposed five new initiatives to advance this exciting agenda in the liberal arts. Building on our strengths, the initiatives represent significant new gateways to learning and discovery. Some of these initiatives will find their home in the new Liberal Arts building: others will be located elsewhere. They all intersect and support each other, each one being congruent with the directions outlined in campaign documents and with our own visioning exercise.
- Centre for Global Citizenship and Culture.
- Language Learning Commons.
- Wilson Institute for Canadian History.
- Centre for the Performing Arts & New Media.
- Humanities and Social Sciences Research Institute.
Programs taught in:
- English (Canada)