College Application Secrets Insider Tips Ivy Admissions

Don’t Shy Away from Humanities

We’ve talked about the benefits of a humanities focus in the past so of course we were interested to see this recent Washington Post article that references parents who are discouraging humanities majors for their children. Fine arts, digital humanities, and classics are college majors that actually CAN lead students on the path to great careers. In fact, disciplines such as music, history, languages, literature, cultural studies, and philosophy help us understand the way we experience the world.


As the article states, “As it happens, those are precisely the skills business executives still say they want from college graduates — although, to be fair, that has not always been communicated to their human-resource departments or the computers they use to sort through résumés. A study for the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 93 percent of employers agreed that a ‘demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a job candidate’s] undergraduate major.’”

The Washington Post confirms that in the mid 60’s, humanities majors represented 17% of college degrees, but now the number is closer to 6%. Of course colleges are looking to fill that demographic and bear it in mind in college admissions. The academic interest you state in your college applications matters.

There’s no need to wait until college to take a college course in a humanities field. High school students can earn college credit online now –and then they are in the very wonderful place of getting to submit a college transcript with the Common Application senior year.

Here’s an example of a great way to earn two college credits in humanities in 2½ days:

  • Take the Harvard Extension Course A Constitutional Convention.
    • The class meets on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, MA Friday January 6th 5-8pm, Saturday January 7th 9am-5pm, and Sunday, January 8th 9am-1pm.
    • Registration begins November 14th (they only take 30 students in the class) and students will learn about the U.S. constitution with an eye toward “historical and legal insights.”
    • Consider this course and you’ll walk away with a Harvard transcript and 2 college credits!

What areas of the humanities are most appealing to you? Tell us in the comments below!

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