The Humanities major combines a rigorous general education in the humanities with a concentrated focus on a particular discipline or theme. The requirements for the major are designed to allow students to construct a program of study that fits their own intellectual interests.

The curriculum is cross-cultural in foundation and reflects the interdisciplinary strength of our faculty in areas including history, philosophy, literature, religion, film and media, and cultural studies. Humanities students engage with Asian, African, European, American, and Oceanian cultures and intellectual traditions. They learn to employ multiple disciplinary perspectives, and to engage with a wide range of different sources. Rather than developing career-specific skills, the Humanities major provides students with very general skills in reading, writing, interpretation, analysis and argument that are both highly valuable and highly transferable. Humanities majors graduate with the capacity to critically engage with our globalizing world, to contribute to contemporary scholarship, and to pursue a wide range of careers.

In the Humanities core courses, students acquire a set of methods for humanistic inquiry. Students then develop an area of thematic or disciplinary focus by taking courses in Shanghai and other NYU sites in consultation with faculty advisors. In the senior year, they take the Capstone Course and produce a final thesis to showcase their intellectual development.


Degree Requirements - 2018-19 Bulletin


Please note that the courses below are only those offered in Fall 2019. To find more courses that could fulfill Humanities major requirements, please refer to the NYU Shanghai All Major Degree requirements Record (Humanities tab)

Critical Concepts (Choose One)
GCHN-SHU 110 The Concept of China
HIST-SHU 302 History of Water
HUMN-SHU 200 Talmud and the Art of Reading
HUMN-SHU 240 Gender, Sexuality, and Culture
LIT-SHU 253 Comparative Islamic Feminisms in World Literature
PHIL-SHU 105 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
Digital Approaches (Choose One)
GCHN-SHU 267 The Cultivated City
INTM-SHU 268 Acoustic Ethnography of the Yangtze River Delta
MCC-SHU 9451 Global Media Seminar:China
SCA-SHU 9634 Global Connections: Shanghai
CCCF-SHU 128 Contemporary Art & New Media
CIII-SHU 103 Cultural Foundations for Liberal Studies
CRWR-SHU 159 Introduction to Creative Writing
GCHN-SHU 110 The Concept of China
GCHN-SHU 267 The Cultivated City
HIST-SHU 130 Foundations: What is History (Proposed course-Approval pending)
HUMN-SHU 200 Talmud and the Art of Reading
HUMN-SHU 229 Masters of Asian Cinema
LIT-SHU 200  Asian-Francophone Woman Writers
PHIL-SHU 105 Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
SIII-SHU 103 Social Foundations for Liberal Studies
NOTE: 3 or more of the 6 Topic courses should demonstrate a degree of focus and coherence, and will serve as the basis of senior-year thesis.
ART-SHU 610 Art is a Hammer
CCSF-SHU 123 Contemporary Chinese Political Thought 
PHIL-SHU 200-001 Topics in Epistemology: The Pragmatic Turn in Epistemology
RELS-SHU 9270 Religion and Society in China: Ghosts, Gods,Buddhas and Ancestors
GCHN-SHU 255 Eat, Pray, Ponder: Chinese Intellectual Culture Through Ages
HUMN-SHU 366 Shanghai Stories
HIST-SHU 302  History of Water
HUMN-SHU 401      Capstone Seminar *


Recommended Fall 2019 Courses

For Rising Seniors

  • Perspectives
  • One Humanities Core Courses - Digital Approaches or Critical Concepts
  • Humanities Survey Course
  • Humanities Topic Course


Faculty Mentors

Professor Shirin Edwin Room 1202 

| Email: see2@nyu.eduProfile


Professor Brad Weslake Room 961 | Email: | Profile


Professor Duane Corpis Room 1219 | Email: | Profile


Professor Tzu-hui Celina Hung Room 1221 | Email: | Profile


Professor Alexander C.T. Geppert Room 1213 | Email: | Profile

Minor in Humanities
Any four 4-credit classes from the required and elective list of Humanities major courses.
Minor in History
Four classes from the required and elective list of Humanities major History courses.
Minor in Literature
Four classes from the required and elective list of Humanities major Literature courses.
Minor in Philosophy

Four classes from the required and elective list of Humanities major Philosophy courses.