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Washington State University
UCORE: University Common Requirements Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Inquiry in the Humanities [HUM]

Course designator within the area of Inquiry: Ways of Knowing

The humanities grapple with the human condition in all of its complexity through time and across cultures. The humanities include knowledge of American and world history, philosophical traditions, major religions, diverse cultural legacies, and contested questions.

As fields of study, the humanities emphasize analysis, interpretation, and reflection rather than the direct creative expression of the arts. They engage centrally with questions of meaning and purpose, which serve as bridges of relevance between past, present, and future.

Courses in HUM must meet the basic requirements for all UCORE courses: written communication, critical and creative thinking, information literacy, and assessment / evidence of student progress toward learning goals.

Additionally, courses in HUM must also meet requirements for UCORE inquiry courses.

View approved HUM courses

Required Elements for all HUM Courses

All HUM Courses are required to:

  • Introduce students to basic theories of interpretation or theoretical models in the humanities.
  • Introduce students to key texts, monuments, artifacts, or episodes within humanistic traditions or disciplines.
  • Help students develop the ability to construct their own artistic, literary, philosophical, religious, linguistic, or historical interpretations according to the standards of a humanistic discipline.

Also, the UCORE committee suggests that HUM Courses:

  • Engage students in the history of ideas or of “Big Questions.”
  • Acquaint students with significant cultural traditions.
  • Have students solve a problem, conceptualize an issue, or convey a concept, formal or theoretical. 

Required Learning Outcomes Grid

Whether submitting a course for the first time or resubmitting an updated course as part of the UCORE committee’s periodic re-review, faculty should submit a completed HUM Learning Outcomes Grid embedded in the course syllabus in order to demonstrate clearly the relationship among WSU/UCORE learning goals, UCORE category designation learning outcomes, course learning outcomes, assignments, and assessment of student learning. Consult the sample ROOT syllabus with embedded learning outcomes grid as a model.