Undergraduate Program

The IPH Mission

All students in the major will learn to write and speak clearly and flexibly; they will have broad exposure to a range of canonical texts; they will be trained in the historical and formal analysis of those and other texts; they will be fluent in at least one foreign language; and they will have considerable experience in independent research.

Founding Principles

IPH is for the intellectually ambitious. Students apply for admission to the major by submitting a portfolio during their sophomore year. While in pursuit of the major, students are evaluated through a Junior Comprehensive Exam, a language exam, and a senior honors thesis. Most of our majors achieve college honors through the successful completion of the above.

IPH is founded on the Text & Traditions core program and on the humanities-themed Ampersand programs in which students engage with a flexible canon of important books in European and American, ancient and modern intellectual traditions.

IPH is more than a major – it is a sustained group project involving faculty and students. It aims to establish a small intellectual community comprised of students and faculty who regularly engage each other (and each other’s ideas) both in and out of the classroom.

The Humanities

The humanities bring you into contact with both the traditional and the unconventional ideas and beliefs that have shaped history. With the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities (IPH) as your major, the most influential works in the American and European traditions serve as a springboard for individual explorations that lead beyond the boundaries of a single academic discipline. You will study at the intersections of literature, language, philosophy, history, and the arts, where the synergies and contrasts among these disciplines yield stimulating intellectual challenges and intriguing new insights.

Combining a core of knowledge, foreign-language proficiency, critical, analytic, and research skills, IPH is a challenging major for creative, intellectually ambitious students. You'll be well prepared for a range of graduate programs in the humanities, a future in academia, or a professional career in law or public service - and for the vital work of critical citizenship and path-breaking problem-solving.

Majors & Minors

First-Year Program: Text and Traditions

In the first semester, those enrolled in the T&T program usually take two courses: "Classical to Renaissance Literature" and "Early Political Thought." (Students who miss that fall pairing in their first semester can easily enroll in it in a subsequent semester.) These courses provide the foundation for other courses in the track: courses in Modern Political Thought, Literary Modernities in Europe and America, Literary Modernities in East Asia, The Intellectual History of Sex and Gender, etc.

Explore the Text & Traditions program

IPH Major

The major combines 1) an introductory core - a concentrated study of texts central to the American and European philosophical, religious, and literary traditions, 2) with an area of concentration - an advanced sequence of courses and research tailored to the special interests of each student in the program.

Learn more about our major

Data Science in the Humanities Minor

In response to the growing interest in the Humanities Digital Workshop, we now offer a Data Science in the Humanities minor (DASH) combining traditional humanities inquiry with digital methods and analysis. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the minor, it is home-based in IPH, the Interdisciplinary Project in the Humanities.

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Text & Traditions Minor

In the first semester, those enrolled in the Text & Tradition Minor take Classical to Renaissance Literature, as well as Early Political Thought. Each course in T&T meets an Arts & Sciences distribution requirement. The goal of these classes is to provide a serious foundation in the humanities, a foundation in content and in methods of inquiry. Five Text & Tradition classes are required to earn the minor.

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Image of Page from Medieval or Renaissance Manuscript

Medieval and Renaissance Studies Minor

For the minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies students are expected to take six courses or 18 credits. Students take three courses in either Medieval or Renaissance Studies from at least two different departments or programs; three should come from the following list: Art-Arch 113 History of Western Art, Architecture & Design; History 101C-Western Civilization; IPH 201C-Classical to Renaissance Literature; IPH 203C-Early Political Thought; IPH 209-Scriptures and Cultural Traditions. Students must also complete two years of college-level language study in Spanish, French, Italian, Latin, German, Arabic or Greek, and they are encouraged to continue their foreign-language study further. Students select these three courses in consultation with their minor adviser. Students may contact Professors Joseph Loewenstein or Robert Henke for additional information about the minor.

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Alumni Accomplishments

Curious what our alumni are up to?

Read about our alumni

Research Opportunities

Majors and minors are invited to apply for a research assistantship with an IPH core or affiliated faculty member. These academic collaborations fulfill the requirements of the professor, and offer the student an invaluable look at the academic research process from the ground up.

Research is at the center of IPH. The student research experience can begin very early, for as early as the first year, students have the opportunity to assist faculty in advanced research projects.

Find out more about student research

The IPH degree has definitely helped me stand out during the medical school application and interview process. My interviewers loved the uniqueness of the program and how it helped me become a well-rounded student (and the fact that I wasn't just another Biology major!). I've become a better student, writer, and researcher thanks to the IPH program, and I hope to continue this legacy throughout my career in medicine.

―Riva DesaiIPH Major, '16

Contact Us

Any member of the IPH faculty would be happy to confer with you about interdisciplinary work in the humanities. Please contact us for more information about our undergraduate program.

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