College of Humanities and Arts


The College of Humanities and the Arts seeks to instill in students an understanding of human existence that is tolerant, moral and appreciative of human creativity as manifested in works of language and literature, the visual and performing arts, philosophy and theology, and by engagement in the creation of art and criticism.

Through its programs, the College aims to develop engaged participants in the local communities as well as in the global dimension of cultural, intellectual, and economic life. College faculty educate students for lifelong learning as well as for their first job after graduation. Building upon a foundation of excellent oral and written communication, the College helps students pursue a wide variety of paths to knowledge and careers, through specialized study in many fields, including art history, animation, comparative literature, dance, film, foreign languages, musical composition and performance, painting, radio broadcasting, sculpture, television, linguistics, comparative religion, philosophy, and technical and creative writing.

Faculty in all disciplines of the College engage in research published by major scholarly journals and university presses, supported by the major national grants and foundations, and presented at the major scholarly conferences. Artists within the College publish in important literary journals, exhibit at nationally recognized venues, or participate in prestigious performing arts productions. Throughout the College, faculty seek to produce scholarship or creative works that achieve national recognition.

College curricula develop the individual's power to communicate effectively and to analyze critically the conditions upon which cultural perceptions are built. Courses in the College attempt to reveal the evolving aspiration toward aesthetic and intellectual power in human cultures by exposing the student to important ideas, achievements, and experiences in the humanities and the creative arts. In its many professional arts programs, the College develops the talent of those who have the skill to perform or create works of art, fixing in vivid form the values of diverse heritages. In its programs in language, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities, the College engages students in the discovery and exploration of works from around the world that deepen understanding of how human imagination and intellect function within different historical and cultural contexts. A primary purpose of a humanities education is to develop the skills and confidence that support a creative, analytical mind capable of lifelong learning and adaptation to different contexts and opportunities.

Through its General Education, Arts, and many scholarly programs and research units, such as the Center for Literary Arts, the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, and the Ira Brilliant Beethoven Center, the College of Humanities and the Arts makes an indispensable contribution to the SJSU community and the region surrounding it.

Humanities and the Arts Student Success Center (HASSC)

The Humanities and the Arts Student Success Center is located in Clark Hall, Room 244. The H&A SSC provides general education advising, academic planning and serves as a resource to other programs at SJSU. We serve undergraduate students who are pursuing major(s) within the College of Humanities and the Arts. We offer both drop-in advising and appointments. All students within the college are encouraged to meet with an academic advisor to discuss a plan that will ensure timely graduation.


Internships provide students with the opportunity to incorporate work experience in a professional setting as part of their academic programs. Internship representatives are available within each department.

Teaching Credential Preparation Programs

Teaching credential preparation programs are offered by the School of Music and Dance, the departments of Art, English and Comparative Literature, Humanities (Liberal Studies) and Film and Theatre.