Department Of Humanities

CU Humanities: What it means to be human logo

What are the Humanities?

The Department of Humanities offers classes in languages, writing, literature, history, philosophy, and religion. All of these are central to what it means to be human. Taking these classes can help you learn to better communicate with others, to better understand others, to better understand our past and present, and to take part in some of the central questions that humans have always asked (for example, Why did that happen? Is this ethical?)

If you are interested in learning the lessons of the past and applying them to the present and the future; writing novels or songs; learning about other cultures and your own through literature, history, and language, we have the classes for you!

We offer majors in English (BA) and History (BA), and minors in English, History, and Philosophy & Religion.

We also offer content courses for English Education majors and Social Studies Education majors.


Do you want to write novels? Or, maybe you prefer to read and discuss with others what you’ve read? Maybe you enjoy writing and want to help others write more clearly? An English major or minor may be for you.

Possible Careers for an English major or minor:​

  • Creative Writing
  • Technical Writing
  • Editing
  • Teaching
  • Producing/Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Marketing

An English major is also not only good preparation for graduate school in English, but also for Law School.

An English minor works well with many other majors and careers and after you have completed your English General Education requirements you only need 3 more English classes for a minor!

You can find out more about the major by clicking on the course requirements. You can find out more about the minor by clicking on the course requirementsYou can always contact Dr. Michelle Gompf for information.


The study of history can help us to better understand and navigate through the increasing complexity and uncertainty of the modern world in which we live. The skills that Concord’s History program provides you to do this–the ability to analyze and interpret evidence, think critically, and synthesize trends in data–are valued by employers in many businesses as well.

Careers in History

  • Teaching
  • Work in Museums
  • Work in Archives
  • Government Careers

A History major prepares you for success in graduate school and law school.

History minor works well with many other majors and careers. After you have completed your General Education requirements you may only need 4 more History classes for a minor.

Find out more by clicking on the course requirements above, or contact Dr. Jonathan Berkey. We look forward to having you in our program!

Philosophy & Religion

Philosophy, literally, the love of wisdom, is the rational exploration of fundamental questions about ourselves and the world in which we live. Is there a God or something like God? How do we know the truth? Is the moral life objective, relative, or entirely subjective? What does it mean to be a human person? What are our rights? Our responsibilities? And many, many more.

The Philosophy & Religion Program works closely with others to enable students to pursue a minor or a series of electives in support of a wide range of careers in the arts, humanities, law, science, social science, and professional degree programs.

The Philosophy & Religion Program is in full compliance with the current Policies, Statements, and Reports of the American Philosophical Association

Click here to find out more about the minor in Philosophy and Religion or contact Dr. Tom McKenna to get involved.

English Program Assessments
English Program assessment data is collected at program-entry and program-exit levels:

  • Program Entry Assessments:
    • Qualifying Writing Assessment
  • Program Exit Assessments:
    • Capstone Writing Assessment
    • Capstone Portfolio

For information about the English Program assessment, please contact Dr. Michelle Gompf.

Note: The English Program Goals identified below represent the “common denominator” of objectives shared by all CU English Programs: the B.A. English Programs and the B.S. Education, English 5-Adult Program.

English Program Educational Goals / Learning Outcomes

  1. Students in any English class will
    • Draw defensible inferences from close reading of texts
    • Apply critical thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation) to texts
    • Identify and explain interrelationships among textual elements within and across texts
    • Interpret texts within their historical and cultural contexts
    • Identify and evaluate ethical or moral values implied in texts.
  2. Students in any English class will
    • Write critically, supporting inferences by citing and interpreting specific textual evidence
    • Compose texts at a level of “adequate” or above, as defined by the English Program’s criteria for evaluation.
  3. English Program degree candidates will interpret texts spanning a wide range of historical and cultural contexts through a variety of critical lenses.
  4. English Program degree candidates will be able to evaluate aesthetic principles, methods, materials, and media that empower texts to impact society.
  1. Synthesis – Provide history majors with access to historical information in order to analyze important people, societies, trends, and developments across time.
  2. Analysis – Provide history majors with an opportunity to interpret historical evidence to reach accurate and thoughtful conclusions about historical figures, events, and/or trends.
  3. Methodology – Provide history majors with an opportunity to conduct historical research by using primary and secondary sources.
  4. Communication – Provide history majors with an opportunity to communicate historical analysis to their peers and program faculty.
  5. Historical Thinking – Provide history majors with an opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking and analytical skills when considering people, events, and trends in historical context.

Links to other Writing Labs and Sites for Writers

Numerous web sites are available to help you become a better writer. Some of the best include:

  • OWL Resources for Writers – Purdue University offers some of the best information available to improve your writing skills. You will find additional links as well as handouts, advice, practice sheets, and much more. Purdue Online Writing Lab
  • Topics are abundant at the University of Richmond Writer’s Web. This site explores topics by the various stages of the writing process – First Draft, Focusing & Connecting Ideas, General Editing, Peer Editing, Sentence Structure, Using and Documenting Sources. You will also find hints for writing papers in other disciplines.

Need a Dictionary, Thesaurus or Translator? includes “Ask Doctor Dictionary”, Fun & Games, Other Dictionaries (German, Greek, Latin, Spanish, etc.), Roget’s Thesaurus, Translator, Web Directory, Word of the Day and Writing Resources. Dictionary

Doing A Research Paper?

Diana Hacker, author of A Writer’s Reference, supplies you with information on writing all types of research papers. You will find documentation instructions using MLA (Humanities), APA (Social Sciences), Chicago (History) and CBE (Science) styles.

The Modern Language Association is a must for students needing help on citation. MLA ONLINE

Some of our former students have gone on to publish their own works, so we’re showcasing them here!

Rise of Lord Tharagen: a novel by O.R. Frazier book cover

Rise of Lord Tharagen By O. R. Frazier

Routines By Laura Lin

Our Faculty and Staff

Gompf, Michelle
Gompf, Michelle
Professor of English/Chair, Department of Humanities
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McKenna, Thomas
McKenna, Thomas
Professor of History and Philosophy
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Patricia, Anthony
Patricia, Anthony
Associate Professor of English
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Powell, Tina
Powell, Tina
Assistant Professor of English / Writing Center Director
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Williams, George
Williams, George
Assistant Professor of English / Veterans Advocate
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