Mythbusters: Humanities

UCLA has always been proud of its Humanities research and majors, which have a number of real world applications and impacts on local, state, national and world stages.




UCLA Humanities research and majors do not have real world applications and impact.


• Departments and programs under the Humanities banner are far reaching and the alumni they produce enrich Los Angeles and beyond by ensuring future generations never lose touch with the sources of our common humanity — a shared understanding of language, history, culture, literature, law, philosophy, religion, and more.

• Studies regarding the Humanities have real world applications across the planet. For example, studies on human expression through social media during the Arab Spring can, in turn, help predict where future violence may flare up.

• Foreign language learning is the cornerstone of the Humanities, along with literature and culture. Those language skills are an important aspect of any résumé, and can be key for U.S. intelligence and corporate interests internationally. Employers with an emphasis on national security, such as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. State Department, are looking for foreign language skills from their Humanities hires.

• Currently, there are more than 3,000 students (undergraduate and graduate combined) enrolled at UCLA in a Humanities degree program, with a total number of living alumni at more than 47,000. Employers, especially in the STEM categories, continue to place emphasis on having Humanities backgrounds — think the doctor who has good bedside manner. Humanities are considered an essential part of an undergraduate education and help diversify skill sets.

• Humanities research funding also goes to the preservation of our humanity — from digitizing collections of newspapers, magazines, personal papers, and photographs that pertain to the Mexican-American experience in Los Angeles, to setting up a digital library for Ancient Egyptian Architecture.

• Humanities research has a strong partner in the federal government. Since 2012, the Department of Energy has awarded $1.07 million, Department of Defense has awarded $1.003 million, and the National Endowment for the Humanities $2.25 million in contracts and grants.

• The University ranks No. 3 on the 10 most innovative colleges for foreign language by “Best Colleges.” The English graduate program ranks in the Top 10 by “U.S. News.” The Linguistics program ranks in the Top 10 by “QS World University Rankings.”

UCLA Humanities Students:

Current enrolled students: 3,000+ | Total alumni: 47,000+
Departments & Programs Research Centers, Federally-Funded Language Institutes & Programs*
Art History Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies
Asian Languages & Cultures Center for Digital Humanities
Classics Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies
Comparative Literature UCLA International Institute
Digital Humanities Joint Center for East Asian Studies*
English Center for Southeast Asian Studies*
Environmental Humanities Center for Liberal Arts + Free Institutions
French & Francophone Studies Center for Medieval + Renaissance Studies
Germanic Languages Center for the Study of Religion
Italian Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World
Law & Philosophy Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Studies Latin American Institute*
Linguistics Russian Flagship Program*
Near Eastern Languages & Cultures Center for World Languages*
Philosophy Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World
Scandinavian Section  
Slavic, East European & Eurasian Languages & Cultures  
Spanish & Portuguese  
Study of Religion  
Writer Center & Writing Programs  

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