Bachelor of Arts Major in Humanities. The Bachelor of Arts major in Humanities was introduced in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1983. The current program retains vestiges of the old classical curriculum—the College previously had a traditional Humanities course devoted to the classical languages and literatures and to the arts—but adds more modern courses. It is home to students interested in the arts (both the fine and practical), media (both printed and broadcast), and research and writing (both creative and critical).
The program is based on the classical belief in the capacity of human beings for self-perfection. It seeks to liberate the individual genius by exposing students, in the words of Matthew Arnold, to “the best that is known and thought in the world,” or The Great Tradition to which the individual talent belongs. These are the classics of literature, philosophy, and the arts—the makers charting the march of human civilization. Thus, the program holds that while people certainly cannot live without bread, neither can they live only for bread.
Following the classical belief in individualism, the program in Humanities recognizes the particular talents and interests of students. Thus, besides receiving the basic background to the humanities or their potentials in the actual practice of the arts, students chart their own course of studies under the supervision of the Chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies and given the means and services of the university. The end of the Humanities program is to produce graduates sensitive to the delicate nuances of the human condition, aware and appreciative of the record of the great human passions and ideas that have shaped and continue to shape the modern world, infused with the spirit of rigorous rational inquiry, and equipped with the intellectual maturity to form and articulate their own ideas. With the students’ commitment, the program hopes to instill the virtues of intellectual tolerance, love and liberty of thought, and the belief in the essential dignity of human being—ideals that are the core of every attempt to change the world. The Bachelor of Arts major in Humanities, in short, is liberal education for genuine human liberation. It is a recognition of the impulses—ever fundamental but now too often ignored—that are the heart of our common humanity.
Bachelor of Arts Major in Interdisciplinary Studies. The Bachelor of Arts major in Interdisciplinary Studies was introduced as a response to the need sounded in academia for greater dialogue among departments and scholars and to the more practical need of the students for flexibility. Since its institution in the late 1970s, the program has produced graduates active in the fields of law, business, education, sports, and the arts. It rests on the belief that reality is complex and multidimensional. Thus, any attempt at understanding reality and discoursing on the same can be achieved—and only provisionally so—after the critical synthesis of the various methodologies and knowledge of different disciplines. What are learned are not only “truths” but also the premises underlying and legitimizing them. The program, therefore, prizes open-mindedness, broadness of vision, reflexivity, and a commitment to knowledge.
The program also recognizes the individuality of each pupil. Instead of dismissing the particular (and sometimes idiosyncratic) inclinations of students, it mines and hones these in the belief that education is self-perfection for the better service of society. Thus, in addition to receiving the humanistic training required by the Ateneo core curriculum, IS majors design their own course of studies, based on their interests and strengths and given the actual means and services of the university, under the supervision of the Department Chair.
The terminal requirement for the degree is a monograph (called the senior paper) in which the IS major integrates the skills, knowledge, and methodologies learned from the classes he or she took to probe, critique, and explain issues, suggest feasible and sound solutions to specific problems, or produce substantial creative work.
With proper guidance and the student’s own commitment, the IS program hopes to engender graduates equipped in the intellectual rigors—and pleasures—of creativity and synthesis, critical thinking and analysis, reflection and self-reflexivity. It is the mission of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department to develop well-rounded students who are able to see beyond disciplinary lines, synthesize knowledge gained from different disciplinary perspectives, have professional skills in disciplines of their own choosing, and are equipped to view and respond to the world from a holistic perspective.

See the links below to view program curricula and track designs.