Parents + Community Overview

Engaging Humanities students develop knowledge and skills to succeed in college, be hired in well-paying jobs after college, and prepare for graduate study.

Humanists and artists are like code-breakers. They study messages in language, literature, art, music, history, philosophy, and religion in order to create these messages and to understand how others create and interpret them. By studying humanities, UCSB students will build valuable skills and abilities that are useful in a wide range of professions. UCSB humanities graduates work as technical writers, chief operating officers of biometrics companies, policy analysts, music and dance therapists, directors of communication for large corporations, and more.

UC Santa Barbara offers 22 undergraduate degrees in humanities-related fields. These include Philosophy, Film and Media Studies, History, Classics, English, and a minor in Professional Writing.

List of departments and majors

When joining the Engaging Humanities Initiative, the students will work closely with expert UCSB humanities faculty members and graduate students in small courses. They will build their knowledge and practice with competencies associated with career success through course assignments, discussions, and activities. Engaging Humanities Fellows also will compile electronic portfolios that they can use to demonstrate their mastery to employers and graduate schools.

Students in Engaging Humanities Learning Communities and Discovery Courses will gain hands-on, applied experience with seven competencies that employers say are “absolutely essential” for career success:

  • Professionalism
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving
  • Oral/Written Communication
  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Information Technology Application
  • Leadership
  • Global/Intercultural Fluency

Female student studying at desk by big window

Oral and written communication

Students will develop their understandings of people, texts, cultures, and societies through extensive analytical reading, writing, and speaking. Students will create "academic" texts, and they will also create texts associated with non-academic settings like memos, reports, letters, and resumes.

Female student sitting at desk in the library, surrounded by books in shelves

Critical thinking and problem solving

Students will analyze the historical roots of, current status of, and future possibilities for social and political issues. This analysis takes place through reading and writing about original texts, analyses of these texts by others, and the application of ideas.

Four diverse students walking arm to arm, photo from back

Teamwork and collaboration

Students will learn to interpret experience from multiple perspectives and to understand others from their perspectives. These abilities contribute to the ability to collaborate with others and form effective teams.

Close up on diverse students in classroom

Global/Intercultural fluency

Students will study and build on experience with people from backgrounds different from their own, as well as learn more about their own backgrounds. This contributes to students' abilities as informed, inclusive, and respectful citizens.

Students in front of 12 monitors

Information technology application

Students in Engaging Humanities Learning Communities will create electronic portfolios that they can use during their job search to highlight their accomplishments and ways they have applied existing and new knowledge.

Group of students with Chancellor Yang at Storke Tower


Students will work with faculty, graduate mentors, and each other to develop capabilities as leaders. Students will also learn how humanities study contributes to the abilities of thoughtful, collaborative leaders.

Classrom with students in front of their laptops


Students will learn to study and practice behaviors and communicative practices associated with professionalism in the university and in working life.