Frequently Asked Questions

Joining Engaging Humanities has several benefits. Firstly, you will get to take an exciting cross-disciplinary humanities course (a Learning Community course) and have the option of enrolling in another (a Discovery course) that are taught by dedicated, expert UCSB faculty. These courses tackle some of the major questions of our time. They’ll also help you learn to learn within and across disciplines, cultivate skills important for meaningful careers, and bridge your interests inside and outside the classroom. Secondly, you will receive mentoring from trained graduate students who can help you make the transition to college, understand humanities studies, and make connections to life after college. Thirdly, you will create an eportfolio, which you can use to share the work you do at UCSB with prospective employers, graduate programs, and friends and family.

If you join the initiative, you will be required to enroll in an Engaging Humanities Learning Community course during your first year at UCSB. If you’re an incoming first year student, you’ll earn required general education (GE) units for these courses; if a transfer student, you’ll earn required elective credit units. If you are a first year student, you will need to declare a major in the humanities by your third year to be eligible for continued mentoring and eportfolio hosting beyond your first two years.

No. Humanities and Fine Arts is a division in the College of Letters and Science that includes many departments and majors. “Humanities” is used as a general term to refer to a number of different majors. There is no “humanities” major; instead, there are many majors within Humanities and Fine Arts.

No. Engaging Humanities is an initiative and a community of people you will join in addition to your own major or degree program. While certain parts of the initiative - mentoring and eportfolio support - continue throughout your time at UCSB, you will complete the required coursework (one course) by the end of your first year.

No. UCSB degrees consist of three types of courses: general education (GE) courses (which transfer students complete before arriving), courses in your chosen major, and elective credit courses. For first year students, Engaging Humanities courses fulfill GE requirements and can be elective credit courses. For transfer students who do not need to fulfill GE requirements, they are elective credit courses. We encourage you to discuss your plan with an academic advisor in Cheadle Hall or a Transfer Student Center advisor.

Yes. All the courses fulfill UCSB degree requirements, such as the General Education Writing Requirement, and they can also count toward your electives. We encourage you to discuss your plan with an academic advisor in Cheadle Hall or a Transfer Student Center advisor.

Yes. All the courses are designed to be cross-disciplinary and to encourage a range of approaches. There are no major-specific prerequisites.

Yes. Joining Engaging Humanities is not the same as enrolling at UCSB. You need to submit your student intent to register (SIR) and your EH application. 

We ask you to wait until you have decided to enroll at UCSB. The deadline for accepting depends on whether you are an incoming first year or a transfer student.

We send out invitations directly to some students. If you have not received an invitation but are interested in the program, please contact Elina Salminen, Activity Coordinator for the initiative, at for more information.