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Pacific Humanities Scholars Program
Courtney Lehmann, Ph.D.
Director of Pacific Humanities Scholars Program, Professor of English / Film Studies

Why Major in Humanities?

Jane Austen T-ShirtT-shirt designed by students for Pacific's biennial Jane Austen Night. The back of the shirt reads: "I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them."

I love studying the humanities...but what can I do with it?

A major in the humanities provides you with an intellectual tool kit for life. These collective disciplines—English, Art, Philosophy, Religious and Classical Studies, Modern Languages, Theatre Arts, and Film—produce the world's problem-solvers and entrepreneurs. 

The humanities disciplines specialize in:

  • Generating creative problem-solving across a wide range of social, cultural, and political contexts
  • Mastering written and verbal communication skills
  • Cultivating empathy, ethics, and civic responsibility
  • Empowering students to express their individuality in a complex, democratic societyStudents participate in a conversation in class.

The entrepreneurial skills offered by a humanities major include the ability to:

1) Impose structure on complex problems
2) Make decisions based on deep analysis and evidence
3) Produce creative and compelling visions of enterprise
4) Engage in articulate self-expression and compassionate collaboration


Guess who majored in the humanities?

Below are some well-known business people and policy makers whose undergraduate major was in a humanities discipline.

Michael Eisner: CEO, Walt Disney, English and Theater
Janet Robinson: CEO, New York Times Co, English
Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court Justice, English
Sally Ride: Astronaut, English and Physics
Jerry Brown: California Governor, Classics
Les Moonves: CEO, CBS, Spanish
J. Paul Getty: CEO, Getty Oil, Philosophy
Peter Thiel: PayPal Co-founder, Philosophy
Sheila C. Bair: FDIC Chair, Philosophy
Raja Khanna: QuickPlay Media, Chief Creative Officer, Philosophy

The Humanities are in demand now more than ever. Click here to see why!

Careers of our recent majors

Here are some of the many varied careers and fields our recent graduates in the humanities have entered:

Kelly and Sheldon strike a pose.

  • Computer software design
  • CEO/Entrepreneur
  • Graphic design
  • Attorney
  • Entertainment law
  • Filmmaking
  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Creative writing/publishing
  • Work in the film/television industry
  • Advertising production
  • Finance
  • Theologian, Yale Divinity School

“The message [i]s that entrepreneurism is a good avenue for exercising the kinds of things you learn with a humanities degree . . . I think if you have a good background in what it is to be human, an understanding of life, culture and society, it gives you a good perspective on starting a business, instead of an education purely in business . . . You can always pick up how to read a balance sheet and how to figure out profit and loss, but it's harder to pick up the other stuff on the fly.”
— Stewart Butterfield, Founder of Flickr.com