What is the Humanities Scholars Program?

The Pacific Humanities Scholars Program is a selective, one-of-a-kind educational experience dedicated to the promotion of humanities disciplines in academics and beyond. It is designed to foster an intellectually rigorous and culturally rich community in which students can learn, grow and thrive. The program also enables students to complete an optional accelerated track to achieve their BA in just three years.

A Message from the Director

Pacific Humanities Scholars is a prestigious program at Pacific that attracts and supports intellectually motivated students who exhibit curiosity in the arts, literature, modern languages, history, culture, philosophy and religion, among other interdisciplinary fields of study. Unique among honors programs across the nation, Pacific Humanities Scholars enables students to explore the humanities both in and outside the classroom by visiting art museums, musical concerts, experimental films, world-class theater and other immersive experiences. We also provide a structure for our scholars to blend their love of the humanities with practical, hands-on learning independent research projects and more. I look forward to talking with you further about how Pacific Humanities Scholars can help you grow as a person and achieve your aspirations.

How to Apply

Admission to the Humanities Scholars Program is by invitation. In addition to a careful review of the student’s GPA, rigor of courses, extracurricular activities and the quality and content of the applicant’s personal statement, the Humanities Scholars Program follows the holistic review process practiced by the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

SF moma
Why Study the Humanities
Humanities Scholar Jennifer Morrow

Jennifer Morrow is passionate about the humanities and chose Pacific's Humanities Program because she wanted to be part of a community of people who shared her passion. 

One of the primary goals of the Pacific Humanities Scholars Program is to create a powerful intellectual community among its members. During their studies, Humanities Scholars enjoy close relationships with students and faculty who are passionate about the humanities. Faculty and staff work closely with Humanities Scholars to:

  • Help students design their own majors and course of study
  • Provide extracurricular events, activities, field trips and projects to encourage a deeper exploration of the humanities disciplines
  • Understand the intersection of the humanities with science, technology and other fields
  • Challenge students' knowledge of culture, society, ethics and justice
  • Facilitate career goals and aspirations

The Pacific Humanities Scholars program encompasses the following majors:

  • Art and Graphic Design
  • English
  • Exploratory in College of the Pacific
  • History
  • Media X
  • Modern Languages (French, Spanish, Japanese Studies, Chinese Studies)
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies

In addition, students have the opportunity to self-design their major, drawing from a combination of disciplines within or outside of the humanities. The advantage of a self-designed major is that it requires fewer units than a traditional double major, while allowing students to delve into the themes and topics that interest them the most. Examples of previous self-designed majors include: 

  • Theater arts, international relations and physics
  • Art and computer science 
  • Animation and storytelling
  • Philosophy and business
  • History, English and communication

Enrichment Experiences

The Pacific Humanities Scholars experience is enriched by a variety of cultural and social excursions, available exclusively to our scholars. From great opera houses to intimate regional theaters, the coasts of California to Oregon's Rogue Valley, our scholars travel far and wide to observe the role that the humanities play in modern society.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

SFMOMA is one of the most prestigious museums of modern art in the United States, dedicated to the collection, preservation, and presentation of the best art in the world. They feature both modern and contemporary artwork in a seven story gallery in the heart of San Francisco, and earlier this semester our scholars had the opportunity to experience these works first-hand.

San Francisco Opera House

The historic War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco has been spotlighting operatic theater since 1923, and earlier this season our Humanities Scholars had the chance to view one of the first ever performances of Dream of the Red Chamber, the world premiere of the opera based on the book by Cao Xueqin. Performed in English with subtitles in Chinese, the opera showcased an incredible melding of cultures, as well as a unity of past and present.

SF opera house
Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Each year, the Humanities Scholars Program makes a trip to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. The festival is one of the most highly regarded Shakespearean theater companies in the world, performing numerous Shakespeare productions each season along with several contemporary works. This trip exposes our students to a high quality theater experience in an authentic venue: America's first Elizabethan Theater.

Shakespeare festival

Contact Us

Pacific Humanities Scholars
Jeffrey Hole, Ph.D., Program Director and Associate Professor of English