What Kinds of Arts & Humanities Specializations Are Available?

The Arts and Humanities include tons of fascinating specializations. And when you keep in mind that you can usually choose a minor to study along with your major, you have an almost limitless number of possible combinations.

For example, if you major in history with a minor in a foreign language, your eventual career options could range from running a study-abroad program to working as an analyst for an intelligence contractor.

If you’re interested in graphic design, you can take a look at our own ranking of the Best Online Graphic Design Degrees.

Specializations in the Arts and Humanities

In 2013, Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce published a report on the most common college majors. These are just a few of the possible specializations you could pursue in the Arts and Humanities.

The Arts

In the Arts, the most popular degrees by far are fine arts and commercial art and graphic design. Each of these specializations boast 30 percent of all Arts majors. Visual and performing arts majors are at the bottom of the list – only about 3 percent of Arts students choose these degrees.

  • Fine arts
  • Commercial art and graphic design
  • Music
  • Drama and theater arts
  • Film, video, and photographic arts
  • Studio arts
  • Visual and performing arts

The Humanities

English is the most popular specialization in the Humanities, with almost 30 percent of all majors. History follows in second place, with approximately 20 percent of Humanities majors. At the bottom of the list are foreign languages like Arabic, Chinese, Korean and Russian, which claim only 1.6 percent of Humanities students. Only interdisciplinary studies have fewer students, with only 1.3 percent.

  • English language and literature
  • History
  • Theology
  • French, German, Latin and other common foreign language studies
  • Philosophy and religious studies
  • Area ethnic and civilization studies
  • Art history and criticism
  • Linguistics and comparative language and literature
  • Composition and speech
  • Intercultural and international studies
  • Other foreign languages
  • Multi/interdisciplinary studies

Looking to learn more? Head over to the College Choice homepage for the Arts & Humanities.

Undergraduate Degrees in the Arts and Humanities

While many institutions offer associate degrees in the Arts and Humanities, the vast majority of students in these fields pursue bachelor’s degrees.

Imagine the entire population of a city the size of Madison, Wisconsin or Spokane, Washington. According to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, that’s how many students – 212,512 to be exact – graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the Humanities in 2015.

Graduate Degrees in the Arts and Humanities

After you get a bachelor’s degree, you might decide to continue on to a master’s degree program in the Arts and Humanities. A master’s degree can open doors for career advancement and higher salaries, and it can also help you if you want to change fields.

The highest degree available in a field is known as a terminal degree. Think of it like a train terminal: it’s the end of the track. For most fields in the Humanities, a doctorate is the terminal degree. For some specializations in the Arts, though, a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is the highest degree available.

If you complete the terminal degree in your area of specialization, you will be recognized as an expert in your field. That’s why more than half of all doctoral degree holders in the Arts and Humanities teach at the college level. Others go on to work in management or pre-collegiate education.