Experience, Engage, Work in the Humanities 

Acquiring one of the most essential skills – learning how to question -- is at the heart of the study of the humanities at Franklin & Marshall College.

We recognize that in whatever path of life students choose, the ability to understand differing values, identify conflicts in thinking and reasoning, and find answers to complex questions is essential for cultivating qualities of innovation and leadership.

That's why we emphasize study in intimate classes, with the student-to-faculty ratio in some humanities majors, such as philosophy, as small as 5:1. And we also offer opportunities for field study and research that students might usually expect to pursue in the sciences or other fields. Students at F&M experience and engage with the questions that students elsewhere might only read about.

Students studying classics, for example, have kneeled alongside faculty with chisels in hand, digging at an archaeological site in Tuscany to find answers buried for millennia; and a student of philosophy traveled to Israel with an F&M professor to present a published paper they co-authored on the subject of emotions.

This is part of the distinctiveness  in our approach to the humanities. Study at F&M spans the full range of study of human culture and the human experience, from classical archaeology to literature, to philosophy and cultural studies, and through languages. 

We offer courses in 11 languages, ranging from introductory language courses to upper-level seminars taught in other languages on topics such as literature and film.

F&M embraces the principle that students who are linguistically, intellectually and culturally equipped to communicate successfully are better prepared to thrive in our multicultural society, both in the United States and around the world.

Mapping Deserted Greek Villages for Posterity 
  • mapping Greek villages

An F&M professor and his student researcher used the latest tool in archeology, the drone, to capture aerial photos in a survey of abandoned Greek villages. Read more

Student, Professor Take Research Findings to Israel 
  • Study Abroad: Rome

Professor of Philosophy Bennett Helm and senior Dan Kaplan traveled to Israel to present a paper they co-authored that explored emotions through a metaphysical lens. ​ Read more

Humanities for Life

Students Study Arabic for Life Beyond F&M 
  • After War student documentary

Two Franklin & Marshall students have been selected for the U.S. Department of State's prestigious Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic abroad hope to apply their language skills to their professional careers.  Religious Studies major Morgan Kincade traveled to Jordan and psychology major Brenna Snyder traveled to Morocco as part of a select group of 550 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country in a program designed to promote use of critical language beyond college.

Did you know ...

Some of the world's most prominent leaders in all sectors of business and industry majored in the humanities as undergraduates at colleges across the country:

  • Founder of the CNN and TBS cable TV networks, Ted Turner, was a classics major
  • Former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner was a double major in English and theatre
  • Former CEO of MTV, Judy McGrath, and the former CEO of Avon cosmetics, Andrea Jung, were both English majors

Among graduates of F&M:

  • Former counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Stan Brand graduated with a major in English
  • Actor Treat Williams of the TV series "Heartland" and "Everwood" majored in drama (now configured as a major in theatre)

The Pulse of the Humanities at F&M

Story 4/14/2015

Emerging Writers to Meld and Shift Words at Annual Festival

The 14th annual Emerging Writers Festival, a three-day literary event that brings five rising guest writers to campus, begins Wednesday, April 15. The featured writers are Kristin Dombek, Ansel...

Read More
Story 4/3/2015

TEDx Speakers Discuss Range and Purpose of Voice

Four speakers discussed the various ranges and purposes of voice at Franklin & Marshall College's second TEDx talk on April 2 in the Green Room Theatre.  

Read More
Story 3/9/2015

Three Colleges Join to Explore Impacts of First World War

On March 27-28, Franklin & Marshall College will host the Central Pennsylvania Consortium's (CPC) symposium on World War I's enduring effects. "Legacies of the Great War: Remembering World War I...

Read More
Story 2/19/2015

In 'Three Sisters,' Russian Playwright Plumbs Depths of Self...

When Anton Chekhov's play "Three Sisters" premiered in 1901, it was instantly popular with audiences, who warmly embraced the playwright's exploration of the complexity of humanity. Franklin &...

Read More
Story 2/5/2015

NEH Recipient Explores The Culture of Serious Music...

The tradition of the self-effacing musician performing a composer's work without showmanship has been a source of debate that dates to the 19th century, and Franklin & Marshall Assistant Professor...

Read More
Story 2/2/2015

Publishing With Depth, Teaching With Innovation

Dean Hammer arrived at Franklin & Marshall College in 1994, a proponent of a pedagogical method based on posing questions, problems or scenarios rather than drilling facts and figures. Twenty years...

Read More
Story 1/28/2015

Author Rock to Explore the Mystery of Writing

Writing is a process that is enigmatic to even the most accomplished writers, says author Peter Rock, who will be at Franklin & Marshall College Jan. 29 to honor the winners of the 2015 Jerome Irving...

Read More
Story 1/22/2015

Author Finds Real Activism in Memoir Writing

Growing up in a town in the shadow of a federal nuclear laboratory, Kelly McMasters wondered how she could contribute to the memory of those residents sickened -- in some cases fatally -- from cancer...

Read More
Story 1/15/2015

All The World's A Stage (Slideshow)

In an effort spanning five months, members of student-run theatre group F&M Players bring the production "Bye Bye Birdie" to live on the Roschel Performing Arts stage. 

Read More