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.

Story 8/28/2014

Mapping Deserted Greek Villages for Cultural and...

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.

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Story 2/16/2012

Student, Professor Take Research Findings to Israel

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. 

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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 4/28/2016

Senior Spotlight: Discovering a Community Where Lasting...

Kaitlin Oliver: "I’ve had excellent relationships with my professors. They’ve helped me grow intellectually throughout my four years."

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Story 4/27/2016

Senior Spotlight: Bonding With New Friends Made F&M...

Cristina Diez: "F&M has given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and, most importantly, my best friends." 

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Story 4/11/2016

Spring Research Fair: How 16th-Century Art Helped The Nazis...

The 2016 Spring Research Fair features such projects as F&M senior Yayu Gu's study of how the Nazis used a 15th century German artist to promote their political ideology. 

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Story 4/6/2016

Inaugural Student Research Conference Explores Ethics,...

A group of history and philosophy majors organized the Student Research Conference, where 17 students will present papers assigned to them in class. The inaugural event is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m....

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Story 4/4/2016

Five Writers, Three Days, One Rewarding Event

For 15 years, Franklin & Marshall College's Emerging Writers Festival has been bringing five young writers to campus for three days of intensive workshops and intimate readings, giving students a...

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Story 3/31/2016

F&M Faculty, Students Help Uncover an Etruscan Treasure

Franklin & Marshall students and faculty have helped uncover an ancient stone slab with an unusually long inscription that has electrified the world's Etruscan scholars.

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Story 3/29/2016

Author to Share his Thoughts on 'Writing, Humor and...

Algerian-born Amara Lakhous, author of five novels including "A Dispute over an Very Italian Piglet," will visit Franklin & Marshall College April 1 for a public reading of his works and a lecture on...

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Story 3/18/2016

Renowned Short Story Writer, Novelist Robin Black to Read at...

 Black also named the winner of the Jerome Irving Bank Memorial Short Story Prize, senior Scott Rapoport, and runner-up Delia Pepper. 

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Story 2/23/2016

Summer of Arabic Studies With 'Egypt: Mother of the World'

This summer, Franklin & Marshall College will launch a seven-week, non-residential Arabic Summer Language program geared toward local college and high school students who have had little to no...

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