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 10/7/2015

An Ancient Greek Epic: Reading the Iliad Across Campus

A tradition for liberal arts colleges is the 24-hour reading of ancient Greek epics, typically called "Homerathons." In late October, Franklin & Marshall College will honor that tradition.

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Story 9/24/2015

Playwright Shares Words and Songs To Help Repair The World

Among the so-called "1 million suggestions" she brought to share at Franklin & Marshall College this week, award-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parker offered a simple yet pertinent reminder in this...

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Story 9/15/2015

Clever, Sophisticated Story Lines at 2015 Student Film...

Franklin & Marshall College's annual screening of the best student films submitted to film production courses during the 2014-015 academic year is in the Green Room Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday,...

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Story 8/13/2015

Passion for Ancient Coins Launches First-Year Student Into...

A heads-up from a professor about an opportunity to study ancient coins led to a rare honor for a first-year student.

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Story 7/8/2015

Women's Open Brings Acclaimed Golf Writer Ron Sirak '72 Back...

Ron Sirak '72, a veteran golf writer and much-honored journalist, returns to Lancaster this week to cover the best female players in the world during the U.S. Women's Open (USWO).

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Story 6/30/2015

Is There Danger in Radical Western and Japanese Ecological...

From nuclear power accidents to oil spills, activists are responding to the degradation around the world by adopting radical environmental views -- without an understanding of their historical...

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Story 5/15/2015

Uncovering the Invisible Process of Creating

To many, the art of writing is a mystery, a process that is invisible to the unknowing. Recent Franklin & Marshall College graduate John Ancona '15 decided to try his hand at solving the riddle.

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Story 5/9/2015

Meet 2015 Williamson Medalist Rachel Codkind

Freshly minted Franklin & Marshall College graduate Rachel Codkind is a young woman in a hurry. 

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Story 5/7/2015

Senior Spotlight: Mary Grace Meland

Music major Mary Grace Meland says she's grateful for the community that Music Department faculty members foster among their students.

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