In conjunction with speakers and symposiums, the Center for the Humanities offers several undergraduate programs and resources to promote humanities research and interdisciplinary humanistic thinking at Washington University.
Since the spring of 2006, the interdisciplinary Children's Studies Minor has been housed in the Center for the Humanities and supported by programs and departments across Arts and Sciences. Through a combination of humanities and social-science classes anchored by an interdisciplinary introductory survey, the minor provides students from a variety of academic backgrounds with a focused look at the nature, study, and construction of children and childhood. There are currently 45-50 students enrolled in the minor, which also helps to sponsor the Children's Studies Speaker Series and the Children's Studies Reading Group for faculty and graduate students.
As of 2015, the Center for the Humanities is housing a second interdepartmental minor in Medical Humanities, available beginning with the WU Class of 2018. The Medical Humanities minor approaches health, disease and medical care as culturally embedded human experiences that vary across time and place. It draws on existing courses from across Arts and Sciences and includes a new interdisciplinary, cross-school gateway course for freshmen called “The Art of Medicine.” This undergraduate minor is associated with the center-sponsored Medical Humanities Reading Group for faculty and graduate students.
The Center for the Humanities is also pleased to support the Merle Kling Undergraduate Honors Fellowship Program. Between five and seven sophomores are selected each year for this two-year program on the merit of their original individual research proposals. Throughout the course of the program, fellows meet with their faculty mentors and with each other to create a research project informed not only by their own work but also by the expertise and support of their peers. The Kling program also supports opportunities for summer research and allows its fellows to select and invite a speaker to campus each spring. At the end of the program, fellows will have completed a significant research project, built lasting academic partnerships, and received a comprehensive introduction to graduate or professional-level experiences in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.