Two students have a discussion in the department lounge.

Why Study Humanities?

The Department of Humanities’ successful interdisciplinary curriculum equips students to put knowledge to well-discerned work in the service of the good. While some majors channel knowledge toward specialization, in Humanities you’ll find space to discern the career path that truly suits you.

Our alumni choose diverse careers, including teaching, government, law, medicine, counseling and engineering. Some give back with a year of volunteer service work. Others excel in graduate school programs, including theology, philosophy, anthropology, history, and clinical mental health counseling at institutions like the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia, and the University of Notre Dame.

The Humanities Department’s versatile and interdisciplinary coursework gives our graduates a substantive foundation for work and life beyond work. In the classroom students become careful, compassionate critical thinkers. Written and spoken skills of communication mature in our vigorous seminar discussions. We prioritize conversations about meaningful human work. And the faculty in the Department take seriously their role in mentoring students toward academic, professional and vocational opportunities.


Professional Development

Humanities students often study for one or two semesters abroad. Learn about the Catherine Barr Windels Scholarship at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, which has helped several Humanities students to study at the world’s most famous university.

We recognize the importance of mentorship in helping students to discern future careers and vocations. With this commitment, our faculty will help you to figure out how to translate your interests into a fulfilling career or post-graduate opportunity. Our faculty can also help to connect you to Humanities alumni with similar interests.

Internships are an important bridge between what you study here at Villanova and the work you will do after graduation. They allow you to figure out what you do and do not want to do in your professional life. Read more about the internship opportunities.

Do you feel called to a year of service following graduation, or perhaps a teaching vocation? Here are some of the many service and education organizations with which our alumni have been involved and that you too may wish to consider:


Many alumni head straight from Humanities into the classroom as K-12 teachers. We have relationships with various K-12 schools who are on the lookout for students trained in the pedagogy we offer here. Programs like the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame and Teach for America are also popular options for those discerning a vocation to teach.



Graduation and Graduate School

Do you feel that your undergraduate studies are just the start of your intellectual journey? Do you find yourself nourished by the life of the mind and invigorated by interactions in the classroom? Do you have a particular question or field of interest that captivates your imagination? Are you ready for the long haul?

Many Humanities alumni have gone on to excel in graduate school programs. They’ve pursued degrees in theology, philosophy, anthropology, history, clinical mental health counseling, and English, among other disciplines, at institutions including:

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Villanova University
  • Boston College
  • Fordham University
  • Columbia University
The decision to go to graduate school requires careful discernment. In the Department of Humanities, we recommend ongoing mentorship with faculty in your chosen field as an essential component of this decision. The University’s Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellowship offers a fantastic springboard for discerning your vocation as a scholar. 

Pre-Law and Pre-Healthcare

Humanities alumni have gone on to successful careers in law by way of some of the nation’s best law schools, including

  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Harvard University
  • Cornell University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Northwestern University
  • Case Western Reserve
  • Villanova University
  • University of Virginia

Click here for more information about pre-law at Villanova.

We also count many healthcare professionals among our alumni, who have completed a double major or minor in Humanities while taking required classes that keep them on track for medical school and other caring professions.

Click here for more information Healthcare Professions Advising at Villanova.

After a robust formation in Humanities at Villanova, many alumni feel called to the classroom as teachers. Villanova’s Department of Education and Counseling is a good starting point for students considering pursuing a Master of Education. Learn more about the program.



Alumni Network

humanities faculty and alumni sitting at a table

Humanities 4 Good

Our Humanities for Good (H4G) alumni reading groups have been meeting in pubs, homes and restaurants around the country for more than five years to continue the intellectual conviviality cultivated in the Department of Humanities. Alumni from all classes convene to discuss a reading that revisits and extends to postgraduate life the conversations of the Humanities classroom.

Alumni coordinators around the country work out great venues and convenient dates for these events. We have groups that have met in Philly, Boston, Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago/South Bend and even Alaska. Feel free to reach out to Helena Tomko or Michael Tomko to find or found a group, or for more information about these nationwide clusters of conviviality. We hope you’ll consider joining a group near you!

Alumni News

Our alumni are a testament to the versatility of our curriculum. They’re pursuing an impressive array of professions, ranging from education to law, medicine, politics, business, service, religious life, academia, and beyond.

A group of Humanities alumni pose for a picture.

Department of Humanities

St. Augustine Center Room 304
Villanova University 
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085 

Chairperson: Dr. Michael Tomko