Study the Humanities

Study the Humanities, an initiative of the National Humanities Alliance Foundation, serves to strengthen efforts to attract more undergraduates to the humanities. There are three key components of the initiative:

  • Researching effective recruitment strategies and developing resources that showcase the range of approaches

  • Aggregating existing data and articles into a toolkit that presents six arguments for studying the humanities as an undergraduate 

  • Convening the community of faculty and administrators committed to attracting more undergraduates to the humanities 

Study the Humanities is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Explore Study the Humanities


Introducing What Are You Going to Do with That? 

What Are You Going to Do with That? is a new podcast where we explore everyday folks’ decisions to study the humanities as undergraduates and their pathways to fulfilling careers. The first season features a diverse group of young professionals with humanities backgrounds reflecting on how they’ve applied the knowledge and skills they gained in college. These stories debunk widespread misconceptions about humanities majors’ career prospects by highlighting some of the limitless possibilities for applying humanities knowledge and skills in today’s workforce. 


Researching Recruitment Strategies

Since 2018, we have conducted a broad survey of the field of humanities recruitment to respond to a desire among the humanities community to learn from successful recruitment efforts at other campuses. 

In February 2020, we published our first report, Humanities Recruitment Survey: Challenges & Audiences, which presents quantitative data concerning the recruitment challenges faculty and administrators at a wide variety of institutions face and the audiences they are engaging to address those challenges.

In March 2021, we published the second report based in our survey data, Strategies for Recruiting Students to the Humanities: A Comprehensive Resource, which aims to document and disseminate effective recruitment strategies to the humanities community. This 80-page resource highlights over 100 exemplary initiatives and elevates the voices of project directors and participating students.


Read both reports here:


We are also conducting research to document the impact of particular initiatives on student perceptions and behaviors concerning the humanities. Read more about our impact research efforts here. If you are interested in partnering with us to better understand the impact of your initiative, please email our research associate, Younger Oliver.


Making the Case for the Humanities

The Study the Humanities Toolkit makes the case for studying the humanities as an undergraduate using data compiled from a wide range of sources. It presents six arguments, each of which is accompanied by a brief essay, related articles, talking points, and supporting evidence packaged into charts, quotes, data points, and profiles.  

We invite you to use the material in the toolkit to create print and electronic materials that will address the audiences you are trying to reach, such as potential majors, parents, administrators, career counselors, or admissions offices.


Building Community

Our toolkit and research serve to support faculty and administrators around the country who are dedicated to attracting more undergraduates to the humanities. We convene this community of practice every March at our Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. to workshop new ideas and cultivate the sharing of strategies year-round.