Majors Excel

Humanities Majors Gain Skills Needed for a Range of Careers

Based on available data on learning outcomes and performance for those who major in the humanities, this section presents an empirical case that humanities majors develop critical thinking and reasoning skills.

With data published by the Council for Aid to Education, this section presents an empirical case that humanities majors make greater strides in critical thinking and reasoning than business majors and tech, engineering, and math majors.

This section also presents data from the Humanities Indicators that document the performance of humanities majors on graduate school entrance exams for law school, medical school, and business school. (Humanities majors perform above average on all three.)

Data in this section from the Association of Medical Colleges also shows that humanities majors outperform several other majors on medical school admissions. This record of achievement is complemented by the growing interest in the relevance of the humanities in medical schools. In fact, the Association has recently redesigned its MCAT test to recognize the importance of the humanities in medicine. Reflecting on the value of studying literature for interpreting patients' accounts, one MIT graduate shared with the Boston Globe “MIT biology prepared me for medicine... Literature prepared me to be a doctor.”

Lastly, this section presents a range of testimonials from students themselves. In these videos, students talk about their experiences as humanities majors with attention to the substance of what they learned, the skills they gained, and their plans for the future. These videos convey the practical aspects of majoring in the humanities (developing skills and knowledge and finding a career path), while also conveying the students’ deep interest in their humanities major.


As with each section of this website, we invite your suggestions. Please share additional quantitative and qualitative data we might include on the gains humanities majors make and their graduate school and career outcomes. We are also interested in hearing how you have deployed this data and the broader argument that humanities majors excel.

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