Toolkit Overview

The Study the Humanities Toolkit presents data to help you demonstrate the professional and personal value of studying the humanities to a variety of audiences. We have aggregated compelling data, articles, and videos that make the case that the humanities help students succeed in a wide range of careers and provide benefits beyond the marketplace.

The toolkit 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. 

Using the Toolkit

We invite you to use the data 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 officers.

Sections of the website with graphs, charts, and statistics have a “View and Share Presentation” function at the bottom of the page. This will take you to a separate page where you present the infographic as a series of slides. These sections also have a “Download Infographic” button where you can download the infographic as a single PDF document. 

Other sections of the website have quotes, videos, and external links that can easily be copied and pasted.

On Terminology

This toolkit draws on resources that discuss the impact of studying the humanities and the fields most often associated with the humanities, including history, philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, history of art, religious studies, the humanistic social sciences, and literature and languages. At times, it draws on studies that have evaluated the impact of studying the “liberal arts” or “arts and sciences” rather than the humanities. It does so with the assumption that courses of study in the liberal arts or the arts and sciences generally include a robust role for the humanities. 

Many parts of the toolkit focus on “majors” (individuals who major in a humanities subject) in large part because available quantitative data use majors as the category of analysis. This is not meant to suggest that students are best off with a singular focus on the humanities. A 2018 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommended that institutions work toward integrating the arts and humanities into other fields of study and outlined the benefits of such integration. We expect that many of the benefits of majoring in the humanities extend to other humanities experiences as well.

Data Sources

We have compiled the data in the toolkit from a wide range of sources and links to those sources are included in each graphic. We are dedicated to keeping the toolkit updated and making sure it contains the best possible data. If you are aware of data that would enhance the toolkit in any way, or if you have questions about the data, please feel free to email our research associate, Younger Oliver, at yoliver@nhalliance.org.