New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

Studios & Spaces

HArCS has a collection of physical spaces and facilities where creativity, minds, and bodies can express themselves and flourish.

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HArCS' Advising

HArCS' advising will guide you through your program and help you choose the necessary classes to complete your program of study.

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HArCS - Events

HArCS offers events that celebrate cultural diversity, raise societal awareness, and both enlighten and challenge the mind. Plan your calendar today!

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School of Humanities, Arts & Cultural Studies & Degree Programs

SHArCS ~ School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies ~ THINK, LEARN, GROW

Many of you will have jobs that haven’t even been invented yet.

Stop and think about that. This means that instead of training for a job, you need to train your mind.

With a degree from SHArCS, you will be learning to think critically, learning to problem solve, learning to write and create. These are powerful, life enriching, and eminently practical skills that will make you the perfect candidate for jobs that have yet to be imagined.

You might be wondering: is your degree worth it? The answer, on virtually every measure, is an unequivocal YES! You will change your life by earning your degree. It will impact your sense of the world and it will open doors for you for the rest of your life. College is costly, but the rewards are much, much greater than the costs.

In a massive study of the new American workforce, Georgetown University reported that “by 2018, we will need 22 million new workers with college degrees.”  Higher education, they explained, is “critical to success in the coming economy.”   ~

Georgetown also found that “people who do not complete postsecondary education are falling out of the middle class.” On the other hand, you’re more likely to get a job with a college degree and you’re more likely to keep your job, if the country or your workplace falls on hard economic times. In fact, college grads earn an average of $1.3 million more over their lifetime than those without a degree. College is a good investment.

The good news is that you can have a vocation, as well as a job. You can actually care about what you do. You can choose a major that you love and make a difference in the world. The deep learning you will experience in SHArCS will help you do both of those outcomes.

Journalist and author Andrew Bast, who earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy, has said, “Majoring in the liberal arts is still the best use of your college tuition. A degree in history or religion or languages can be anything you want it to be.”
So do what you love in SHArCS.

And it makes practical sense too. Liberal arts degrees—all the degrees in SHArCS and New College because they teach you to think critically across a broad spectrum of fields and with a wide range of tools, to be citizens of a global work—are in the top ten earners of college grads.

It’s no wonder. The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU) recently indicated that business leaders want their new employees to have critical thinking skills, to understand human culture, to be effective communicators, and to analyze information.

Our programs moreover, have the unique edge of being interdisciplinary:  they break down the walls between different bodies of knowledge. What you learn in history connects to what you’re studying in biology and new digital media classes. And that interdisciplinary learning equips you to solve the big problems we face globally, to think outside the box in a professional life down the road.

With our programs, you learn to GO WHERE THE QUESTIONS TAKE YOU.

You learn to work outside the boundaries of the traditional disciplines.  There is no more exciting way to experience college or to enrich your own thinking. There is no more powerful way to develop a supple and expansive mind.

Being a Religion and Applied Ethics major, a Women and Gender Studies major, or an Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance major is not just a way to stretch beyond traditional intellectual boundaries, it is also a great way to train yourself for the world outside of college, for a career.

When people say, “What are you going to do with that degree,” you can say, “What can’t I do?” The whole world opens before you when you are a good critical thinker. Don’t be afraid to tell your parents you’re taking a class on the Multicultural Narratives, Feminist Manifestos, Nietzsche, or Shakespeare. Understanding how to think critically in those contexts will help you think critically no matter where you go.


In SHArCS, you get to learn with amazing, award-winning faculty. We have Emmy- and Grammy-award winning artists. We have award-winning researchers and teachers in ethnic studies, women and gender studies, literature, and history, just to name a few.  What’s really remarkable is that, at New College, our students work directly with our faculty, through NCUIRE grants and in the classroom.

Most students don’t have this opportunity until graduate school. In SHArCS and in New College, our students do this work as undergrads.

Working with the people who are on the cutting edge of research innovation and who create the knowledge in the field prepares you to be a cutting edge thinker and innovator too.

Our faculty engage in genuinely interdisciplinary research and teaching.  They have sought and studied the oral histories of people living in communities subject to oppression—now and in the past; they have explored the ethics of reparations and the social and philosophical landscape of human suffering; they investigate environmental issues and bioethics; they read literature and visual texts, politics and social situations; they make sound art, visual art, performance art, and a whole range of digital arts. They work in our neighborhood and in communities across the world.

The subjects of their work are people, texts, histories, and some of the most complex questions humans face—about justice, beauty, meaning, life and death. If you’re interested in these questions, SHArCS has so much to offer you. This is learning that matters. Learn more about our faculty.


Ishmael Beah Speaks at West
Ishmael Beah
Pentatonix perfoms at West
Pentatonix perfoms at West

SHArCS offers a range of exciting, informative, and fun events to help you shape your intellectual experience.  Imagine sitting down with New York Times bestseller Ishmael Beah for a personal conversation; having a chorale master class with the Pentatonix; or making a film with a professor and then screening it to a city-wide audience.

Our learning experiences extend beyond the classroom to the dorm room and everywhere in between.  We will help you make connections, ask the big questions, and develop meaningful responses.