Many high school students in the U.S. prepare extensively for a slot at the Ivy League or other prestigious American universities. Even though some famous and successful entrepreneurs and company CEOs didn’t necessarily have a college diploma that helped them achieve success, a university degree in the U.S. is almost always a ticket to a stable, well-paying job.

Although many people nowadays pursue degrees that will help them land lucrative jobs in the future, courses in humanities and liberal arts still make it to the well-known degree programs in the USA. These programs are best for those who want to pursue a career in research or the academe.

Education in the U.S. is relatively expensive, so people might think that a degree in humanities may not be the best path if they want to pay off their student loans sooner rather than later.

On the contrary, the discipline provides massive opportunities for graduates competent and adventurous enough to take on various careers, such as journalists, historians, art curators, language coaches, and more. That’s why let’s take a look at the best humanities schools in the United States!

Top Schools Offering Humanities Programs in the USA

1. New York University

New York University was founded in 1831 and has since become the largest private university in the US. In addition to the New York campus, prospective students may also earn an NYU degree at the network’s Abu Dhabi and Shanghai campuses.

New York University is an excellent school that hosts almost 54,000 students, a quarter of whom are international students. The university offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities, where students may select among three study concentrations: art history and visual culture, literature, and creative writing. The degree provides the necessary qualifications to secure a promising career in the field or a solid background to pursue graduate studies.

NYU also has two Master of Science programs under Humanities held online: MS in Professional Writing and MS in Translation & Interpreting. University surveys show that graduates of these programs have a 100% employability rate less than a year after graduation.

2. Stanford University

The idea of constructing Stanford University started in 1885 in memory of the late Leland Stanford Jr., who passed away due to typhoid fever the year before. The university was primarily established because his parents wanted to help other children. It officially opened in 1891 as an unorthodox university that, from the get-go, valued personal success and equal opportunities for people, regardless of religion or gender.

National and global rankings put Stanford among the best universities worldwide. Today, it is one of the best universities in the humanities field in the USA. It is home to some of the most outstanding students who were admitted through its highly selective admission process. Its population consists of over 17,000 students and roughly 2,300 teaching staff—19 of whom are Nobel Laureates.

Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences offers numerous and diverse undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. programs, including art, history, philosophy, religious studies, linguistics, music, etc. Stanford graduates are highly valued and usually have good career prospects upon graduation.

3. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California–Berkeley is a top public university established in 1868. It currently holds the top spot among public universities worldwide and is also an excellent institution for humanities in the USA. This outstanding institution has hosted 32 Nobel Prizes and four Pulitzer Prize winners among its faculty members. At present, nine Nobel Prize awardees are active members of the UC faculty.

The university’s Arts and Humanities Department offers 30 majors, with prospective students being able to select from a list of majors, minors, and other undergraduate programs. The department’s graduates can benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of the programs and find career opportunities in many areas, such as business, education, law, media, and more.

Meanwhile, almost half of the graduates in the humanities major program proceeded to postgraduate school. UC Berkeley also offers students the opportunity and assistance they need to pursue a postgraduate program at the university.

4. Princeton University

Princeton University is another Ivy League school that exudes excellence just by its name. It was established in 1746, making it one of the oldest learning institutions in the USA. It has since produced numerous alumni who went on to win the prestigious Nobel Prize or take active roles in politics or private and public industries locally and abroad.

Today, Princeton University is one of the best schools for humanities in the USA. It has carefully selected and accommodated a little over 8,000 students enrolled in more than a hundred programs. This number makes it suitable for the university to maintain an efficient 5:1 student-teacher ratio. In addition, more than half of the student population.

The Humanities Department offers many degree programs, including philosophy, history, architecture, music, and more. Most of the courses offer undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. degree offerings, allowing students to gain a more structured and higher level of education.

5. Yale University

Yale University’s long history dates back to the mid-17th century. It opened as a collegiate school in 1701 and adopted its current name in 1718. Yale University is a member of the Ivy League and is among the most prestigious universities in the country, with a 7% acceptance rate. A fifth of its carefully selected student population comes from over 120 countries.

The university’s humanities department delivers an exceptional humanities program in the USA. Its undergraduate and postgraduate programs utilize traditional and generation-appropriate approaches to providing basic or in-depth understanding and analysis of humanities fields such as arts, music, literature, and philosophy. The department covers areas ranging from Asian to Western and periods from ancient to contemporary.

Prospective students may select from a long list of humanities programs offered by Yale. The university also offers students the opportunity to spend a summer in Rome, a city rich in history and culture, an ideal destination for any student majoring in Humanities.


When you choose to study humanities at U.S. universities as an international student, you’ll get a diverse and interactive academic experience that encourages cultural understanding and critical thinking. Because of their high-quality education system, they can provide you with an environment that can explore the meaning and complexities of humanities.


We hope that this article on the best universities to study humanities in the USA was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in the USA for International Students and Guide to Studying in the USA Page to learn more about studying in the United States!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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