Public Humanities & Civic Engagement, Graduate Certificate

Phone: 216.368.2242
Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities

Credential: Graduate Certificate
Field of Study: Public Humanities & Civic Engagement

Program Overview

The Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities offers a graduate certificate program in Public Humanities & Civic Engagement for matriculated graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences. Broadly defined, Public Humanities works to engage diverse publics in the creation of knowledge by making topics such as art history, history, literary history, philosophy, film, and theater accessible, understandable, and relevant to people's lived experience. Public Humanities projects are civically engaged enterprises that partner with community organizations to solve social inequities and to create community-based change. 

Faculty who teach courses for the certificate in Public Humanities & Civic Engagement forge such partnerships as part of their curricular mission, pairing in-class content and learning goals with engaged civic practice. This approach emphasizes the value of learning by doing, as well as learning by serving. Service learning courses seek to bridge the classroom and community environments, bringing classroom, book, and instructor-driven knowledge to life by applying them to the world. 

The Graduate Certificate in Public Humanities & Civic Engagement integrates the humanistic disciplines into the public sphere with projects that create, document, catalogue, or preserve humanistic content, or create lifelong opportunities to share in such content. Research indicates that the study of texts, music, and art can teach fundamental skills like compassion and empathy, creative thinking, problem solving, and skills of critical debate. Bringing the humanities into public life (free and accessible to all) is therefore essential to civic life.

The courses taught in the certificate program train students to:

  • participate in contemporary debates
  • amplify community voices and histories
  • help individuals and communities navigate difficult experiences
  • expand educational access
  • preserve culture in times of crisis and change

Courses in the certificate are taught by faculty across all CWRU departments and are cross-listed with each faculty member's department. All currently matriculated graduate students in good academic standing are eligible to add the certificate to their course of study without incurring additional expense. 

Graduate Policies

For graduate policies and procedures, please review the School of Graduate Studies section of the General Bulletin.