Comparative Cultural Studies, Bachelor of Arts
- Available Emphasis Areas:
- Art History - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
- Asian and North African Studies Interdisciplinary Global Program - Emphasis
- Asian Studies - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
- Comparative Cultural Studies Coursework (beginning Fall 2022)
- Public Humanities - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
- Comparative Study of Religions - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
This degree provides valuable preparation for graduate work or professional study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
The Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Cultural Studies prepares the student for professional work in cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, libraries, and cultural and environmental centers, as well as in diplomacy and foreign services, non-governmental and governmental institutions, tourism, education, journalism, and business. It provides valuable preparation for graduate work or professional study in Art History, Asian Studies, Cultural Studies, Religious Studies, Jurisprudence, and Arts Management. It adds significant values as a second major to other fields of study including Business, Languages, Environmental Sciences/Studies, Marketing, Communication, and Parks and Recreation Management.
Career Tab Open
Requirements Tab Closed
Overview Tab Closed
Details Tab Closed
Availability Tab Closed
Career Accordion Open
Career opportunities that might be pursued:
- Arts and cultural management
- Diplomacy/foreign service
- Museum, gallery, cultural institutions
- National parks and monuments
- Program administration (non-profits, corporate, environmental, governmental and NGO)
- Planning and policy research
With further education, one of these paths is possible:
- Teaching (secondary and post-secondary)
- Cultural consultant
- Preservation and conservation
Requirements Accordion Closed
To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
- All of Northern Arizona University's liberal studies, diversity, junior-level writing, and capstone requirements.
- All requirements for your specific academic plan(s).
- At least 30 units of upper-division courses, which may include transfer work.
- At least 30 units of coursework taken through Northern Arizona University, of which at least 18 must be upper-division courses (300-level or above). This requirement is not met by credit-by-exam, retro-credits, transfer coursework, etc.
- A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 on all work attempted at Northern Arizona University.
Overview Accordion Closed
In addition to University Requirements:
- At least 49 units of major requirements which includes 24-33 units of emphasis requirements
- At least 16 units of language requirements
- Up to 9 units of major prefix courses may be used to satisfy Liberal Studies requirements; these same courses may also be used to satisfy major requirements
- For this major the liberal studies prefixes include CCS, ARH, HUM, CINE, LAS, and REL.
- Fieldwork is required for some emphasis areas.
- Elective courses, if needed, to reach an overall total of at least 120 units
Please note that students may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||120|
|Highest Mathematics Required||MAT 114|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A||Recommended|
|Progression Plan Link||View Progression Plan|
An emphasis is required for this major.
The BA in Comparative Cultural Studies is a 49-58 credit degree whose aim is to provide students with a comparative, integrative and global approach to the study of human culture in its diversity and interconnections. The different emphases in the degree introduce students to the complexities of diverse human cultures, both past and present; in the process, they develop the skills of analysis, interpretation and communication crucial to both their academic and professional development.
Student Learning Outcomes
All Comparative Cultural Studies
- Critical thinking – graduates will have learned to assess the validity of arguments, evidence and conclusions in scholarly proposals regarding global cultural expressions.
- Critical Reading – graduates will be skilled at identifying global perspectives, values, and claims made in original works and the scholarship regarding those works, and analyzing current issues using these approaches.
- Effective Writing – graduates will have demonstrated the ability to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, and suggest well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally executed documents.
- Interdisciplinarity – graduates will have familiarized themselves with and applied interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work in Art History, the Humanities, and Religious Studies.
- Comparative Cultural Awareness – graduates will leave the department with an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints. Graduates will be able to communicate, both orally and in written form, about how such global perspectives influence the creation and reception of works of art, literature, and religious expression. They will also be able to work successfully with individuals with differing cultural and religious backgrounds in diverse settings.
- Critical thinking – graduates of the ARH Emphasis will know how to assess the validity of arguments, evidence, and conclusions in art historical scholarship on global art/visual culture. They will have learned and have demonstrated visual acuity skills in analyzing and assessing the visual rhetoric employed in the objects of their study.
- Critical Reading – graduates of the ARH Emphasis will be skilled at identifying the global perspectives, methods of analysis, values and claims made in primary sources and the scholarship relative to those sources. They will be able to employ these skills in analyzing current aspects of visual culture and/or new visual works they encounter. Because visual acuity/visual literacy is foundational in the discipline of Art History, the concept of critical “reading” is here understood to apply both to the visual apprehension of works of art/architecture/visual culture and the verbal sources related to those visual artifacts.
- Effective Writing – graduates of the ARH Emphasis will know how to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, employing a variety of art historical methods, and offer well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally-executed documents on global art historical topics. Art History students will be able to apply these skills to fundamental types of art historical writing such as exhibition catalogue entries and scholarly essays.
- Interdisciplinarity – graduates of the ARH Emphasis will be able to verbally articulate aspects of visual rhetoric employed in a variety of global visual media (e.g. painting, sculpture, architecture, photography). They will also be able to apply interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work not only in Art History, but also in related disciplines such as the Humanities and Religious Studies.
- Comparative Cultural Awareness –graduates of the ARH emphasis will leave the Emphasis with an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints. Graduates will have learned that global perspectives influence the creation and reception of works of art, literature, and religious expression and will be able to articulate how differing perspectives are manifest in the diverse visual cultures.
- Critical thinking - graduates of the ASN Emphasis will have learned to assess the validity of arguments, evidence, and conclusions in scholarly prublications regarding global knowledge of Asian Studies based on historical, cultural, linguistic, social scientific, and artistic analyses.
- Critical Reading - graduates of the ASN Emphasis will have acquired skills to identify and evaluate Asian studies perspectives, values, and claims made in original works and the scholarship regarding those works.
- Effective Writing - graduates of the ASN Emphasis will have demonstrated the ability to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, and suggest well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally executed documents.
- Civil Discourse - graduates of the ASN Emphasis will know how to conduct themselves among their peers in terms of offering and being receptive to constructive criticism in regard to a global understanding of cultural differences and social conditions. ASN graduates will have the ability to negotiate cultural differences in social and professional contexts.
- Interdisciplinarity - graduates of the ASN Emphasis will have amiliarized themselves with interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work in Asian Studies pertaining to a minimum of three disciplines covered in the Asian Studies minor curriculum, such as Art History, Geography, History, Humanities, Languages, Comparative Literature, Musicology, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies.
- Global Asian Studies Awareness - graduates of the ASN Emphasis will graduate with an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints. Graduates will understand how expressions of human values and aspirations pertaining to various cultures are created and received, will evaluate conflicting claims, and will be able to apply this understanding to interpersonal and professional settings in their various post-graduate careers.
- Critical thinking - graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will have learned to assess the validity of arguments, evidence, and conclusions in scholarly publications regarding global knowledge of Asian and North African Studies based on historical, cultural, linguistic, social scientific, and artistic analyses.
- Critical Reading - graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will have acquired skills to identify and evaluate Asian and North African perspectives, values, and claims made in original works and the scholarship regarding those works.
- Effective Writing - graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will have demonstrated the ability to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, and suggest well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally executed documents.
- Civil Discourse - graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will know how to conduct themselves among their peers in terms of offering and being receptive to constructive criticism in regard to a global understanding of cultural differences and social conditions. ANS graduates will have the ability to negotiate cultural differences in social and professional contexts.
- Interdisciplinarity - graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will have familiarized themselves with interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work in Asian and North African Studies, including coursework in the following disciplines: Art History, Geography, History, Humanities, Languages, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies.
- Global Asian And North African Studies Awareness - graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will graduate with an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints. Graduates will understand how expressions of human values and aspirations pertaining to various cultures are created and received, will evaluate conflicting claims, and will be able to apply this understanding to interpersonal and professional settings in their various post-graduate careers.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Comparative Study of Religions (REL)
- Critical thinking – graduates of the REL Emphasis will know and be able to apply a variety of modern academic approaches and methods to the analysis of global religious phenomena, including discourse, practices, values, and material culture. They will have demonstrated ability to apply historical-critical analysis, based upon publicly accessible reasoning, to diverse religious discourses and practices.
- Critical Reading – graduates of the REL Emphasis will have mastered the ability to produce culturally-contextual interpretations of religious texts by analyzing them as products of diverse human societies under specific conditions, and outlining their structure and logic within the intellectual tradition they represent.
- Effective Writing – graduates of the REL Emphasis will have demonstrated the ability to produce clear, coherent written presentations and analyses of information in a number of different lengths and levels of detail, for readers with varying degrees of prior familiarity with the field of religious studies.
- Civil Discourse – graduates of the REL Emphasis will have learned to use neutral, comparative terminology in describing and analyzing religious phenomena. They will have demonstrated the ability to speak and write about religious subjects without prescription or prejudice, advocacy or polemics, and in this way to contribute to civil public dialogue regarding the diversity of global religious beliefs, practices, and values.
- Interdisciplinarity – graduates of the REL Emphasis will be able to explain the different kinds of human expression involved in written and oral literature, ritual, art, architecture, and codes of conduct, and what constitutes valid interpretation of each form. They will have demonstrated ability to employ approaches and methods from a variety of academic disciplines appropriately to the nature of the material or issue being investigated, such as history, art history, comparative literature, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy.
- Cultural Awareness – graduates of the REL Emphasis will be able to communicate the relation of religious phenomena to common conditions, concerns, and aspirations shared by human beings globally, and to explain the development of diverse religious traditions in contact and interaction with one another as constitutive elements of global human cultures. Thus, they will be able to work successfully with others of differing cultural and religious backgrounds in settings as diverse as business enterprises, cultural preservation efforts, educational institutions, and hospice or social service organizations.
- Generate viewpoints integrating the history, nature, experiences, values, and expressions of diverse cultures and communities over multiple topics including borders and regions; ideas and values; and environment and technology.
- Plan, organize, and implement a model or theory, informed by insights from multiple disciplines—including traditional humanities disciplines and the social and environmental sciences—that may be applied as problem-solving approaches for public art and cultural organization, management, activities, and expressions.
- Develop practical, well-reasoned, historically aware, and culturally sensitive models or theories to initiate just and sustainable social and environmental change in the interest of public issues, concerns, and decisions.
- Critical Reading
- Recognize the plural methods in which texts reveal similarities and dissimilarities over issues and themes common to humankind, including those of birth rights, individual rights, community expectations, governance, freedom, war, gender, migrations and borders, environment, technology, and the pursuit of knowledge about self, community, and nature in terms including love, empathy, suffering, death, dying, and ethics.
- Interpret texts across diverse ancient and modern cultures with an understanding of their socio-cultural, civic, historical, philosophical, aesthetic, environmental, theoretical, and biographical contexts.
- Evaluate the insight, accuracy, clarity, aesthetic, usefulness, and persuasiveness of diverse modes of expression, including creative, speculative, personal, academic, professional, and public texts in the fields of philosophy, religion, visual art, environment, music, theatre, literature, film, technology, and media.
- Critical thinking
- Analyze how his/her own cultural, aesthetic, ideological, and disciplinary perspectives constrict or expand an awareness of textual, cultural, and disciplinary plurality.
- Synthesize differences across diverse ancient and modern cultures and disciplines, including traditional humanities disciplines and the social and environmental sciences, in order to contribute original definitions, evaluations, comparisons, causal analyses, problem-solution arguments, and applications that enable better participation in an increasingly international and interdisciplinary world.
- Effective Writing
- Compose clear, specific, well-organized, persuasive, and relevant prose in several rhetorical styles, genres, and conventions in response to the needs of varying audiences and purposes in business, non-profit, research, academic, public relations, and public situations.
- Combine information to inquire into and create relevant arguments about the plurality of cultural observation, value, and expression, including the philosophical, religious, aesthetic, and technological frameworks wherein humans organize perceptions and interactions with their communities and environment.
Details Accordion Closed
This major requires 42 to 58 units distributed as follows:
- Comparative Cultural Studies Common Courses: 9 units
- An emphasis: 24 to 33 units
- Art History Emphasis: 33 units
- Asian Studies Emphasis: 33 units
- Public Humanities Emphasis: 33 units
- Comparative Study of Religions Emphasis: 33 units
- Asian and North African Studies Interdisciplinary Global Programs Emphasis: 24 units
- Arabic Studies Specialization
- Chinese Studies Specialization
- Japanese Studies Specialization
- Foreign Language: 16 units
NOTE: If the IGP is taken, 16 units of foreign language will be completed (9+24+16 = 42)
Take the following 49 - 58 units including 24-33 units of emphasis, and 16 units of language requirements.
At least 24 units must be taken at NAU including CCS 250, CCS 350W, CCS 490C and at least 12 units of upper-division courses in the emphasis.
In order to complete one of our emphases, you must be a declared CCS major. It is also possible to declare two or more emphases as a CCS major (for example Art History and Comparative Study of Religions, or Public Humanities, Art History and Comparative Study of Religions).
Complete the following with a Grade of "C" or better in each course (9 units):
- CCS 250* (3 units)
- CCS 350W which meets NAU's junior writing requirement (3 units)
- CCS 490C* which meets NAU's senior capstone requirement (3 units)
CCS courses that may be used to fulfill upper division, diversity coursework, and/or major/emphasis requirements are as follows:
- Ethnic Diversity:
- Global Diversity:
Emphasis Requirements (Select One)
- All courses with the chosen emphasis must be completed with a Grade of "C" or better.
- Select additional upper-division ARH or MST classes (up to 3 units of ARH 408 can be applied to this requirement) (12 units)
- Select additional units from 100- and 200-level courses from two different prefixes (ACM, CINE, HUM, LAS and REL) (6 units)
Asian Studies Emphasis (33 units)
- ACM 210
- ARH 141, ARH 142, ARH 145, ARH 220, ARH 257, ARH 269, ARH 270, ARH 335*, ARH 370, ARH 380, ARH 440*
- CINE 101, CINE 232, CINE 266, CINE 267, CINE 268
- HUM 101, HUM 102, HUM 130, HUM 140, HUM 141, HUM 175, HUM 261, HUM 291, HUM 362
- LAS 101
- MST 250
- REL 151, REL 302, REL 312, REL 313
- *Topics course: students must select a topic with an Asian subject/theme.
- Select additional units from (9 units):
- Any course with an ARB prefix**
- ASN 199, ASN 299, ASN 399
- Any course with a CHI prefix**
- ES 206, ES 378
- GSP 241, GSP 348*
- HIS 230, HIS 231, HIS 249, HIS 250, HIS 251, HIS 270, HIS 312, HIS 314, HIS 325, HIS 331, HIS 332, HIS 378, HIS 379, HIS 421
- Any course with a JPN prefix**
- Any course with a LAN prefix**
- PHI 150
- POS 361, POS 370, POS 372
**ARB, CHI, JPN or LAN courses used to fulfill the degree’s 16 unit foreign language requirement cannot also be used to satisfy emphasis requirements.
- Select two courses on Culture and Regions (6 units):
- Select two courses on Arts, Technology and Environment (6 units)
- Select two courses on Ideas and Values (6 units)
Comparative Study of Religions Emphasis (33 units)
Interdisciplinary Global Programs Emphasis
You may only complete the Interdisciplinary Global Programs (IGP) Emphasis if you are concurrently enrolled in an eligible degree offered through the College of the Environment, Forestry, and Natural Sciences (CEFNS), the College of Engineering, Informatics and Applied Sciences (CEIAS), or the W. A. Franke College of Business. For a listing of eligible degrees, please contact an advisor in CEFNS, CEAIS or the W. A. Franke College of Business.
Asian and North African Studies Interdisciplinary Global Programs Emphasis (24 units)
In this emphasis, you will select a specialization that corresponds to your language of study: Arabic, Chinese, or Japanese (ARB, CHI or JPN). You must select this same language (ARB, CHI, or JPN) to satisfy the 16-unit foreign language requirement.
Select 24 units in one of the following specialization, based on your language of study (ARB, CHI, or JPN).
Chinese Studies Specialization:
Japanese Studies Specialization:
- ARH 143 (3 units)
- ASN 408 (12 units)
- Select 9 units (at least 3 units at the 300-level or higher) from:
*Topics course: students must select a topic corresponding to their specialized track.
A minor is not required for the CCS B.A. degree. However, we strongly encourage you to consult with an advisor about a minor and/or elective coursework that is appropriate for your career aspirations and educational needs. We recommend minors in Anthropology, Art History, Asian Studies, English, Ethnic Studies, French, History, Humanities, German, Latin American Studies, Museum Studies, Philosophy, Comparative Study of Religions, Theatre, Studio Art, or Women's and Gender Studies.
Foreign Language Requirement
You must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English that is equivalent to four terms (16 units) of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or through credit by exam.
Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.
You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.
We strongly encourage you to participate in a Study Abroad program. Requirements include a 2.5 GPA and sophomore standing or higher. Programs with English-language instruction in CCS's emphases and minors are available in:
- The Czech Republic (Masaryk University)
- Finland (University of Eastern Finland)
- Greece (American University of Greece)
- India (Northern Arizona University's Himalayan India program)
- Italy (Siena School for the Liberal Arts)
- Japan (Kansai Gaidai University)
- Malta (University of Malta)
- Northern Ireland (University of Ulster)
- South Korea (Sogang University)
- United Kingdom (Nottingham Trent University, University of Hull, and University of Essex)
We strongly encourage you to pursue a local, regional, national or international internship (Fieldwork Experience) in your junior or senior year. A departmental contract is required for all internships - please speak with the department chair or your advisor for more information.
CCS students may apply to be teaching assistants in the department's FYLI courses. For more information, please contact the appropriate Program Coordinator in Art History, Comparative Study of Religions, Asian Studies and Public Humanities (see CCS website for contact information).