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Liberal Studies Department

Liberal studies education is an exciting and integral part of every student’s experience at Humber College. In your elective classes, you’ll find yourself sitting next to people studying engineering, medicine, media, business, community service, the arts, and many other disciplines that may be far removed from your own field of study. The subjects that make up the Department of Liberal Studies – arts, anthropology, cultural studies, economics, history, literature, natural science, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology – will leave you better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of any career you may pursue, and for life in general.


Human beings don’t just survive. They discover, savour, and attend to their survival. In Arts courses, we learn how musicians, film makers and other artists embody and express their taste for life – what they discover when they are attentive to the world in which they live – in sound, pictures, drama, film, etc.  In becoming mindful of what artists embody and express, we discover, savour, and become attentive to our own lives. 


Through courses in cultural and physical Anthropology, students will gain an awareness of, and appreciation for, world peoples. Their cultural traditions and physical and socio-economic challenges will be explored. Connections will be made between course material and the career and life experiences of students.

Cultural Studies

Cultural Studies courses provide a toolbox with which to critically interrogate major social and economic forces and conditions, including technology, culture, identity and power. The interdisciplinary approach of Cultural Studies encourages student reflection and engagement in the social world, thereby promoting active participation in both the production and consumption of culture.


Telling stories is one of the main ways that we make sense of ourselves and our world. Literature courses give students the opportunity to understand a wide range of experience while developing both critical and empathetic faculties. The study of literature invites thoughtful reflection and analysis and provides students with a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the human condition.


Individuals, firms, organizations, and governments are all impacted by globally interconnected patterns of exchange and behaviour. The study of Economics allows students to explore human behaviour and how incentives relate to personal and organizational decision-making. By developing critical understanding of economic systems, students will better understand how both rational and irrational behaviour impacts the allocation of resources in a world of scarcity.


History courses offer students the opportunity to gain knowledge of the past, which informs our understanding of the present and equips us with tools to shape the future. Students improve their research, writing, and critical thinking skills through the analysis of primary and secondary historical source materials. Using theoretical and more applied approaches, students develop new perspectives on historical figures, events and eras, which can be both enlightening and practical as they transition through their academic programs and into their working lives.


This Humanities course will introduce students to the breadth of the human condition by addressing questions that people face all over the world. Students will learn how ideas are communicated through the various disciplines in the Humanities, such as religion, film, arts, and media. The course will foster critical-thinking skills while cultivating engaged global citizens.


Philosophy develops critical thinking through logical analysis of issues, arguments, and texts. This course engages students in a critique of the founding methods and assumptions of other disciplines and of the values which underpin their everyday lives.

Political Science

Courses in Politics allow students to engage with political, social, environmental and economic issues that shape their worlds at the local, national, or international level. Students develop as thoughtful citizens by better understanding political ideas, institutions, processes, and the dynamics of relations between countries and regions. They also further develop important critical-thinking, research, and communication skills.


Psychology is all about the study of people – understanding the behaviour, thoughts, actions and reactions of people, including ourselves. What we learn from Psychology can be widely applied, both on personal and professional levels. It helps us understand why we act the way we do and can show us ways of dealing with life's challenges more effectively.


Science classes provide intellectual tools to examine the natural world, Planet Earth and the Universe. Scientific and technological advances extend into almost every aspect of 21st-century life. Science literacy has become essential in understanding wide-ranging scientific debates, critically examining false or misleading claims, and making informed decisions that can profoundly affect day-to-day life.


Sociology offers students the opportunity to actively observe, to critically engage, and to develop the analytic tools necessary to succeed in the complex and changing world in which they live. Sociology illuminates the collective forces, structural changes, social relationships and interpretive conflicts that they encounter in their everyday lives. Students will examine various facets of the social world such as race, class, gender, sexuality, family, health, media, popular culture, crime, urban life, corporate and consumer society.

Liberal Studies education is an exciting and integral part of the student’s experience at Humber College. In your elective classes, you’ll find yourself sitting next to people studying engineering, medicine, media, business, community service, the arts, and many other disciplines that may be far removed from your own field of study. The subjects that make up the Department of Liberal Studies – arts, anthropology, cultural studies, economics, history, English, natural science, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology – will leave you better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of any career you may pursue, and for life in general.

You can take a break from learning web programming, accounting techniques, or the basics of kinesiology to think about the philosophy of love and sex; issues in crime; musical pioneers; or the meaning of “reality” in popular culture today. In diploma or degree elective courses, you have the opportunity to engage in ideas that are fresh, dynamic, and life-changing.

You can travel to different parts of the world through our MILE Study Abroad programme and receive course credit. You will find that our faculty and the courses that they teach, whether in the traditional face-to-face classroom or the online environment, offer you unimagined opportunities for success. You will get to know yourself better, learn to think critically about issues that matter to us all, and develop skills that will help you in any career you choose to follow.

In addition to the electives offered, Liberal Studies houses Humber’s Research Analyst Postgraduate Program. This is an 11-month comprehensive research program that includes a 12-week industry placement. It equips students with the technical skills to do applied research in either the private or the public sector. These skills are readily transferrable and highly sought after in the labour market.

If you’re ready to learn more about yourself and the rich variety of the world in which you live, to grow as a human being, and to become a more versatile and well-rounded candidate for the job of your dreams, the Department of Liberal Studies is here to help guide you down your own unique path of discovery.

Curriculum Committee

Faculty Members: Paul Corey, Melanie Chaparian, Jon Zeyl, Angela Aujla, Mary Ellen Kappler, Steve Stockton
Next Meeting: March 18, 2016

Online Curriculum Committee  

Faculty Members: Jon Zeyl, Paul Corey, Naveen Joshi, Chris Irwin, Tatiana Paulin, Audrene Kerr-Brown
Next meeting: March 21, 2016

Academic Integrity Task Force

Faculty Members: Melanie Chaparian, Leo DiLeo, Mark Whale, Lee Kuhnle
Next meeting:  March 15, 2016

GNED 101 Curriculum Review Committee

Faculty Members: Jon Zeyl, Andre Maintenay, Douglas Wright, Constantine Belegris Melanie Chaparian  
Next meeting:  March 11, 2016

Other Committees

Social Committee:
Faculty Members: Dan Hambly, Jennifer Marotta, Mark Whale, Andre Maintenay, Neil McGrenaghan
Next Event: February 26, 7pm at St. James' Gate, located at 5140 Dundas Street West (close to Kipling Station). Food will be provided. Please send RSVP to Dan at

Awards Committee:
Faculty Members: Nathan Radke, Tatiana Paulin, Audrene Kerr-Brown, Mary Takacs, Mary Ellen Kappler, Daniel Hambly

Engagment Meetings:
Andre Maintenay with assistance from Sonia Hoy

Film Series Committee:
Faculty Members:  Jennifer Marotta, Caleb Yong and Jonathan Zeyl

male student wearing blue jays outfit

Diploma - General Education

General Education electives guide you to think critically about yourself, our society, and our world. The thoughtful analysis of different positions and the ability to respond in a respectful manner are skills that will help you in your job, and in LIFE.

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Degree - Breadth Electives

Breadth electives are designed to broaden and deepen the expertise of degree graduates by exposing them to knowledge, ways of thinking, and methodologies outside their areas of specialization.

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Watch the video for a quick overview of programs.

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Watch the video to see some of our elective offerings.

Student Resources

Whether you need help with an english course through the writing centre or looking for tutors and student advisors, we are here to help.

A "Liberal Studies" Education is normally understood as the general education (diploma elective) or breadth (degree elective) component of your program of study. Liberal Studies courses provide you with the opportunity to increase the awareness of yourself, the world you live in, and the environments in which you interact with others: in the home, at work or within social and cultural settings. They also form a significant part of Humber students’ certificate, diploma and/or degree experience. Through the combination of designated and free electives, students are able to explore different disciplines in the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences & Technology.

The number of required general education courses varies, please check on myHumber under Academic Progress. Diploma programs typically require GNED 101 - An Introduction to Arts and Sciences. This course serves as an introduction to many of the disciplines in Liberal Studies and from which you select your remaining general education courses.  In Humber degree programs, students take a variety of degree level electives and devote no less than 20% of the degree studies exploring courses that are outside of their core field of studies.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the Liberal Studies components of their program are completed. Please either contact or come to the Liberal Studies department (A114 at the Lake or 5th floor of the LRC at the North) for clarification or further information about these requirements.

We have offices and program coordinators at both the (North LRC 5th Floor) and Lakeshore (A114) campuses

Chris Irwin, Acting Associate Dean
North and Lakeshore
LRC 5th Floor
416.675.6622 ext. 79112

Melanie Chaparian, Co-ordinator
Lakeshore Campus
416.675.6622 ext. 73324

Candace Iron, Co-ordinator
North Campus
LRC 5th Floor
416.675.6622 ext. 72036

Jonathan Zeyl, Co-ordinator
North Campus
LRC 5th Floor
416.675.6622 ext. 74528

Yes, you may be eligible for transfer credit. Transfer credit is awarded when academic work completed meets our requirements for your program courses or for your electives. In order to find out more and apply for Transfer Credit, please go to the Liberal Studies link for Transfer Credits and Prior Learning Assessment Recognition.

Humber is committed to providing flexible opportunity for all students. Please enrol in any available section that fits your timetable, and your life.

Liberal Studies Advisors

Liberal Studies Advisors

Office Locations:
North Campus: LRC, 5th Floor
Lakeshore Campus: A114

Writing Centre Tutors for GNED 101

Aaron Landry
North Campus
Mondays: 1:00PM – 3:00PM 
Wednesdays: 12:00PM – 2:00PM
Mark Reczkiewicz
North Campus
Tuesdays: 11:00PM – 1:00PM
Thursdays: 10:30PM – 12:30PM
Adrienne Kitchin
Lakeshore Campus
Wednesdays: 11:00PM - 2:00PM