Comparative Cultural Studies, Bachelor of Arts
Department of Comparative Cultural Studies
College of Arts and Letters
Please note that not all emphases are available online. Check with your advisor for additional information.
Do you consider yourself an out-of-the-box thinker, a cultural critic, a citizen of the world? The different emphasis areas in CCS allow you to explore the world in an interdisciplinary way as you develop the skills of analysis, interpretation, and communication crucial to their professional and academic development. In the Art History emphasis, you will uncover the "what" behind a work of art, "how" that work imparts meaning visually, and the cultural context—the “why”—from which it derives. The Asian Studies emphasis will give you a global edge as you learn about how traditional cultures across the Asian continent and North Africa inform present-day decision-making. In the Humanities emphasis, you will investigate the nature of human imagination and where your values and those of others around the world come from through the study of art, religion, technology, film, literature and the environment. The Comparative Study of Religions emphasis will provide you with the framework for understanding the religious motives and differing beliefs, practices, and values of people that shape their decisions and actions, their history, social structure, and psychology.
- Available Emphasis Areas:
- Art History - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
- Asian Studies Global Science and Engineering - Emphasis
- Asian Studies - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
- Humanities - Emphasis (ending Summer 2015)
- Comparative Study of Religions - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
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.
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, and REL.
- 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|
|Emphasis, Minor, or Certificate Required||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|Some online/blended coursework||Required|
|Progression Plan Link||Not Available|
Student Learning Outcomes
All Comparative Cultural Studies Degrees
- CRITICAL THINKING – CCS graduates will have learned to assess the validity of arguments, evidence and conclusions in scholarly proposals regarding global cultural expressions.
- CRITICAL READING – CCS 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 – CCS 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 – CCS 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 – CCS 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.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Art History
- 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 Art History 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 Art History 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 Art History 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 – Art History graduates 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.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Asian Studies, Asian Studies-Global Sciences and Engineering Program (ASN-GSEP) (paired with a first major in the Global Sciences and Engineering Program), and Asian Studies-Global Business Program (ASN-GBP) (paired with a first major in the Global Business Program)
- CRITICAL THINKING: Graduates of ASN, ASN-GSEP, and ASN-GBP Emphases will have learned to assess the validity of arguments, evidence, and conclusions in scholarly propositions regarding global knowledge of Asian Studies based on historical, cultural, linguistic, social scientific, and artistic analyses.
- CRITICAL READING: Graduates of the ASN, ASN-GSEP, and ASN-GBP Emphases 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, ASN-GSEP, and ASN-GBP Emphases 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, ASN-GSEP, and ASN-GBP Emphases 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, ASN-GSEP, and ASN-GBP Emphases will have familiarized 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: Students of the ASN, ASN-GSEP, and ASNGBP Emphases 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 carriers.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Comparative Study of Religions
- 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.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Humanities
- CRITICAL THINKING – The CCS graduate in Humanities will be able to evaluate a variety of creative compositions, including visual art, film, literature, built environments (architecture, landscaping), and intellectual histories (philosophy, religious texts); identify social, cultural, and historical contexts and values influencing the creation of these compositions; and understand cultures and their values from across the globe in order to better participate and work in an increasingly global marketplace.
- CRITICAL READING – The CCS graduate in Humanities will be able to identify themes common to humankind (i.e., birth rights, community expectations, individual rights, love, death and dying, freedom, war, gender, and the environment; and how describe these themes differ according to culture); evaluate modes of art, literature, ideas, and media in order to make judgments on the efficacy of texts and their uses in public forums; and analyze the ways in which texts reveal similarities and differences in the human experience throughout time and space.
- EFFECTIVE WRITING – The CCS graduate in Humanities will have the ability to write in several rhetorical modes (styles and genres) for a variety of community and professional audiences. These audiences include cultural and business entities that recognize how cultural knowledge/communication skills are essential in building professional relationships with diverse people at home and around the world. These entities are as diverse as medicine, business, technology, and public policy. The CCS graduate in Humanities will also have the ability to explain clearly and specifically the plurality of cultural values from which human expression arises for a variety of community and professional audiences.
- CIVIL DISCOURSE AND CULTURAL AWARENESS – Armed with structural knowledge of diverse cultures and their arts and ideas, the CCS graduate in Humanities will bring balanced perspectives to community and professional problem solving that is inclusive of difference and enhanced by an awareness of the growing interconnectedness of cultures globally. This knowledge of diverse cultures and genres, combined with a balanced perspective, makes the Humanities graduate poised to engage in community, public, and professional life.
- INTERDISCIPLINARITY – The CCS graduate in Humanities will be able to integrate viewpoints representing diverse cultured, historical, gendered, and national values and genres; plan, organize, and coordinate multi-dimensional problem solving approaches using insights from several disciplines, including traditional humanities disciplines and the social and environmental sciences; and develop reasonable options to initiate inclusive, just, and sustainable social change that is well-reasoned and historically aware and culturally sensitive.
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 two 300-level, and one 400-level course.
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 Humanities, Art History and Comparative Study of Religions).
You may only complete a Global Science and Engineering (GSEP) Emphasis if you are concurrently enrolled in an eligible degree offered through the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences. For a listing of eligible degrees, please contact an advisor in the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences.
Complete the following with a grade of "C" or better (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)
- ARH 143, ARH 145, ARH 269, ARH 270, ARH 365, ARH 370, ARH 380
- ASN 108
- CINE 232, CINE 268
- HUM 261, HUM 281, HUM 362, HUM 381, HUM 394
- REL 150, REL 201, REL 203, REL 206, REL 331, REL 332, REL 341, REL 351, REL 352, REL 355
In addition, CCS provides students with several opportunities to acquire knowledge about the natural world and/or environmental sustainability. Courses that address these issues include:
Emphasis Requirements (Select one):
Select one emphasis with a grade of "C" or better in each course
Please note that the Humanities emphasis is the only emphasis available online. Check with your adviser for additional information.
- Ancient Baroque: ARH 340, ARH 341, ARH 342, ARH 343, ARH 344, ARH 345, ARH 346
- Modern Contemporary: ARH 220, ARH 257, ARH 347, ARH 351, ARH 352, ARH 353, ARH 355, ARH 356
- Non-Western (Asian, Native American, Pre-Columbian): ARH 269, ARH 270, ARH 361, ARH 365, ARH 370, ARH 380
- Museum Studies: MST 250, MST 350, MST 360
Humanities Emphasis (33 units)
- HUM 101, HUM 120 (6 units)
- Select one course from: CINE 232, CINE 267, CINE 268, HUM 250, HUM 251, HUM 261, HUM 272, HUM 281, HUM 291 (3 units)
- Select six courses from: CINE 380, CINE 383, HUM 344, HUM 351, HUM 352, HUM 353, HUM 362, HUM 370, HUM 371, HUM 373, HUM 375, HUM 376, HUM 381, HUM 382, HUM 394, HUM 395, HUM 475, (18 units)
- Select additional 100- and 200-level courses from two different prefixes (ACM, ARH, CINE, MST and REL) (6 units)
- Humanities Emphasis (33 units)
Comparative Study of Religions Emphasis (33 units)
- REL 150 (3 units)
- Select one from: REL 421, REL 441, REL 451, REL 491 (3 units)
- Select additional REL electives from: 100-, 200-, or 300-level courses (9 units)
- Select additional REL electives from: 300- or 400-level courses (12 units)
- Select additional 100- and 200-level courses from two different prefixes (ACM, ARH, CINE, and HUM) (6 units)
- Comparative Study of Religions Emphasis (33 units)
Asian Studies Emphasis (33 units)
- Asian Studies Emphasis (33 units)
- 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 378
- GSP 241, GSP 348
- HIS 230, HIS 231, HIS 249, HIS 250, HIS 251, HIS 312, HIS 314, HIS 325, HIS 326, HIS 331, HIS 332, HIS 378, HIS 379, HIS 421
- Any course with a JPN prefix*
- Any course with a LAN prefix*
- MUS 260
- PHI 150
- POS 361, POS 370, POS 372
- WLLC 150, WLLC 331
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 of university coursework in the same language. You may satisfy this requirement by taking language courses or by testing out of all or part of it by taking CLEP exams.
Because these courses are available at Northern Arizona University, we suggest that you fulfill this requirement with either Navajo or Spanish, depending on your career aspirations.
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 (ARHMN, ASNMN, HUMMN, MUSMN, and RELMN) 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, 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.
Junior and senior REL students may apply to be teaching assistants in REL 150: Religions of the World. For more information, please contact the REL Program Coordinator (see CCS website for contact information).