Comparative Cultural Studies, Bachelor of Arts
Department of Comparative Cultural Studies
College of Arts and Letters
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 Interdisciplinary Global Program - Emphasis
- Asian Studies - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
- Public Humanities - Emphasis (ending Summer 2022)
- 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, 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|
|Emphasis, Minor, or Certificate Required||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|Progression Plan Link||View Progression Plan|
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 Public Humanities
INTERDISCIPLINARITY. Graduates of the Public Humanities emphasis will:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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 (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 269, ARH 270, ARH 370, ARH 380
- ASN 108
- CINE 232, CINE 268, CINE 394
- HUM 261, HUM 362
- LAS 101, LAS 365, LAS 381
- REL 150, REL 201, REL 203, REL 206, REL 231, REL 261, REL 332, REL 341, REL 352, REL 355
Select one emphasis with a C or better in each course.
- Select additional upper-division ARH or MST classes (up to 3 units of ARH 408 can be applied to this requirement) (9 units)
- Select additional units from 100- and 200-level courses from two different prefixes (ACM, CINE, HUM, LAS and REL) (6 units)
Public Humanities Emphasis (33 units)
Select two courses on Culture and Regions (6 units):
- ANT 340
- CINE 232, CINE 267
- CST 323
- HIS 367, HIS 368
- HUM 130, HUM 261, HUM 362, HUM 382
- LAS 101, LAS 381
- REL 361
Comparative Study of Religions 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 206, ES 378
- GSP 241, GSP 348
- HIS 230, HIS 231, HIS 249, HIS 250, HIS 251, 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
- WLLC 150,
You may only complete the Interdisciplinary Global Program (IGP) Emphasis if you are concurrently enrolled in an eligible degree offered through the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences or the W. A. Franke College of Business. For a listing of eligible degrees, please contact an advisor in either the College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences or the W. A. Franke College of Business.
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.
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, 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 Humanities (see CCS website for contact information).