The humanities embody those disciplines that study the human experience in all of its cultural, political, intellectual, and aesthetic forms. From the beginnings of human society, archaeology, art, art history, history, music, language, literature, philosophy, politics, religion, rhetoric, and theater have been the means people have used to express, record, and understand the human condition. At Willamette, the humanities major is designed to prepare students for the life of the mind and the world of work. Drawing on analytical tools from across the disciplines, students critically examine the diversity of voices in their world, their origins, and their development. Students select from a range of core courses to familiarize themselves with the theories and methods involved in the study of the humanistic disciplines. They also choose one of five tracks - comparative, environmental, public, regional (the Pacific Northwest) and visual - each of which examines aspects of the human experience through a particular lens. The major culminates in the completion of a capstone course in which students undertake a substantial project drawing on their cross-disciplinary knowledge and research skills.