The Humanities Program

humanities program

Interdisciplinary. Integrated. Catholic and Dominican.

Welcome to the Providence College Humanities Program! We offer an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to human life in all its dimensions through degree programs and course offerings, campus initiatives, and off campus collaborations. Grounded in the humanities, Catholic and Dominican in vision, and universal in scope, we invite students, scholars, and all members of our community and beyond to join us in the pursuit of timeless wisdom and cultural renewal.

In The Classroom

At the heart of our program you will find a community of devoted faculty and engaged students journeying together in pursuit of truth. We consider ourselves an intellectual fellowship: committed to the life of the mind and the joy of friendship, we love great books, lively conversation, and ideas that stand the test of time. We seek to carry the torch of the great tradition for a new generation, illuminating the path for those who follow.

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Degree Programs


The Rome Semester

For those who seek to carry the flame.

Across Campus

We are on a quest to live truly human lives, a quest that will only succeed in the company of friends. We strive to build a genuine community animated by a love for the true, the good, and the beautiful. Such a community needs more than just the classroom, and the Humanities Program organizes a wide range of educational and cultural opportunities across campus in support of our common life together.

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For those who seek deeper community.

Around the World

St. Dominic is remembered for sending his friars out to study at the greatest universities and to preach the good news in every nation. Following our patron’s example, the Humanities Program participates in a worldwide intellectual, spiritual and cultural community. We offer opportunities for engagement with distinguished universities worldwide, immersion in the extraordinary diversity of human culture, and encounters with world-renowned intellectuals on our own campus. In this way we hope to draw nearer to the God who unites the whole world in his love.

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Duc in Altum

Veritas Conference

C.S. Lewis Fellowship

For those who seek a higher love.

“Filling the Whole Earth with its Light”

The Significance of the Eight-Point Star

The symbol of the Humanities Program is the eight-point star. This golden star, shining out against the dark night, has deep significance for us: it reminds us of who we are and who we are called to be. To understand the significance of this star for our work, explore the images below.

Painting of St. Dominic

St. Dominic’s Brilliance

At St. Dominic’s Baptism, a star was seen decending on his forhead. This star represents how St. Dominic “shed light over the whole world” through his preaching. It also represents his personal radiance, his cheerful and joyful demeanor, which was so attractive to those he met.

early compass rose on a map

Where Are You Going?

The eight-point star calls to mind a compass rose, which orients us in this world, and which reminds us of how Christ told his apostles to preach the good news to all the ends of the earth.

Blessed Are Those…

When we think of the eight points of the star, we remember the eight beatitudes, the guides Jesus gave to those seeking true happiness.

Star of Bethlehem

Light to the Nations

In the search for true wisdom we look to the Magi, who once followed a star to a foreign land in search of the one promised to all the earth.

Our Lady, Star of the Sea

Mary, Star of the Sea

St. Dominic was often heard singing as he traveled on foot across the world. One of his favorite hymns was Ave Maris Stella, a hymn to Mary, the Star of the Sea. Like the North Star, Mary guides journeyers home.

the Harrowing of Hell, by Fra Angelico

All Things Made New

In the Christian tradition, resurrection comes on the “Eighth Day.” This is the day of the new creation, when every tear is wiped away, and when death and suffering are no more. The eight-point star reminds us to join in the work of healing and elevating all creation.

Beautiful Harmonies

The octave is the foundation of Western music; as one ascends the major scale, the eighth note begins a new octave. The science of harmonics points toward the mystery of harmony, the deep music of creation that draws all things together symphonically.

Living Joyfully

With its connection to resurrection, baptism, and the promise of new life, the number eight is associated with the gift of joy. When we see the eight-point star, we remember that joy has been a prominent characteristic of the Dominican order from the beginning; “Friars” are joyful.