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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (AHSS)

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Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

The Heart of DU

When you take classes in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS), you join the University of Denver's largest and most diverse academic unit, and gain the education and skills necessary to succeed at nearly any career in today's global, communication-based society.

AHSS is where all DU undergraduate students build the foundation of their higher education. All undergraduate students take liberal arts courses with us, and one-third of these students declare an AHSS major. Plus, the majority of our departments and schools offer graduate or PhD programs. 

MEET alumna gail folwell

Pro Football Hall of Fame Commissions Sculpture by Art Alumna

folwellKicking off football season doesn't only mean watch parties and fantasy football leagues.

For six months, renowned artist Gail Folwell (BFA '83, art) worked tirelessly on her newest project: a 7-foot-tall sculpture for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's parade route in downtown Canton, OH. Last summer the city of Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame unveiled "The NFL Draft, 1936," Folwell's enormous bronze sculpture depicting former Philadelphia Eagles coach Bert Bell's creation of the first NFL draft.

"Prior to the draft, the teams with the most money could afford the best players in the most coveted positions," says the artist, who lives in Boulder, CO. "Consequently, those teams were getting all of the good players and all of the wins. Bert Bell came up with the idea of the draft, and made it so that every team could get better players. The competition became more fair, and the sport became more fan-friendly."  Read more...

our faculty are in the news

US and Colorado Murder Rates Have Jumped, But They're Still Historically Low

Murders are up across the country, according to new 2015 FBI data, and they spiked in Colorado, too. But Colorado's murder rate remains lower than the nation as a whole. Put in a historical context, 2015's bump is also small compared to the crime waves of decades ago.

"The idea that Colorado is safer than the rest of the country is correct," said Scott Phillips, professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, in this Colorado Public Radio interview. "But even the rest of the country is safer than it used to be."

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study within AHSS

An AHSS classroom, inside Sturm Hall

AHSS faculty, staff and students come together in a shared quest for knowledge of the human condition. Students from around the world join us to study the many ways in which humans live in time and in space, as individuals and in groups. Our award-winning faculty members incorporate their national and international research and creative endeavors into the classroom to enhance your learning experience.

As an AHSS student, you will learn the theories and techniques of your field as well as the skills to:

Think critically

Omar Gudino, assistant professor of psychology, is working to understand and meet the needs of children and adolescents who are at high risk of developing emotional and behavioral problems due to exposure to trauma or other forms of adversity. Gudino and his colleagues in the Services for At-Risk Youth and Families (SAYF) research lab at the University of Denver work in partnership with local human services agencies to develop treatment options that meet the mental health needs of high risk youth.

Communicate effectively

Mark Dodge (MA '00, anthropology) has loved museums since he was a kid, and today he has found a career to match this passion as the Exhibit & Collections Curator for Golden History Museums. He enjoys getting out into the community and speaking with residents, documenting their stories and building the museum collection of artifacts and photos. "Everyone has a story to tell or something to share and museums may be one of the few places still willing to listen," said Dodge.

Gain knowledge to forge new ideas

Two DU students have used their past experiences and academic interests to develop a research project that has allowed them to study different cultures on multiple continents. Sam Estenson and Hannah Parkes have conducted their research for over a year. "The research we have completed so far has given me deeper insights into the global atmosphere through the lenses of languages and the cultures of these countries, which is fascinating," Parkes said.

Adapt to different cultures and increase intercultural skills

As an undergrad studying abroad in Ecuador, Alison Krögel, associate professor of Spanish, learned quickly that if she wanted to communicate with Ecuadorians throughout the region, she needed to learn the most commonly spoken indigenous language. Not Spanish, but Quechua, a language spoken by 10-12 million people throughout the Andes of South America. Krögel began studying Quechua both in graduate school and at the Centro Bartolomé de las Casas in Cusco, Peru. Her interest in the Quechua language and culture has led to a career focus on the Andean region.

Contribute meaningfully

Wendy Low is a proponent for social justice. It's not a passing interest, but a lifelong passion that was ignited when she joined her first cause at the age of ten. Today, Low continues to advocate for social justice as president of Never Again!, a student group that promotes awareness of the Holocaust and atrocities of genocide to the DU community.