Humanities Indicators
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The Humanities Departmental Survey is a collaborative effort to collect and analyze information from humanities departments across several academic disciplines. Project participants, including representatives from national humanities organizations and disciplinary associations such as the Modern Language Association and the American Historical Association, developed a survey instrument designed to bring consistency to already-existing data collection efforts in the humanities. The long-term goal is to create original multidisciplinary trend data that can be used to produce indicators of the state of the humanities in higher education.

The first Humanities Departmental Survey was administered by the Statistical Research Center of the American Institute of Physics during the 2007–08 academic year, and distributed to a national sample of approximately 1,400 departments in four-year colleges and universities. The disciplines surveyed included: art history, English, foreign languages, history, the history of science, linguistics, and religion. The survey gathered a wide variety of data for each discipline, including the number and nature of faculty; the distribution of teaching loads; the number of undergraduate majors and minors; and other aspects of the student experience. A second Humanities Departmental Survey was administered during the 2012–13 academic year, which included additional questions on the humanities as professional preparation and public activities, as well as the disciplines of communications, folklore, musicology, classical studies, and philosophy. 

Humanities Departmental Survey, 2008

Overview Essay by Arnita Jones and John Hammer

Download the entire 2007-2008 Humanities Departmental Survey report

Click below for individual sections of the Survey:

Table of Contents



Art History


Foreign Languages


History of Science


MLA Combined English / Foreign Languages


Interdisciplinary Programs

Survey Methodology and Technical Background


The Modern Languages in the 2007–08 Humanities Departmental Survey by David Laurence

What Counts in the Humanities: A Closer Look at the 2007–08 Humanities Departmental Survey by Robert B. Townsend