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What's driving the decline in college humanities programs?

Students from Miami's Latiné Student Alliance rally for and gather signatures
Zack Carreon
Students from Miami's Latiné Student Alliance rally for support and gather signatures outside Armstrong Student Center

Humanities programs have been on the decline nationwide. Now, Miami University has announced a plan to shrink its humanities program and combine some of its majors due to low enrollment.

The move would effect majors such as art history, ethnic studies and Latin American studies. Students are speaking out against the plan.

On Cincinnati Edition, we discuss the possible reasons for declining enrollment and Miami's response about this plan.

We reached out to Miami's provost to invite her on for this discussion. She declined, but the university provided this statement:

"Miami University is a student-centered public university committed to fostering outstanding experiences and outcomes for our students. In service of that mission, the University regularly reviews its academic and non-academic programs, offerings, and services to ensure that we are allocating our resources towards areas that best meet student needs, demands, and expectations. This process enables us to continually refresh, innovate, and add new academic offerings, as well as add capacity within existing areas to meet student demand, which ultimately helps our students to thrive in their respective pursuits. It also requires that, in certain circumstances, the University restructure or discontinue selected programs where there is limited student interest so that we can reallocate our time and energy. In such cases, the Provost’s Office works closely with Deans and Department Chairs to adjust programs as necessary. In the event Miami elects to discontinue a specific major, currently enrolled students would not be impacted and could continue their course of study through graduation."


  • Madelyn Detloff, Ph.D., professor of English and Global and Intercultural Studies, interim director of graduate studies, Miami University
  • Kennedy Hughes, student, Miami University
  • Robert Townsend, director of the Humanities, Arts, and Culture Programs, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Zack Carreon, education reporter, WVXU

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