Student Testimonials

"My decision to pursue a Humanities degree at York University is one of the best decisions I've made so far. My time as a Humanities student and Religious Studies Major was a time of constant encouragement and support. As an international student, it is easy to feel lost and unfamiliar when attending a university abroad; but that feeling quickly dissolved as I started school. The department continuously ensured that I felt at home and that I received the necessary support to do my best work. During my time as a student, I was able to travel across Canada and abroad, and encounter people and learning materials I could never have encountered elsewhere. The wide topic selection offered in the Humanities Department allowed me to venture out into worlds unknown, and taught me to understand and work with my surroundings. This meant that I also became a better version of myself as I gained the tools to see what my place is in the world and what my obligations are to the humanity at large. These encounters fed my passion for learning and ensured that I had not only a unique learning experience but also an incredibly positive experience. My professors and other faculty members were not only my educators but also my mentors and helped me carve out a path that would lead to me continuing to work with my passion. I learned to think and analyze my surroundings in a critical but also informed way, and learned to value the Humanities as a whole. Not a day goes by without me using the skills and knowledge gained at York. In short, my time at York University as a humanities student is one that I would not change at all, and I have many people to thank for that."

Lilian Al-Radi

Bachelors of Arts with Honours in Religious Studies, summa cum laude
Highest grade point average in graduating Religious Studies class (2019)
Eva Halward Prize (2018)
Lilian is now completing an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto

“The Humanities Program at York University offers an incredibly diverse range of subjects examining all aspects of what it means to be human. For anyone who is considering studying the humanities as a field, I would define this program as the perfect blend of an English and History degree. However, rather than simply recounting the many engaging courses I took, I feel it is much more important to emphasize what the humanities taught me; that is, the ability to “emotionalize.” This was an overarching theme among all the Humanities courses I took. Whether it was understanding the social implications of a literary movement, the cultural history of 20th century film, or dissecting a significant moment in history, such as the Holocaust, the humanities ask us to “put on” another’s shoes to gain a more personal and intimate perspective of our shared experiences across history and cultures. I have always considered myself a visual learner—not necessarily the type of visual learner who needs to see a video or picture to understand a given subject, but rather, someone who works best when I can imagine and visualize whatever I am learning in a given moment. The Humanities program encouraged and allowed me to build on this skill in an academic environment, resulting in my growth as a student and growth into a fair-minded individual.”

Tommy Herman

BA (Honours) Humanities, Cum Laude

Highest grade point average in graduating Humanities class (2018)

Samuel G. Rosen Memorial Prize for outstanding essay in Judaic Studies by a 3rd or 4th year student (2017)

Tommy is currently preparing to enter law school

"In my first-year humanities general education course I found an approach to university that I fell in love with. What I found in the Department of Humanities was an innovative approach to teaching where movies, art, music and poetry were all valid resources for learning. I was introduced to topics related to fantasy, social movements, monstrosity, and pop culture which together helped me understand what it means to be in our shared world. Through the Humanities program my interests expanded further than I could imagine. I developed my own trajectory under the guidance of professors who cared for me not only as their student, but as an individual with potential. With the support of the amazing department, my friends and I were able to start the Humanities Student Association, which is now in its third year. In helping create this student community, Humanities became a place where I was able to grow and really feel at home. After my undergrad, I also did my masters in Humanities. Now I’m in the process of completing a PhD at the University of Toronto in the Women and Gender Studies Institute, researching the relation between trans studies and religion. I find myself here only through the support of caring professors and the opportunities the Humanities program at York provided me."

Sam Sanchinel

BA Specialized Honours Humanities, Summa Cum Laude (2018)
Humanities 25th Anniversary Book Prize (2019)
Kilbourn Award in the Humanities (2017)
The Department of Humanities Award of Achievement (2016, 2017)
Sam is a PhD student in Women & Gender Studies at the University of Toronto