Constellations are combinations of courses grounded in the humanities.
Deeply engage with vital questions & themes critical to your academic goals while fulfilling general education requirements!
Launching in spring 2019, Constellations is a new initiative designed to demonstrate the relevance of the humanities to all majors and career trajectories. Constellations are open to all UW-Madison undergraduates, but are designed with STEM students looking for highly complementary humanities credits in mind. Each Constellation equips students with innovative humanities-based methods and tools to solve pressing contemporary questions, bring coherence to their undergraduate experience, and prepare them for the challenges of a complex world.
What is a Constellation?
A Constellation is composed of highly-complementary courses taken concurrently: one core humanities course taught by our award-winning faculty, plus connected classes. Our curriculum—inside and outside of the classroom—highlights connections across the three courses, allowing students to take a deep dive into a particular topic area while fulfilling requirements in meaningful ways.
The concept of Constellations is, in part, based on the philosopher Walter Benjamin’s use of the term to describe the relation between ideas and objects: ideas are to objects what constellations are to stars. Constellations don’t actually exist in the heavens, but they allow us to perceive relations among existing stars and to give conceptual shape to the pattern that emerges from these relations. In that spirit, the Constellations program designates a grouping of three courses that give shape to an idea that would not otherwise be discernible within traditional disciplinary boundaries. By following a Constellation, students will be able to supplement their major concentration while enriching their educational experience and pursuing professional pursuits.