BA (Honors) Comparative Liberal Studies


Habib University’s ambitious program in Comparative Liberal Studies (CLS) is designed to offer the most cutting-edge experience and training in the human sciences. A global first, CLS is a transdisciplinary program – combining especially History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Comparative Literature – that cultivates an intensive and critical engagement with essential aspects of both modernity and tradition, developing powerful analytical, conceptual, communicative and writing skills, as well as a distinctive and sophisticated contemporary sensibility. Our distinguished faculty offer combinations of humanistic knowledge and methods of inquiry critical to the present, with a view to nurturing and training cognitively and intellectually advanced and dynamic young scholars, citizens, and future professionals, across a range of opportunities in the economy.

The CLS program seeks to institutionalize at the undergraduate level, key transformations in the humanities over the past half century in our regional postcolonial context, a teaching that is at once reparative and future-oriented, healing and enabling. Through a comparative approach broadly defined, the program aims to transmit critically essential knowledge in the humanities, and to cultivate a strenuous transdisciplinary and global universality that is essential to critical inquiry and vital knowledge-production today, together with the cognitive virtues of curiosity, contextualism, discipline-specific analytical and methodological rigour, as well as both the abstractive power and the imaginative and synthetic ability traditionally associated with the humanities.

The creation of CLS is thus essential to Habib’s core pedagogical mission of an intensively thoughtful self-cultivation. CLS faculty will substantially teach in Habib’s dynamic Liberal Core, as well as offering state-of-the-art core and elective courses in our distinctive major, and designated minors.

Program Core Requirements

The CLS major rests on a globally unique set of five (5) courses:

  • Introduction to Philosophy, or What is Philosophy?
  • Making of Modern World Religions
  • Historical Being, Being Historical: Historicity & Historical Method
  • Interrogating & Repairing the Humanities
  • Reading, Writing and Thinking Literature or Literary Theory

Language Requirement

All CLS majors must take a minimum of three semesters of a regional language offered by Habib’s Arzu Center for Regional Languages and Humanities. The regional languages currently offered are: Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, Persian, Chinese.

* Students may apply to the program to fulfill this requirement with other languages.

Senior Capstone Project

All CLS students must write an Honors thesis in their final year.


CLS majors must take a minimum of two (2) electives in each of the disciplines of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies, at least one of which must be an independent study in their junior year. Students must also take one Language & Literature Elective.

Students must further take three (3) free electives offered by any of the other majors at Habib University.

Degree Requirements

Course Category Number of Courses to complete
University Requirements
University Liberal Core* 10
Comparative Liberal Studies Core Courses
Historicity & Historical Method 1
The Making of Modern World Religions 1
Introduction to Philosophy, or What is Philosophy 1
Reading, Writing and Thinking Literature or Literary Theory 1
Interrogating & Repairing the Humanities 1
Comparative Liberal Studies Electives and Concentration
History, Philosophy and Religious Studies Electives 6
Electives in the discipline of concentration 4
Other Requirements
Language & Literature Elective 1
Regional Language Requirement 3
Free Electives 3
Senior Thesis 2
Overall 34

* Note: The second Philosophy requirement for the Comparative Liberal Studies Major must be fulfilled by taking Hikmah II, Islamic Aesthetics or another course in Religious Philosophy.

Program Specializations

CLS students must concentrate in one of the following disciplines: History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. To this end, they must take – apart from the minimum of two (2) electives referenced above – four (4) further courses in that discipline.