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 eight (8) courses:

  • What is Modernity?
  •  Introduction to Philosophy, or What is Philosophy?
  • Making of Modern World Religions
  • Pakistan & Modern South Asia
  • Hikma 1: History of Islamic Thought
  • Historical Being, Being Historical: Historicity & Historical Method
  • Interrogating & Repairing the Humanities
  • Hikma 2, Islamic Aesthetics, or another course in Islamic or other religious philosophy

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.

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 a minimum of two electives in Language & Literature through Habib’s Arzu Center for Regional Languages and Humanities.

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

University Required Courses

All CLS students must complete the 10 mandatory Habib Liberal Core courses.

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.