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Background & Philosophy


The School of Humanities was originally the School of Cultural and Community Studies. It was established in 1970, a year after the inception of Universiti Pulau Pinang (predecessor of the present Universiti Sains Malaysia). The School Of Cultural and Community Studies together with the then School of Comparative Social Sciences and the Centre for Educational Services were all liberal arts- oriented. These programmes were set up to provide a balance in terms of the focus of the University so that emphasis would not be placed solely on the sciences and technology.

The School of Cultural and Community Studies, in its early days, was at the Malaysian Teachers' College in Gelugor. In 1971, as part of Universiti Sains Malaysia, the School was moved to a permanent site in Minden. At the onset of 1972, the School of Cultural and Community Studies was renamed the School of Humanities.


The philosophy of the School of Humanities reinforces Universiti Sains Malaysia's belief, that we should:

at all times, practise and encourage excellence in learning, research, publication and provide a sensitive service for the current and future needs of the country towards developing the individual holistically and a society that is incomparable, knowledgeable, outstanding, innovative, conscientious and humanitarian, with high morals based on truth, the RUKUN NEGARA and the motto KAMI MEMIMPIN (WE LEAD).

The School's academic programmes emphasize elements of humanities and universal values. In line with this ideal, the curricula of the respective programmes stress on the following: a wide scope of knowledge, a teaching and learning process which takes on critical and analytical approaches, the effective dissemination of knowledge, and the emphasis not only on science and technology but also culture, customs, ethics as well as eastern values.