Examining the Origin, Development and Impact of Ideas

Ideas have consequences. The great American philosopher Yogi Berra pointed out that "in theory, there is a difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there isn’t." The study of the history of ideas stands at the intersection of several disciplines: philosophy, literature, religion and (of course) history itself. Beliefs and their expression drive action in the real world, and grasping how they evolved and connect sparks an intellectual excitement that can literally be life-enhancing. The Interdepartmental Program in the History of Ideas opens a window of understanding.

What Distinguishes Our Program

  • Our faculty committee draws members from nine different disciplines ranging from history, philosophy, English, and politics to Near Eastern and Judaic studies and international and global studies.

  • Students are given wide latitude to structure a course of studies that meets their personal and academic interests and objectives.

  • The History of Ideas minor complements and supports Brandeis' social justice mission.

  • Our program is ideal for students interested in going on to graduate school and careers in academia and public service.