Humanities/Arts is one of the three streams available in Higher Secondary Education. Humanities Subjects Class 11 includes four compulsory subjects, one optional subject, and one additional optional subject. Candidates studying in 11th standard with Humanities as their stream then go through the 11th Humanities syllabus that helps in studying the important topics. Courses after Humanities makes a big difference in career options for the student. For example,

Humanities Subjects Class 11 for 2020-21

Humanities is a vast stream that offers a wide variety of subjects in CBSE as well as in ICSE affiliated schools. Class 11 humanities subjects include four mandatory subjects and one optional subject and students can add up to two optional subjects if they are willing to study six subjects instead of five. 

  • A student opts for legal studies in 11th class and does LLB after that, then doors for law-related fields like positions in the judiciary as a judge, lawyer or advocate openly for that student. Or 
  • A student chooses Economics as an optional subject and does B.A. and M.A. in Economics as a major subject, then he/ she could find a job in banking firms, research firms, or government ministries.

Students must remember that 12th Humanities Subjects will remain the same as they have selected for class 11th. Hence, the choice of optional Humanities subjects Class 11 should be considered carefully. The list of ICSE Class 11 Humanities Subjects in India are:

Subject CBSE  ISC
History Mandatory Mandatory
Political Science Mandatory Mandatory
Language (According to the medium of school) Mandatory Mandatory
Geography Mandatory Mandatory
Psychology Optional Optional
Economics Optional Optional
Entrepreneurship Optional Not Available
Legal Studies Optional optional
Fine Arts Optional Not Available
Mathematics Optional Optional

Class 11 Humanities Subjects

Class 11  Maths Online Coaching

What is Humanities?

Humanities is one of the least chosen streams however, it is one of the evergreen subjects that deal with human society, relationships, culture, and systems. Every year we can see many students taking Humanities as their career stream. Through this subject, students can understand in depth about how human society, laws, and norms have evolved over time. Students interested in understanding about world affairs, social issues, historical events, and society can take up Humanities are their stream after 10th. There are a wide range of Humanities subjects Class 11 offered as listed below:

  • History,
  • Political Science,
  • Economics,
  • Geography,
  • Sociology
  • Psychology.
  • Optional Subjects like Maths, Home Science, Legal Studies, Fine Arts, Physical Education, Media Studies

Courses After Humanities

After 12th Humanities, there are various courses you can choose. Here are a few Courses after 12th Humanities and career options that students can choose with Humanities:

  • BA in Humanities & Social Sciences
  • BA in Arts (Fine/ Visual/ Performing)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • BDes in Animation
  • BA LLB
  • BDes in Design
  • BSc in Hospitality & Travel
  • BSc in Design
  • Bachelor of Journalism & Mass Communication (BJMC)
  • BHM in Hospitality & Travel
  • Bachelor of Journalism (BJ)
  • Bachelor of Mass Media (BMM)
  • BA in Hospitality & Travel
  • BA in Animation
  • Diploma in Education (DEd)
  • BCom in Accounting and Commerce
  • BCA (IT and Software)

Some of the career options after Humanities are:

  • Design,
  • Law,
  • Psychology,
  • Economics,
  • Management,
  • History,
  • Archaeology,
  • International Relations,
  • Hotel Management,
  • Event Management,
  • Mass Communication,
  • Journalism,
  • Civil Services,
  • Social Work,
  • Sociology,
  • Photography,
  • Fashion Communication,
  • Content Writing


It covers the major historical events of the country and the world, world history, empires, the industrial revolution, early societies, the evolution of mankind and civilization from prehistory to present. History is the compulsory subject until the 10th. After the 10th, it depends on the course you choose. If you have chosen Humanities, then you must be perfect with History. This subject deals with world history, the industrial revolution, early societies, empires, etc. 

Recommended Books

  •  Themes in World History: a textbook for Class-XI: N.C.E.R.T.

Political Science

It focuses on the political processes, the working of various types of governments, and scientific analysis of various political activities, institutional organizations, and a whole lot of administrative theories and concepts.If you are a person interested in politics and foreign policies, then Political Science is the best choice. History and Public Administration is one of the known combinations along with Political Science.

Recommended Books

  •  Indian Constitution at Work(TextBook in Political Science) : N.C.E.R.T.
  • Political Theory (TextBook in Political Science) : N.C.E.R.T.


English is a subject that is important for improving one's vocabulary, communication skills, and understanding of literature. It is the day to day communication language and also very important in corporate life. The syllabus of English differs largely between the ICSE board and CBSE board.

  • CBSE Board: Students are given a choice between English core and elective English. There is a single paper for both literature and language. English as a subject is easier in the CBSE board as compared to the ICSE board.
  • ICSE Board: ICSE board conducts two papers for this subject, the first paper for language and the second one for the literature portion, each of them carries 100 marks. The syllabus is designed especially for those students who are aiming at foreign universities or want to build a career in the English language-related field.

Recommended Books

  • Hornbill (TextBook) : N.C.E.R.T
  • Snapshots (Supplementary Reader) : N.C.E.R.T
  •  High School English Grammar: Wren and Martin S. Chand


Geography is one of the Humanities Subjects Class 11 that is concerned with the physical aspects of the Earth and studies the relationship of man with the environment. It covers physical geographic concepts like landforms, Cartography- the study of map making, distribution, and development of human geography involving population, transport, etc.

Recommended Books

  • Fundamentals of Physical Geography (textbook for Class-XI New Edition) : N.C.E.R.T.
  • India Physical Environment (textbook for Class-XI New Edition) : N.C.E.R.T.
  • Practical Work in Geography Part-I (textbook for Class-XI) : N.C.E.R.T.


Psychology is a multifaceted discipline that studies the mind and behavior of human development. It includes many sub-fields such as child and development psychology, health psychology, sports psychology, social psychology, clinical psychology, etc.

Recommended Books

  • Text book for Class XI (New Edition) : N.C.E.R.T.
  • Psychology (By Robert A. Baron): Pearson Education Prentice Hall


Economics deals with concepts like the functioning of the entire economy on a national and international level, economic realities that our country is currently facing at the macro and micro level, economic development over the past few years, interactions of individual agents, and other production and distribution issues.

Recommended Books

  • Statistics for Economics (Textbook for Class-XI) : N.C.E.R.T
  • Microeconomic Theory: N.C.E.R.T
  • Statistics for Economics (By Radha Bahuguna): Dhanpat Rai Publications
  • Microeconomics for Class - XI: Saraswati Publications


It involves concepts like Enterprise Marketing, Resource Mobilization, Entrepreneurial opportunities, Entrepreneurial planning, Enterprise growth strategies, Business Arithmetics to build Entrepreneurial thinking of students.

Recommended Books

  • Entrepreneurship Class 11 : N.C.E.R.T
  • Entrepreneurship CBSE Class 11th: All In One
  • Entrepreneurship for Class XI: SBPD Publications

Legal Studies

This subject is apt for law aspirants. If someone wishes to make a career in law then they must choose this optional subject. It involves the study of the nature of political institutions, the evolution of the Indian legal system, nature and sources of law, the family justice system, civil and criminal courts and processes, human rights in India, etc.

Recommended Books

  • Legal Studies (Class XI): Central Board of Secondary Education
  • A Text-Book of Legal Studies for Class-XI (By Gurmeet Kaur - For Students' Reference): Oswal Publishers

Fine Arts

This is not a part of the ICSE Humanities Subjects Class 11. Fine Arts are the best pick if a student wishes to establish a career in design, it could be graphic design, fashion design or interior design, etc. Students can choose a specialization in painting, sculpture, graphics, or Commercial Art.

Recommended Books

  • An Introduction to Indian Arts (Part-1) : N.C.E.R.T

Physical Education

It is known to be the most scoring and easy subject. The subject is designed to build student’s capabilities for different sports, sportsmen psychology, yoga activities, physical fitness, and changing trends in physical education. This subject also has a weightage of 70 marks for written exams and 30 marks for practical.

Recommended Books

  • Health & Physical Education Textbook: Saraswati
  • Modern ABC Practical Physical Education: Modern Publishers


It includes topics like Algebra, Calculus, Statics, and probability, Mathematical reasoning, straight lines, linear inequalities, Permutation and combination, limit and derivatives, etc. This is the rarest optional Humanities Subjects Class 11 taken by Humanities Students.

Recommended Books

  • Mathematics (Text Book for Class XI) : N.C.E.R.T
  • Mathematics for Class XI (By M. L. Aggarwal) : Arya Publications
  • Mathematics Exemplar Problems (XI) : N.C.E.R.T
  • Maths - XI (By R. D. Sharma) : Dhanpat Rai & Co. Publication

Study Materials for Class 11 Humanities 2020-21

Apart from books, students must refer to various study materials which explain each concept in depth. Experts suggest that referring to the study materials will help in better preparation for Class 11 Humanities Exam.


Which are the Humanities Subjects in Class 11

Subjects included in Humanities Class 11 are:

  • Economics
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • Human Rights and Gender Studies
  • Information Practices
  • Public Administration
  • Home Science
  • Legal Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Physical Education
  • Fashion Studies
  • Fine Arts

Is Class 11 Humanities difficult?

Any subject would be difficult if not read with interest. If chosen any subject with interest, then it is definitely not so tough. 

Are there any optional subjects in Class 11 Humanities?

Yes, apart from mandatory, students must choose 2 optional subjects from the list. These optional subjects can be chosen based on the student's interest and his/her career growth. 

Is there any change in Class 11 Humanities Syllabus this year?

No. There are no updates about syllabus changes this year in Humanities. Students will be informed as soon there are any changes in the subjects.

Which is the best Humanities subject Class 11?

Choosing of subject depends on student's career. The mandatory subjects are very important as they are basic for Humanities stream.