Class 11 Humanities Subjects 2023-24 (CBSE & ICSE)

Author : Palak Khanna

Updated On : September 14, 2023


If you are interested in taking up the Humanities stream after the 10th standard, then this post shall help you to know about the subjects involved in this stream. Read the complete post to know about mandatory and optional class 11 humanities subjects in both CBSE and ICSE boards.

Class 11 Humanities Subjects List 2024

  • Mandatory Subjects: There are four mandatory subjects namely History, Geography, Political Science, and English in class 11.
  • 5th Optional Subject (It is imperative to choose): Apart from the mandatory subjects, you must choose one more subject as the main subject. However, you have to select anyone out of "primary optional" subjects, according to your interest. 
  • 6th Optional Subject (It is not imperative to choose): You must choose the 6th optional subject regardless of the board. You can select the 6th optional subject from the "secondary optional" subject list. 

The subjects list is the same for CBSE and ICSE Board however, the optional choices may differ. 

What are the CBSE Class 11 Humanities Subjects?

Humanities subject deals with the study aspects of human society and culture. Knowing the CBSE Class 11 Humanities Subjects will help you get an idea about how to plan your preparation to cover all the subjects as per the latest syllabus.

Download Free Study Material for Class 11 Humanities by SuperGrads

Take a look at the table below to know the mandatory and optional subjects of the humanities stream of class 11 CBSE.

Name of the Subject Priority
History Mandatory
Geography Mandatory
Political Science Mandatory
Language Mandatory
Psychology Optional
Economics Optional
Legal Studies Optional
Fine Arts Optional
Entrepreneurship Optional
Mathematics Optional

What are ICSE Class 11 Humanities Subjects?

History, geography, political science are some of the mandatory subjects in class 11 ICSE board. Here is the detailed information about Humanities Subjects in Class 11 ICSE.

Let us have a look at the table below to know the mandatory and optional humanities subjects in the 11th ICSE board.

Name of the Subject Priority
History Mandatory
Geography Mandatory
Political Science Mandatory
Language Mandatory
Psychology Optional
Economics Optional
Legal Studies Optional
Mathematics Optional

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CBSE & ICSE Class 11th Humanities Subjects Explanation

To help you understand the subjects better, we have explained each humanities subject of class 11 in detail. Go through the brief description and prepare well for the subjects you have chosen. 

Go through the complete Class 11 Humanities Syllabus before you begin with the preparation for the respective subject. 


It covers the country's major historical events and the world, world history, empires, the industrial revolution, early societies, the evolution of humankind, and civilization from prehistory to the present. History is the compulsory subject until the 10th. After the 10th, it depends on the course you choose.

Career Options in History

  • Archaeology
  • Museology
  • Museum curators
  • Archivists
  • Historians
  • History experts
  • Teachers
  • Civil services

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 many administrative theories and concepts. If you are 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.

Career Options for Political Science

  • Policy Analyst
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Social Media Manager
  • Marketing Research Analyst
  • Political Consultant


English is a subject that is important for improving one's vocabulary, communication skills, and literature understanding. It is the day to day communication language and also very important in corporate life. 

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 students aiming at foreign universities or building a career in the English language-related field.

Refer to the right Class 11 Humanities Books that cover each topic as per the latest syllabus. 

  • 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 students aiming at foreign universities or building a career in the English language-related field.

Career Options for English

  • Digital copywriter
  • Editorial assistant
  • English as a foreign language teacher
  • Lexicographer
  • Magazine journalist
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Publishing copy-editor/proofreader
  • Secondary school teacher

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Geography, one of the arts subjects class 11 deals with the physical aspects of the Earth and studies man's relationship with the environment. It covers physical geographic concepts like landforms, Cartography- the study of map making, distribution, and human geography development involving population, transport, etc.

Career Options for Geography

  • Cartographer
  • Surveyor
  • Drafter
  • Government Employee
  • Urban and Regional Planner
  • GIS Specialist
  • Climatologist
  • Meteorologist


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.

Based on your optional subject, you can choose your desired Courses after 12th Humanities. There are numerous courses available in different domains. 

Career Options for Psychology

  • Psychologist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Social worker
  • Counselor
  • Educational psychologist
  • Human resource manager
  • Teacher
  • Research roles


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 product distribution issues.

Career Options for Economics

  • Professional Economist
  • Financial Risk Analyst
  • Data Analyst (Banking Sector)
  • Financial Planner (Banking Sector)
  • Financial Controller/Financial Economist
  • Equity Analyst
  • Cost Accountant
  • Economic Researcher


It involves concepts like Enterprise Marketing, Resource Mobilization, Entrepreneurial opportunities, Entrepreneurial planning, Enterprise growth strategies, Business Arithmetics to build Entrepreneurial thinking of students. If you are interested in understanding business concepts, you can opt for this arts subject claass 11.

Career options for Entrepreneurship

  • Business consultant
  • Business reporter
  • Sales Manager
  • New Venture Developer
  • Department Manager
  • Corporate Supervisor

Check Out  - List of Humanities Class 11 Sample Papers

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 studying 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, processes, human rights in India, etc.

Career Options for Legal Studies

  • Advocate
  • Litigator or Trial Lawyer
  • Corporate Lawyer
  • Legal Advisor
  • Judge
  • Government Jobs and Armed Forces
  • Human Rights Lawyer

Fine Arts

Opting for the Fine Arts subject is the best pick if you wish to establish a design career; it could be graphic design, fashion design or interior design, etc. Students can choose a specialization in painting, sculpture, graphics, or Commercial Art.

Career Options for Fine Arts

  • Musician
  • Art Director
  • Photographer
  • Fine Artist
  • Cartoonist
  • Actor
  • Dance Teacher
  • Theatre Artist
  • Visual Designer

Physical Education

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

Career Options for Physical Education

  • Adaptive Physical Education Specialist
  • Adventure/Outdoor Educator
  • Aerobics Instructor
  • Athletic Coach
  • Athletic Director
  • Athletic Trainer
  • Camp Director
  • College Instructor/Professor


It includes Algebra, Calculus, Statics, 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 students.

Career Options for Mathematics

  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Computer programmer
  • Doctor
  • Engineer
  • Investment manager
  • Lawyer
  • Government research and laboratories


Sociology is the study of social life, changes, causes, and consequences of human behavior. You can choose various career options in the future if you opt for the sociology subject in your class 11.

Career Options for Sociology

  • Rural and Child Welfare
  • Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Management Consultancy
  • Hospitals
  • Schools/ Colleges/ Universities
  • Government and Political Action Groups
  • Journalism & Media

Courses After Humanities

After 12th Humanities, there are various courses you can choose from. 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)

Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the Humanities Subjects in Class 11

Is Class 11 Humanities difficult?

Are there any optional subjects in Class 11 Humanities?

Which is the best Humanities subject Class 11?

Is History mandatory in Humanities Subjects CBSE 11?

How many subjects are there in Humanities Class 11?


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