Various forms of interpretative work are carried out in numerous disciplines at the university: the literary scholar analyses poems or novels; the legal scholar interprets laws; the historian investigates documents; the exegete searches for the meaning of biblical narratives; the natural scientist evaluates the outcome of experiment.
Interpretation is necessary in social sciences such as psychology or sociology, for example in interpreting dreams or evaluating the results of surveys. Even natural scientists have recently discovered that not everything in their field of study can be explained deductively and that at the limits of cognition one encounters the problem of understanding.
Hermeneutics as the theory and practice of both interpretation and understanding, undergirds these various interpretative activities. It reflects critically on their principles, rules, implications and limitations. In this sense, every interpreter in every discipline requires training in hermeneutics. The goal of the degree program in hermeneutics as a minor subject is to offer such training.