The Master of Arts in Humanities is an interdisciplinary degree that allows the study of defined topics or themes through at least two disciplines . The main premise of the degree is that Humanities topics call for the use of combined scholarly approaches to be better understood. Students in the program design, with guidance, individualized study plans that suit their personal interests. Most students take one or two courses per semester and complete the program within three years.
The Master of Arts in Humanities degree is designed for both non-traditional and traditional students. Non-traditional students are those who are already established in careers such as medicine, law, business, education or religion. Traditional students are recent B.A. or B.S. graduates seeking an integrated multidisciplinary program that can lead to teaching, government careers, preparation for doctoral studies, or advancement in their selected fields.
Humanities Learning Goals
Humanities students will:
- Integrate at least two disciplines in a sound interdisciplinary project.
- Demonstrate a level of critical thinking, data analysis, and use of sources that situates this project in the scholarship of the selected field(s)
- Demonstrate a professional level of writing and oral presentation skills (eloquentia perfecta)
Humanities disciplines: Art History, Communications, English, History, Languages, Philosophy, and Theology and Religious Studies. While other disciplines can be considered, the nature of the self-designed study plan should be based in the Humanities.
- 30 credit hours (ten courses) are required.
- Required introductory courses are HM 500 “Foundations of the Humanities” and HM 503 “Introduction to Graduate Research & Writing through Special Topics”
- Final courses: HM 598, Integration of the Humanities requiring a three-credit Research Essay carrying an oral defense
- At least 18 credit hours should be completed at the 500 level.
Students must have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA and demonstrate, through interview and application essay, readiness for graduate study. Applicants with slightly lower averages, or with language and writing difficulties, may be required to take the Graduate Record Examination, and/or provide letters of recommendation with recommendation cover sheet, or complete specific undergraduate prerequisites.
Students have considerable leeway in crafting a study plan that fits their interests. They can situate it in any period and tailor it to particular interests. Some examples are: Women and Gender, Global/Comparative Studies, Irish Studies, Catholic Studies, Medicine and Humanities, Education, Aesthetics, Ethics, etc.
- The William and Mary McNulty Endowment for the Humanities provides scholarships on competitive basis for students pursuing interdisciplinary research projects
- A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. Graduate assistants are given a tuition waiver for up to 18 credit hours per year plus a stipend. Students are expected to spend 10-15 hours per week working for the department. Graduate assistants aid professors with courses and research.
- The University’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid offers assistance on student loans.
- For teachers, who receive a one-third tuition reduction, the degree enriches teaching repertoires and is applicable to professional certification advancement. Teachers participating in certain summer programs may petition to apply this work toward the M.A. in Humanities degree.