Master of Arts

Degrees offered:

  • Master of Arts in Humanities
  • Master of Arts in History of Ideas
  • Master of Arts in Literature
  • Master of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts

The programs leading to the Master of Arts (MA) are designed both for individuals wishing to enhance their knowledge and skills and for students intending to pursue a doctorate in a humanistic field.

MA Degree Plan

MA Degree Plan (starting master's program Fall 2018 or later)

The programs provide students with a flexible, interdisciplinary context within which to pursue their studies, built on connections among specific courses and areas of interest. Each student plans an individual program of study in consultation with an assigned advisor. All students are required to take Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Arts and Humanities (HUMA 6300) within their first two semesters of enrollment.

In addition to HUMA 6300, all students must also complete two seminars in each of the three areas of study. Otherwise, students mainly take classes within their main area of study:

  • History of Ideas (HUHI) which concentrates on history and philosophy
  • Literature (HUSL) which concentrates on literature, creative writing, translation and rhetoric
  • Visual and Performing Arts (HUAS) which concentrates on the visual and performing arts, art history and film studies

Students in the Humanities program design an individual program that may contain courses from the different areas of study.

Students seeking an MA have two options:  a professional option and a research option. Students should declare which option they are pursuing no later than the 27th hour of enrollment.

  • Students pursuing the professional option must complete thirty-three hours of course work, normally all in organized courses at the 6000-level
  • Students pursuing the research option must complete thirty-three semester hours of course work at the 6000-level, demonstrate reading proficiency in an approved foreign language, submit a portfolio proposal and have it approved by the Graduate Studies Committee, and successfully complete and defend a master’s portfolio. The portfolio proposal may not be submitted until the foreign language requirement has been fulfilled. No more than 3 hours of independent studies may be applied to the degree plan.

Learn more about the Foreign Language Requirement

Learn more about the MA Portfolio Guidelines

Active involvement in the process of creation and performance is basic to the design of the MA in Visual and Performing Arts. We recommend that students in the MA in Visual and Performing Arts take at least one ensemble/workshop. Students pursuing the research option for the MA in Visual and Performing Arts may submit a creative project as part of their portfolio.

Learn more about the Creative Project Guidelines

To be a full-time student, nine (9) hours of courses per semester is required; three (3) hours of course work in one semester is required to be enrolled in the program.

To have courses taken outside the School of Arts and Humanities applied to one of its degrees, students must seek prior approval from the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. They may also petition to have appropriate transfer courses (courses taken at other institutions) applied to their degree plan.