MA in Humanities

Degrees offered:

  • Master of Arts in Humanities
  • Master of Arts in Humanities--Major in Aesthetic Studies
  • Master of Arts in Humanities--Major in History of Ideas
  • Master of Arts in Humanities--Major in Studies in Literature

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

MA in Humanities Degree Plan (for students who started before Fall 2008; degree requires 30 credit hours)

MA in Humanities Degree Plan (for students starting Fall 2008 or later; degree requires 33 credit hours)

The program provides 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 studies 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.

Students may concentrate within one of the three main areas of study:

  • Aesthetic Studies (HUAS) which concentrates on the visual and performing arts, creative writing, art history and film studies
  • History of Ideas (HUHI) which concentrates on history and philosophy
  • Studies in Literature (HUSL) which concentrates on literature, language and rhetoric

All students must take two seminars in each of these three main areas of study.

Students seeking an MA in Humanities 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 5000- or 6000-level
  • Students pursuing the research option must complete thirty-three semester hours of course work at the 5000- or 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 Aesthetic Studies area of concentration. We recommend that students in the MA program with a concentration in Aesthetic Studies take at least one ensemble/workshop. Students pursuing the research MA with a concentration in Aesthetic Studies may submit a creative project as part of their portfolio.

Learn more about the Creative Project Guidelines

To be a full-time student, 9 hours of courses per semester is required; 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.