Master of Arts in Humanities

The Humanities graduate program is interdisciplinary. It emphasizes critical theories and interpretive approaches that transcend disciplinary boundaries, as well as providing advanced study within various humanities disciplines. The program offers graduate-level study in art history, communications, history, literature, music history, philosophy, and writing, along with interdisciplinary topics. Drawing on the perspectives of the various arts and disciplines and various theoretical approaches, the program’s faculty assists students in developing important analytical, synthetic, and interpretive skills.

Graduate students in this program acquire an ability to interpret several kinds of "texts" (both literary and non-literary works); investigate them using standard reference tools; situate them aesthetically, critically, and socially; and write about them in scholarly and sophisticated ways. They learn to relate works from different genres to one another, to a pertinent critical or theoretical perspective, or to a significant issue. With the assistance of their adviser, students are expected to create their own programs of study, focusing on the analysis of at least two different academic disciplines and learning to make connections between them.  The program culminates in an interdisciplinary scholarly or creative project.

Degree Conferred: M.A.

Who are the students who pursue the Masters of Arts in Humanities?

Students come to the program from many backgrounds and for a range of purposes. Most are returning after spending some time in other pursuits since college; most attend part-time. Others arrive directly from undergraduate work. Many are teachers, taking classes toward permanent certification through an interdisciplinary degree that expands their pedagogical and personal repertoire. Some intend to begin or change careers; others wish to develop further expertise, prepare for doctoral study, or satisfy strong personal interests. Many program graduates have returned to their schools prepared to teach a wider range of courses and subjects; others have gone on to doctoral or professional programs; become faculty at universities and community colleges; worked as journalists, public relations specialists, and corporate art directors; practiced various fine and performing arts; become directors of colleges’ cultural programming; and followed still other pursuits.

Graduate study in the Humanities can prepare students for careers in teaching, communications, business, government, and the arts, and for further study in the liberal arts. The intellectual content and expressive skills it cultivates are advantageous in many professions.


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