Master of Arts in Humanities

Department Affiliations: English, Languages and Cultures, and History

The Master of Arts in Humanities is an interdisciplinary degree, which includes courses from English, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, and History as well as philosophy, art, music, and others. Students may spread their required units among all of these or choose a concentration in English, History, Cultural Studies or Creative Writing (approval is required for the latter). Most of the courses are designed to include more than one subject—such as science and literature; the novel as history; Wagner and Tolkien, etc.—to encourage thinking beyond disciplinary lines.

Students will have the opportunity to nurture the habit of life-long learning through the study of works by the great thinkers and imaginative artists of the past and present who have reflected on the meaning of God and the universe, on nature and time, and on what it means to be human. They will learn how the study of the Humanities can enhance their professional as well as personal and spiritual lives.

Emphasis is placed on oral and written communication skills, on critical and analytical thinking, and on creative, interdisciplinary problem solving. The Master of Arts in Humanities is a 30 -unit program culminating with an original work which may take the form of a master's thesis or a creative project and accompanying essay.

Admission Requirements

  • Completion of a Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • Entrance test and interview with an advisor

Degree Requirements

Core Courses (9 units):

Students are required to take at least one course in each of these areas: English, Cultural Studies, and History. Each seminar features a research and writing component designed to help prepare students for their final thesis or project. Students may take these courses in any order as long as they complete one seminar in each of the three areas. Any of these courses may be repeated as the topic varies.

Students are also required to take HUM 298A Introduction to Humanities in either their first or second semester in the program. This course is designed to acquaint students with the humanities tradition from classical antiquity to the present and to help students make the transition into graduate school by providing a review of research methodology, formats, and procedures for academic writing.

Elective Courses (15 units):

The remaining five courses may be chosen from interdisciplinary classes that offer students the opportunity to explore the interrelatedness of various disciplines of study.

Concentrations:

With the guidance of a faculty advisor, a student may elect to earn a concentration by completing a total of four courses (12 units) in one of the core disciplines—English, Cultural Studies, or History. Also, a student may elect to have an emphasis in Creative Writing if approved. To qualify, a student must be approved by the creative writing panel.  This requires completion of four or more courses in creative writing with a grade of A- or better from the following classes:   Young Adult Literature (229); Fiction (230); Poetry (231); Screenwriting (232); Creative Non-Fiction (233); Playwriting (246);  and Memoir. (In special cases, a student may petition to have one B+ grade waived if extenuating circumstances applied. The committee will review the petition and vote on whether or not an exception will be made). After completing the four creative writing classes, the student may submit a proposal for the creative thesis to the Creative Writing Program Director and copy the Humanities Program Director. An academic essay constitutes part of the creative writing thesis.

Culmination Courses (3 units):

HUM 296A (1 unit) and HUM 296B (2 units). To complete the Master's degree, each student submits an original, graduate-level project or thesis. This work is done under the supervision of a faculty advisor. If a student chooses to do a project in place of a traditional thesis, a written component is required that places the project in a context that reflects the student’s cumulative experience in the program. Application forms and guidelines are available from the Program Director.

Students are encouraged (but not required) to consider a project or thesis that draws upon the resources of the community surrounding the Doheny campus. Faculty as well are encouraged to draw upon this racially and culturally diverse neighborhood in designing the content and methodology of their courses.

NB: Humanities students who plan to walk at commencement must have completed all requirements and must have successfully completed their oral defense before the Forum.

Required Courses

HUM 298AIntroduction to the Humanities

3

Humanities Courses

MA Humanities and MFA Creative Writing Articulation

Mount Saint Mary’s University Graduate Division

Upon the approval of the MA HUM and MFA Creative Writing faculty, students currently enrolled in the MA Hum Program who have successfully completed a minimum of 1 semester with a GPA of 3.0 or above and whom the faculty deem to have demonstrated aptitude and skill in creative writing may be allowed to enter the MFA Creative Writing program with all applicable MSMU credits toward the MFA Creative Writing Degree, if approved by the faculty and Graduate Dean, under this MA HUM and MFA/Creative Writing Articulation Agreement.  Students must withdraw from the MA HUM program, and then submit an application to the MFA Creative Writing Program to the Graduate Admissions Office, and be accepted into the MFA program by the faculty and Graduate Dean.    (Students may submit an academic petition for waiver of transcripts, application fee, and letters of recommendation since these are already on file with the University). 

Upon the approval of the MFA Creative Writing and MA HUM faculty, students currently enrolled in the MFA Creative Writing Program who have successfully completed a minimum of 1 semester with a GPA of 3.0 or above and whom the faculty deem to have demonstrated aptitude and skill in the study of the Humanities may be allowed to enter the MA HUM program with all applicable MSMU credits toward the MA HUM Degree, if approved by the faculty and Graduate Dean, under this MA HUM Program/MFA/Creative Writing Program Articulation Agreement.   Students must withdraw from the MFA program, and then submit an application to the HUM Program to the Graduate Admissions Office, and be accepted into the HUM program by the faculty and Graduate Dean.  (Students may submit an academic petition for waiver of transcripts, application fee, and letters of recommendation since they are already on file with the University.)

Concurrent enrollment in both the MA HUM and MFA Creative Writing Programs is not permitted; dual degrees will not be granted; and work presented for one degree may not subsequently be counted toward the other, except as allowed under the section on Second Master's Degree in the MSMU Graduate Division Policy and Procedures Handbook.