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Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Humanities program offers courses in the fields of art, foreign languages, history, literature, music, philosophy and religion. This interdisciplinary degree is intended for students who would like to integrate their particular expertise with corollary fields in the humanities after having majored in one of the fields mentioned above. This program has wide appeal across many professions and can be tailored to the student’s particular area of interest.

Candidates for this program come from all stages of life, ranging from recent graduates to retirees. Many graduate students pursuing this degree are likely to be secondary education teachers in the local Maryland county school systems. For the convenience of the working professional, the Master of Arts in the Humanities degree can be completed in approximately two years.

While affirming the importance of each academic discipline, the faculty of the Master of Arts in Humanities program encourages students to create connections between them. The curriculum is, therefore, based on a three-stage structure. First, the introductory seminars familiarize beginning graduate students to the idea of interdisciplinary studies. Second, each student, in consultation with an adviser, will develop a plan of study for four of the six elective courses. This plan will define a cohesive concentration. The final stage of graduate work is a portfolio or a capstone project.

Introductory Seminars

Two seminar courses (HUM 501 and HUM 502) are taught by course coordinators with frequent guest lectures by other faculty members. The purpose of these courses is to explore a number of ideas and institutions that these societies share. Evidence, material and written, are used to illuminate these themes, and students will be called upon to analyze and interpret primary sources. Substitutions for these courses are not permitted and transfer credit is not accepted as exemption for these seminar courses or the Capstone Project.

HUM 501 Humanities and the Western Tradition, Part I
The focus is on the following four areas: Prehistoric and Mesopotamian Age, Egypt and Palestine, Greece and Rome and the various societies of the medieval period.

HUM 502 Humanities and the Western Tradition, Part II
The focus is on the following four periods: The Renaissance, the Age of Absolutism, the Enlightenment to Revolution and the Industrial Revolution and beyond.

The Concentration

A faculty adviser will work with each student to design a concentration in the elective courses. The concentration—12 or more credits—is individually designed to meet specific needs and interests of the student. Students may take no more than two nonhumanities courses (i.e.; graduate courses in education, social sciences, natural sciences or business) as electives and these must be approved by the Humanities Advisory Committee. Sample concentration areas have included American Studies, Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, Religious Studies, Women’s Studies, Art History, Literature and African American Studies.

The Capstone Project

The Humanities program offers students one of two tracks for capstone experiences:

HUM 594 Portfolio, a 4-credit experience in which students will select one substantial paper each from three of their concentration courses, and work closely with their portfolio adviser to develop and revise these papers. Emphasis will be placed on creating a concentration-based connection between these papers. Students will then undergo portfolio review by a committee of three faculty members, one of whom is the portfolio adviser.

HUM 595 Capstone Project, a 4-credit experience involving extensive independent work, usually in the form of research and writing, conducted during one or more semesters. Students work with a faculty adviser to develop a topic and complete the project. Two other faculty members, or other qualified individuals, serve as members of the student’s project committee. Students who wish to pursue this track must receive an invitation and recommendation from faculty members, one of whom must serve as an adviser for the capstone project.

Entrance Requirements

Complete and submit the graduate school application available at

Request one copy of an official transcript reflecting the highest degree conferred. Transcripts should be sent directly from the institution to the graduate school.

Grade Point Average
A minimum 2.75 undergraduate GPA is required for admission to the graduate school.

Admission to the program includes a required formal essay of 500 words indicating how the degree relates to previous work experience, occupation or personal goals.