Master of Arts in Humanities Degree Requirement (M.A.H.)

A program of 36 credits fulfills the degree requirements.

All students must take the following four courses. Attention should be paid, in planning one’s program—best initiated in the fall semester of the year—that the first two of the required courses are offered ONLY in the fall semester, whereas the third and fourth of the required courses are offered ONLY in the spring semester. None of the four courses is offered during summer sessions.

  • HU 500, The Introductory Seminar (offered fall only)
  • HU 525, The Philadelphia Seminar (offered fall only)
  • HU 560, The Humanities Colloquium (offered spring only)
  • HU 698, The Capstone Seminar (offered spring only)
Each year, on a three-year rotation, the Humanities Colloquium (HU 560) is offered in one of the three “concentration areas” enumerated above as a, b, and c.

Since, again, every student must take at least one course in each of the “concentration areas” listed above as a, b, and c, it should be noted that the Humanities Colloquium may be used to satisfy this distribution requirement. For example: the student who might not otherwise choose to take a course in “concentration area” b, which area includes Fine Arts/Art History, Theatre, and Music, but who chooses, say, to take a Humanities Colloquium such as “Women in Modern Music,” will have satisfied both the Colloquium requirement and the distribution requirement, just by having taken that one course.

Independent study (HU 689)

Students may arrange for a maximum of two independent studies, each for 3 credits, over the course of her program. While independent study is not allowed during the student’s first semester, it becomes possible in any semester thereafter. Independent study allows the student to pursue unusually specialized work—work not offered in a normal course— under the supervision of a single professor, whose willingness to serve as the student’s supervisor has been secured in advance. Independent-study options must be explored with the program director before the student seeks to register, and requires the approval of a written proposal.

Choosing to Pursue a “Concentration” in the Program

As stated earlier, all students have the option of devoting up to 18 credits or half of their program to study in a single discipline or discipline area—or, alternatively, of spreading their coursework among a variety of disciplines and concentration areas. Neither approach is considered the “preferred” or “right” way to undertake the degree program. The student’s choice between these two options is made in consultation with the program director, and depends most of all on the student’s goals in seeking the Master of Arts in Humanities degree. Nor does this choice need to be made, inflexibly, at the outset of the student’s program; it may evolve as the student pursues her coursework.

A caution must be offered regarding the choice of a concentration, however: the size of the faculty and the range of courses offered might differ considerably from one discipline to the next. The larger departments among the Humanities at Arcadia are those in English, in Political and Historical Studies, and in International Peace and Conflict resolution. Fine Arts/Art History also constitutes a large department; but students in the M.A.H. program may undertake studio courses in the fine arts ONLY if they have the necessary background in studio art and ONLY if they have the prior approval of the Chair of the Fine Arts Department. This approval process requires an interview with the Chair of Fine Arts, and may entail a portfolio review.

That the size of the faculty in other disciplines such as Music, Philosophy and Religion, Art History, and Theater is more modest does not mean that students are prevented from seeking a concentration in one of these areas; it simply means that students interested in these areas have to have realistic expectations as to the range of courses that will be offered.

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