Humanities M.A.

The program currently is not admitting new students. 

Degree: Master of Arts
Program Director: Jennifer Ballengee
410-704-5213 LA 5339
jballengee@towson.edu

The Master of Arts in Humanities provides advanced study in four disciplines of the humanities. The program benefits both teachers and other post-baccalaureate students seeking intellectual fulfillment or professional advancement.

Unlike the traditional master’s degree that specializes in just one area, the Master of Arts in Humanities program bridges four disciplines of the liberal arts: philosophy and religious studies, literature, history and rhetoric. It seeks to establish context and connections, linking significant texts with their intellectual and historical backgrounds from the perspectives of the disciplines of the program. Each course in the core engages texts in English or English translation from four epochs: the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Modern. Housed in the College of Liberal Arts, the program draws on the faculty of the departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies, English, History, and Foreign Languages. Its structure has three related parts:

  1. Core Texts
  2. Contexts and Connections
  3. Thesis or Anthology Options

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university**
  • GPA of 3.00, or 2.75 for conditional admission (last 60 undergraduate units)

The Humanities program accepts admission materials on a rolling basis, but priority deadlines are April 1 for Fall admission or November 1 for Spring admission. Send the following materials to:

University Admissions
Towson University
8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252

  • A statement of intent (500 words)
  • A research paper in any liberal arts discipline
  • Two letters of recommendation

Non-immigrant international students: See additional admission information in Graduate Admissions.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

COMBINED BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN ENGLISH AND M.A. IN HUMANITIES

The combined Bachelor’s-Master’s degree program in English and Humanities is designed to allow students to complete combined undergraduate and graduate courses in a shorter time frame, including 6 units taken during summer and/or winter terms. This program is open only to undergraduates pursuing the Literature track in English. For admission to this track as an undergraduate, the student must apply to the Director of the M.A. in Humanities Program before the second term of the junior year and meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of or current enrollment in 60 units (may include transfer credits)
  • Declaration of an English major in the Literature track
  • Completion of or current enrollment in at least 12 units of the English major, 6 of which should be:
    ENGL 300METHODS AND RESEARCH3
    Select one of the following:3
    WRITING ARGUMENT
    ACADEMIC ESSAY
    WRITING CREATIVE NON-FICTION
    WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE
    Total Units6
  • Overall GPA of 3.3 or better and a GPA in English of 3.3 or better
  • Demonstration of a high degree of proficiency in academic writing, to be determined by the Director of the Humanities program from your Humanities program admissions materials
  • 9 units taken at the 600-level after completion of the junior year will be double-counted toward fulfilling the 120 units required for the B.A.-B.S. and the 30 units required for the M.A. See Undergraduate Catalog for stipulations pertaining to the completion of the bachelor’s degree.

TRANSFER CREDIT

With the approval of the program director, students may apply 6 transfer units with the grade of “B” or better to the elective requirements of the program only.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The Master of Arts in Humanities requires completion of a 36-unit program of study: 18 units of core curriculum, 12 units of elective study and 6 units of thesis or course options. Students must have the approval of the program director before registering for any course to count for the humanities degree.

Required Courses (18 Units)
Students must complete six 3-unit courses from the following core areas: 18
The Humanities and Philosophical Inquiry HUMA 616 - HUMA 630 (at least one course)
The Humanities and Historical Inquiry HUMA 631 - HUMA 645 (at least one course)
The Humanities and Comparative Literary Inquiry HUMA 601 - HUMA 615 (at least one course)
The Humanities and the Rhetorical Tradition HUMA 611/PRWR 611
Electives (12 Units)
Students may take courses from approved offerings in the four participating departments (English, History, Foreign Languages, Philosophy and Religious Studies) and, with permission of the program director, from two approved courses in theatre, music or art history in the College of Fine Arts and Communication12
Thesis or Anthology Option (6 Units)
Select one of the following options: 16
Thesis and defense
Two approved courses from the home departments and presentation of a bound anthology of an introductory chapter and revised major seminar papers after consultation with a mentor
Total Units36
1

The thesis or anthology must be submitted to the director by the seventh week of the term in which the student plans to graduate.

1. Understanding master texts of Western Civilization part of sequential continuum in the contextual history of their own times.
2. Mastering historical, literary, and philosophical modes of inquiry into the texts.
3. Arguing a thesis about the texts from historical, literary, philosophical, and rhetorical modes of analysis.

Courses

HUMA 601 WAR IN LITERATURE (3)

Examination of the paradox of western war and literature in the classical, medieval, Renaissance and modern periods. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree.

HUMA 602 LITERATURE OF EMPIRE (3)

Analysis of imperial literature in classical, medieval, Renaissance and modern times. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree.

HUMA 603 DISEASE, HEALTH AND HEALING IN WESTERN LITERATURE (3)

Changing literary representation of disease, the infirm, and the healer from ancient times to the present. Authors include Sophocles, Cicero, Rabelais, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Ibsen and Camus.

HUMA 604 LOVE IN LITERATURE (3)

Study of love in Western literature in classical, medieval, Renaissance, and modern texts. Prerequisites: Bachelor's Degree.

HUMA 606 LIT: THE SYMPOSIUM (3)

Analysis of texts of the ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern eras, which explore issues through fictionalized, civil conversation. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree.

HUMA 611 RHETORIC: THE PURSUIT OF ELOQUENCE (3)

Concepts of rhetoric, from classical to contemporary, which have shaped persuasive and expository writing. Not open to student who have successfully completed PRWR or WRIT 611. Prerequisites: Two 600 level writing courses or consent of instructor.

HUMA 616 PHIL: THE HUMAN (3)

Analysis of changing concepts on the nature of being human through a reading of classical, medieval, Renaissance and modern text. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree.

HUMA 631 HISTORY OF HISTORICAL THOUGHT (3)

Philosophies of History from ancient to modern. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree.

HUMA 632 VISIONS OF HISTORY AND OF HUMAN NATURE (3)

Visions and themes of history in ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and modern texts. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree.

HUMA 633 COMPARITIVE BIOGRAPHY: THE PURSUIT OF HUMAN PERFECTION (3)

How does human life strive for perfection - whether spiritual, military, political, aesthetic or intellectual - and how do historians strive to shape those human lives into perfect biographies. Texts will include readings from the classical through the modern periods. Prerequisite: Bachelors degree.

HUMA 634 THE TRAVELER IN HISTORY (3)

Analysis of travel accounts and their role in Western intellectual debates about natural and cultural diversity. Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree.

HUMA 701 RELIGIOUS CURRENTS IN AMERICAN LITERATURE (3)

Religious currents in American Literature from the 17th century to the present. Prerequisite: Undergraduate degree.

HUMA 702 THE GOLDEN AGE OF ENGLISH SATIRE (3)

Study of English Satire of the 18th century in its intellectual, social and political contexts. Authors studied include Dryden, Swift, Pope, Fielding, Johnson and Austen.

HUMA 750 MASTER AUTHORS (3)

Study of a classic author of history, fine arts, literature, philosophy, religion or rhetoric. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits.

HUMA 751 MASTERWORKS SEMINAR (3)

Intensive study of a classic book of history, fine arts, literature, philosophy, politics, religion or rhetoric. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite: Bachelor's degree.

HUMA 752 MASTER THEMES SEMINAR (3)

Study of a major theme of Western Civilization in fine arts, history, literature, philospophy, religion or rhetoric. Prerequisites: Bachelor's Degree. May be repeated under a different subtitle. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 units.

HUMA 897 HUMANITIES THESIS (6)

Mentored and defended monograph in one of the following disciplines: art history, history, literature, philosophy, religion, or rhetoric. Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree, approval of the director, and successful proposal review. Open only to enrolled graduate students in Humanities.

HUMA 898 HUMANITIES THESIS (3)

Mentored and defended monograph in one of the following disciplines: art history, history, literature, philosophy, religion, or rhetoric. Prerequisites: Bachelors degree, approval of the director, and successful proposal review.

HUMA 899 THESIS CONTINUUM (1)

Thesis Continuum.