Master of Arts in Humanities

DEPARTMENT AFFILIATIONS: ENGLISH, LANGUAGES AND CULTURE, 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

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, and HUM 298C Graduate Writing Review, in either their first or second semester in the program. These courses are 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. To qualify students must complete four or more courses in creative writing with a grade of A- or better from the following classes: Children's Literature (229); Fiction (230); Poetry (231); Screenwriting (232); Non-Fiction Writing (233); Screenwriting Special Topics (238); Playwriting (246); Advanced Playwriting (247); 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 Humanities Program Director.


Culmination Course (3 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.

HUM 298A Introduction to the Humanities (3)

This workshop, taken in the student's first or second semester, explores the concept and interdisciplinary nature of the Humanities tradition from Classical Antiquity to the Modern Era and provides an introduction/review of graduate level research methods and academic writing. Required.

HUM 298B Advanced Research for Humanities (1-3)

This seminar/workshop is suggested for students working on their capstone projects.  It will emphasize skills that are relevant to handling large scale research projects. Students will learn how to manage a diverse body of resources from digital and print sources, manage time effectively for research and writing, revise for submission or publication, and present in a formal environment.

HUM 298C Graduate Writing Review (3)

Review of basic writing skills; taken in the first or second semester. Required for those who do not test out. Does not fulfill any course requirement, nor does credit apply to the Master’s degree.

HUM 298D Grammar Review (1)

A one-unit review of standard grammar and punctuation for those students needing a refresher or first-time instruction in the rules of written English. Does not fulfill any course requirement, nor does credit apply to the Master’s Degree.

HUM 299A Approaches to Teaching (1)

This one-unit class provides instruction and practice in pedagogical method. Students act as Teaching Assistants during the term under the guidance of an assigned lead professor. Students also read and discuss articles on pedagogical issues and submit an essay at the end of the semester. In addition, successful completion of the course depends upon a positive report submitted by the lead professor.

The class meets at the beginning of the semester for Teacher Training and again on the final weekend on for half a day. During the semester, students meet for one hour lunches during teaching weekends to discuss practices and issues that arise in their classrooms.

Prerequisites: To be eligible, students will have completed their Humanities coursework and be at the thesis-writing stage. Course repeatable up to three times with approval of the Humanities Committee.

HUM 299B Internship (1-6)

The internship is designed to apply Humanities education to a "real world" setting. On-site experience is required and the number of hours will determine the number of units earned. Development of a professional portfolio, including a positive report submitted by the supervisor, and a report on the experience are required at the completion of the course. Internship is selected and mutually agreed upon by student and professor.

Humanities Core Courses

The following are broad general categories that encompass specific courses designed by individual instructors. Any of the below may be repeated as the topic varies and may be offered for one, two, or three units.

Humanities: Cultural Studies Courses

HUM 270CS The Immigrant Experience (1-3)

Explores the perspective of men and women who have left their homelands to live temporarily or permanently in new cultures.

HUM 271CS Landscapes and Timelines: The Development of Social Units Around the Globe (1-3)

Studies the chronological development of social units around the world from the beginning of time to the present with emphasis on the community and the individual.

HUM 272CS Sex and Gender (1-3)

Using the perspective of gender as a social construct, these courses explore how the roles of men and women differ with different societies, looking at rites of passage, attitudes and values around marriage, age-based and socio-economic perceptions of “other,” as well as variance in attitudes toward sexual behavior.

HUM 273CS The Faces of Spirituality (1-3)

These courses look at how various cultural groups conceptualize spirituality and worship, and how such ideas determine people’s perception of, and relationship to the cosmos.

HUM 275CS Culture Through Film (1-3)

Films as visual literature afford direct access to the hidden world of culture. These courses analyze through film a selected number of cultures from different parts of the world. Using a comparative approach to understand these films as texts, we parallel the traditional study of literature, but with the specific intent of studying culture.

HUM 276CS Aesthetics and Taste (1-3)

The objective of this course is to understand the many different criteria for, and conceptions of, what is perceived to be “beautiful” and “good” across global cultures. A wide selection of topics will be explored, such as fashion and taste; inner and outer beauty; and creative representations of beauty in music, dance, architecture, and art.

HUM 277CS Culture of Time and Space (1-3)

These two universal and all-encompassing dimensions are conceived of and understood with considerable variation in different societies. The issue of time as duration, of monochronic and polychronic time will be explored, as well as the field of proxemics which is the study of how people conceive and use space—social, visual, auditory, and architectural space among others.

HUM 278CS The Silk Road: A Cultural Mosaic (1-3)

This course will study the historic Silk Road, its historical evolution and the cultural geographical aspects of cultural regions along the road, cultural diffusion especially of art and religious ideas, cultural integration, human landscapes, and human ecology.

HUM 279CS Biography, Autobiography and Anthology (1-3)

Personal accounts of men and women who have had a global impact across cultures and time. Topic will be determined by the instructor.

HUM 280CS Culture and Literature (1-3)

Takes a cultural approach to literature from the U.S. and around the world.

HUM 281CS Myths Across Cultures (1-3)

Studies significant patterns of world myths, fairy tales, folk lore, and theories of mythology as both a reflection of culture and of universal human themes.

HUM 282CS The Early Modern Experience (1-3)

This course will focus on the era that gave rise to Humanism, printing, the Renaissance, and the European encounter with the Americas. Particular emphasis on the interaction of cultures, languages, and religions.

HUM 284CS Cultural Studies Through Travel (1-3)

These thematic courses explore special topics in cultural studies in an on-site setting. Courses include traditional lecture and class discussion as well as field experiences related to the subject under study. For TS courses offered by departments other than Humanities, students will register for HUM 295 and submit the proper IS form with stipulates that students will plan a series of readings, papers, journals, etc. focused on a specific topic or area of interest and will enlist an instructor to oversee the project. Together, student and instructor will establish a timeline, goals, and requirements for completion. These must comply with the MSMC requirements stated on the form.

HUM 289CS Special Topics in Cultural Studies: (1-3)

Explores areas of special interest in cultural studies. May be repeated as topics vary.

Humanities: English Courses

HUM 203E Literature through Travel Study (1-3)

These thematic courses explore special topics in literature in an on-site setting. Courses include traditional lecture and class discussion as well as field experiences related to the subject under study. For TS courses offered by departments other than Humanities, students will register for HUM 295 and submit the proper IS form which stipulates that students will plan a series of readings, papers, journals, etc. focused on a specific topic or area of interest and will enlist an instructor to oversee the project. Together, student and instructor will establish a timeline, goals, and requirements for completion. These must comply with the MSMC requirements stated on the form.

HUM 212E Classical Literature (1-3)

Looks at writings from ancient times—such as Homer, Virgil, Ovid--in translation. May include non-western texts. Instructor determines focus.

HUM 234E British Literature (1-3)

A series of courses that focus on British literature. Instructor will determine the scope and emphasis of the class.

HUM 235E American Literature (1-3)

A series of courses that focus on American literature and the American experience. Instructor will determine the scope and emphasis of the class.

HUM 239E Period Studies (1-3)

A series of courses that cover major works of literature in the context of their literary/historical period from the Medieval to Modern eras. Instructor will determine the scope and emphasis of the class.

HUM 240E Genre Focus (1-3)

A series of courses focused on genres (poetry, novel, etc.). These courses may choose to study the history of a particular genre or may study a series of works all of which fall within a single genre. Instructor may choose an interdisciplinary approach, e.g., Poetry and the Visual Arts ; Science and the Novel.

HUM 241E Literary Theory (1-3)

This course is an introduction to the major critical theories and practice in applying the theories to literature. The course may offer an historical overview or focus on more recent theories beginning with New Criticism or Poststructuralism.

HUM 242E The Gothic Tradition (1-3)

The Gothic novel came into its own in the mid-eighteenth century but had its heyday in the nineteenth century. This course offers a variety of approaches to the topic, ranging from vampire literature to female Gothic, to race, gender and imperialism in Victorian Gothic and/or American Gothic, depending on the instructor.

HUM 243E Voices From the Margins (1-3)

A series of courses on literature written by American women and minorities or explore themes relevant to the minority experience.

HUM 244E World Literature in Translation (1-3)

Interdisciplinary study of works in world literature representing a variety of periods, themes, and genres. Instructor will determine the scope and emphasis of the class.

HUM 245E Single Author Seminar (1-3)

In-depth study of a single author such as William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, etc. using a multi-disciplinary approach.

HUM 249E Special Topics in Literature (1-3)

Open topic to be determined by instructor. May be repeated as topic varies. (See Eng 192)

Humanities: History Courses

HUM 250H Political Theory (1-3)

This course examines political theory as an organizing principle of governance and its influence on social, political, and economic structures in society. The instructor may focus on any one, or several, major political theories and theorists.

HUM 251H The Survival of Democracy in America: Alexis De Tocqueville and His Critics (1-3)

This course examines the fragile nature of democracy, and the political and social institutions that can serve to strengthen it through an examination of Tocqueville’s classic work, Democracy in America. Students will consider Tocqueville’s critics, the relevance of Tocqueville’s analysis under current political conditions, and assess his predictions for the survival of democracy in America.

HUM 252H Great Historical Figures (1-3)

Looks at the achievements and contributions (or crimes) of great men and women from all historical periods and how they made a lasting impact on the world. Specific subject and era to be chosen by the instructor.

HUM 253H Critical Eras in US History (1-3)

This course will examine historical, social, economic, and cultural issues during a specific era in US history chosen by the instructor.

HUM 254H Critical Eras in Asian History (1-3)

This course will examine historical, social, economic, and cultural issues during a specific era in Asian history chosen by the instructor.

HUM 255H Critical Eras in African History (1-3)

This course will examine historical, social, economic, and cultural issues during a specific era in African history chosen by the instructor.

HUM 256H Critical Eras in Latin American/Caribbean History (1-3)

This course will examine historical, social, economic, and cultural issues during a specific era in Latin American or Caribbean history chosen by the instructor.

HUM 257H Critical Eras in European History (1-3)

This course will examine historical, social, economic, and cultural issues during a specific era in European history chosen by the instructor.

HUM 258H Critical Eras in Middle Eastern History (1-3)

This course will examine historical, social, economic, and cultural issues during a specific era in Middle Eastern history chosen by the instructor.

HUM 259H Racism, Antisemitism, and Genocide in the Modern Age (1-3)

This course will examine issues of racism, antisemitism, and genocide during a specific era in history chosen by the instructor.

HUM 260H Roots of the Holocaust in Western Culture: Antisemitism from Antiquity to the Shoah (1-3)

This course will study the origins of antisemitism in Western culture, from its roots in the first century of the common era through the Middle Ages. The course will further examine the connection between the roots of antisemitism and the Nazi Holocaust of the twentieth century.

HUM 261H African American History: Seeking Liberation (1-3)

A series of thematic courses that explore the African American experience from slavery through contemporary times, studying such issues as legal, social, and political struggles for equality, civil rights, Black nationalism, and Black political movements.

HUM 262H African American History: Culture and Image (1-3)

A series of thematic courses that explores the Black image in American culture through time, including Black imagery in literature, film, advertising, music, and myth. The course will also explore what role the popular image had on the status of Blacks in American society.

HUM 263H African American History: Building Community (1-3)

A series of thematic courses that explore the African American experience of community building in the United States in all its manifestations, including religious, social, professional, and utopian communities.

HUM 264H Culture and History (1-3)

A series of thematic courses that explores history from the perspective of popular culture, including literature, art, film, television, and other cultural expressions of the time period studied.

HUM 265H Gender and History (1-3)

A series of thematic courses that explores history from the perspective of gender, including all expressions of feminine and masculine societal relations. The course may also explore issues of sexuality and sexual identity.

HUM 266H Religion and History (1-3)

A series of thematic courses that explores religion as an organizing principle or driving force in history.

HUM 267H Commerce and History (1-3)

A series of thematic courses that explores history through the perspective of business, technology, economics, and wealth.

HUM 268H History through Travel/Study (1-3)

These thematic courses explore special topics in history in an on-site setting. Courses include traditional lecture and class discussion as well as field experiences related to the subject under study. For TS courses offered by departments other than Humanities, students will register for HUM 295 and submit the proper IS form with stipulates that students will plan a series of readings, papers, journals, etc. focused on a specific topic or area of interest and will enlist an instructor to oversee the project. Together, student and instructor will establish a timeline, goals, and requirements for completion. These must comply with the MSMC requirements stated on the form.

HUM 269H Special Topics in History (1-3)

Individually designed courses that explore historical questions or topics related to the instructor’s special expertise.

Humanities Electives

HUM 201 The Humanities Through Art (1-3)

Offers interdisciplinary topics in the study of visual art. Subject, era, and focus to be determined by the instructor.

HUM 202 The Humanities through Philosophy (1-3)

Courses examine interdisciplinary topics in the study of philosophy. Subject, era, and focus to be determined by the instructor.

HUM 207 Topics in Religious Studies (1-3)

A series of courses that focus on topics related to the study of religion, both Christianity and world religions.

HUM 211 Explorations of Non-Western Ideas (1-3)

Interdisciplinary exploration of non-Western ideas—expressions and perspectives of India, China, Japan, Africa, and Southeast Asia—focusing on the broad themes of individual, society, creativity, and cosmos.

HUM 222 Charles Darwin: His Life and His Legacy (1-3)

Biology, sociology, psychology, even theology, literature, and the arts have all been shaped by the Darwinian paradigm. Politicians struggle with the impact of his theories, which continue to drive the most fundamental questions: “Who are we, and where did we come from?” This course looks at the historical Darwin and the contemporary understanding of Darwinism on post-modern life.

HUM 224 20th Century World Views (1-3)

Surveys contemporary world views, including some that profoundly shaped the world in the 20th Century, and now define the 21st Century. Includes such modes of thought as idealism, phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, Marxism, critical theory, psychoanalysis, structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, postmodernism, and feminism. Thematically, our interdisciplinary concern will be with such issues as the rise of Humanism and the reaction against it, the flirtation with Marxism, the rise of the women’s movement, the loss of colonial empires, etc

HUM 225 Special Topics in Humanities (1-3)

May be repeated as topic varies.

HUM 295 Directed Individual Study (1-3)

May be repeated for credit. Must comply with the MSMC requirements stated on the DS form.

Humanities: Creative Writing

Note: Creative Writing courses may not be used for English credit. All creative writing courses are repeatable one time with the permission of the Humanities Program especially if the course emphasis changes, i.e. Comedy to Drama. Only new work may be submitted for credit.

HUM 229C Children’s Literature (1-3)

This class studies and produces literature for children, ranging from writing texts for picture books to drafting short stories and longer fiction for young adult readers. Focus will be determined by the instructor. May be repeated as topic varies.

HUM 230CW Fiction (1-3)

Through both reading and writing, this class delves into considerations of elements of “style,” and “voice,” exploring character development, plot, dialogue, time, place, stream of consciousness, and suspension of disbelief. Type of writing ranges from short pieces of fiction to chapters for novels. Method of instruction also varies with the instructor and may include “workshop” in which each student’s writing is read by the rest of the class for constructive criticism.

HUM 231CW Poetry (1-3)

In this workshop students will write their own poems with guidance, prompts and forms given by the instructor. They will share their work with classmates for constructive criticism. Expect wondrous things to happen!

HUM 232CW Writing for Screen and Television (1-3)

An introduction to the craft of script writing for an original motion-picture screenplay or teleplay, with emphasis on story structure, character, and the language of film. Students study produced screenplays and pilots; write exercises in character development, scene construction, dialogue, and description. Expected to complete first act of an original screenplay or a treatment and two acts of an original television pilot.

HUM 233CW Non-Fiction Writing (1-3)

A form of non-fiction, essay writing, was considered high art in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today, it’s nearly a lost art. Students are re-introduced to the essay and other non-fiction for that include memoirs, journals, and letters.

HUM 234CW Advanced Screenwriting (1-3)

For those students who have taken HUM 232CW and would like to continue their writing in an intensive workshop. This course assumes knowledge of screenplay basics such as screenplay format, act structure, and treatments. Students will make significant progress in completing a screenplay or television pilot during the semester. Prerequisite: 232CW or permission of the instructor.

HUM 246CW Playwriting (1-3)

An introduction to the craft of writing for the stage, based on the elements of the traditional stage. Students will draw upon classical forms to create plays that are suitable for the modern theatre of today.

HUM 247CW Advanced Playwriting (1-3)

Students are expected to have some knowledge of the history and elements of classical and traditional drama. They will draw upon those forms to create plays that are marketable in today’s more open and flexible theatre.

Prerequisite: HUM 246CW or permission of the instructor.

HUM 248CW Special Topics in Creative Writing (1-3)

May be repeated as topic varies.

Humanities: Capstone Courses

HUM 296A Capstone Project Proposal Workshop (1)

Workshop prepares students for their proposal for the final project. Student should have completed 24 units before registering for this course. This workshop is graded for course credit. Required.

HUM 296B Capstone Project (2)

Students may elect to do a Master's thesis or a creative project under the direction of a faculty advisor. Before registering for the project, students must complete HUM 296A and must have their proposals approved by their advisors, the Humanities Committee, and the Director of the Program. Forms and guidelines are available from the Program Director. Required.

HUM 297ABCD Capstone Project Continuation (1,1,1,1)

Students may register for additional units if necessary to complete the final project/thesis.