Master of Arts in the Humanities
Mount Saint Mary's College
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FAQs

How much does it cost to attend? The MA in Humanities Program is a very, competitively-priced graduate program that charges by the unit. Many students have taken advantage of scholarships, tuition discounts, and financial aid to help fund their education.  The Weekend Format, furthermore, is one that is conducive to full-time or part-time work, which means you don't have to give up your regular source of income in order to pursue your graduate degree.  For up-to-date tuition and fees information, please visit the Business Office.  

Who are the students? The students of the MA in Humanities Program come from a wide variety of professional and educational backgrounds. Our students are lawyers, artists, actors, writers, teachers, and more. They are self-motivated learners who are genuinely concerned about engaging with others on an intellectual level and developing a better understanding of their place in the world. Some of our students come directly from undergraduate programs and others are returning to school after an extended absence. (Student Profiles coming soon). 

Who are the faculty? The faculty of the MA in Humanities Program are all successful, dedicated academics or creative writers and teachers who are passionate about providing a personalized learning environment. Meet the faculty.

How long is the program?  The MA in Humanities program is designed to allow working adults to finish a graduate degree in two years. A student could possibly finish in slightly less than two years by adding a travel study and/or some one-unit courses to his/her course load of two classes per semester.

Can I take a semester off or take classes part time? The flexible nature of the program allows students to take courses at a pace that is right for them. While full time enrollment (6 units/semester) is necessary to graduate within two years, students may opt to take a partial load or even a semester away if personal, health, or professional obligations prevent full time enrollment. We encourage students to work closely with their advisor in such cases.

How much time can I expect to spend on homework?
  Students should expect to study a minimum of three hours for every hour of class-time. Work load typically increases at the end of the term when papers and final projects are due. Because there are two weeks (often three) between class meetings, students are able to create a study plan that works best for their individual needs.  Most of our students have full-time jobs in addition to their school work.

How many students are in each class? Small class size enables an intimate, personalized learning experience that encourages regular and sustained classroom discussions. 3-unit seminars have a maximum enrollment of 18 students and 1-unit seminars have a maximum enrollment of 20 students. 

How diverse are your course offerings? The Humanities Program is committed to providing a dynamic interdisciplinary curriculum that addresses age old questions such as what it means to be human as well as contemporary issues. Every semester offers new classes inspired by student requests and faculty interests.  Students have the option to take classes from any of the four fields of concentration (English, History, Cultural Studies, Creative Writing) or an Elective.  Be sure to attend the Humanities Brown Bag Lunch every semester to share your new class “wish list.” 

What are travel study classes? Travel study classes take Humanities students all over the world all while furthering students’ educational goals. In the past, classes have traveled to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Travel study classes typically last between 10-14 days and are scheduled so that they do NOT conflict with the usual 3-unit seminar meeting schedule. 3-unit travel study courses have a workload comparable to a 3-unit seminar, and  students should expect pre-travel reading assignments, at least two hours of daily class time while traveling, and a post-travel writing assignment. Additional fees will apply. To learn more about future travel study opportunities, visit Travel Study.

What can I expect in a 1-unit class? One unit classes meet from 9:00am-5:00pm on a Saturday and Sunday that do NOT conflict with the usual 3-unit seminar meeting schedule. Usually, the course is a special topic that was inspired by student or faculty interests. Students may choose to expedite their degree progress by enrolling in 1-unit classes in addition to their regular seminar classes. Students should expect to complete pre-meeting reading and a post-meeting writing assignment.

What are the attendance policies?  Missing a single class meeting is comparable to missing two entire weeks in a traditional program. Students must attend class regularly in order to ensure academic success. Students should not enroll in classes where they anticipate missing an entire class meeting. Unplanned absences due to personal emergencies are handled on a case-by-case basis by instructors.

How does the Catholic nature of the school affect the curriculum? In accordance with Catholic belief, the MA in Humanities Program is committed to the values of social justice, equality, and the fundamental dignity of the human being. It is also actively engaged in the centuries-long tradition of class-room debate and quality education that characterized the medieval universities at Oxford, Cambridge, and Paris.