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University Bulletin

Graduate Degree Programs

Humanities (HUMAN)

Program Home Page (Opens New Window)

PATRICIA E. JOHNSON, Graduate Program Coordinator
School of Humanities
W-356 Olmsted Building
Penn State Harrisburg
777 W. Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA 17057
pej1@psu.edu; 717-948-6329

Degree Conferred:

M.A.

The Graduate Faculty

  • George W. Boudreau, Ph.D. (Indiana) Associate Professor of Humanities and History
  • C. Patrick Burrowes, Ph.D. (Temple) Associate Professor of Communications and Humanities
  • Gloria B. Clark, Ph.D. (SUNY, Binghamton) Associate Professor of Humanities and Spanish
  • Margaret Rose Jaster, Ph.D. (Maryland) Associate Professor of Humanities and Literature
  • Patricia E. Johnson, Ph.D. (Minnesota) Professor of Humanities and Literature
  • Peter J. Kareithi, Ph.D. (Massachusetts) Associate Professor of Humanities and Communications
  • Glen A. Mazis, Ph.D. (Yale) Professor of Humanities and Philosophy
  • Catherine A. Rios, M.F.A. (Columbia) Associate Professor of Humanities and Communications
  • Kathryn Robinson, Ph.D. (Texas Tech) Director, School of Humanities; Professor of Humanities
  • Yu Shi, Ph.D. (Iowa) Assistant Professor of Speech Communications and Humanities
  • Troy M. Thomas, Ph.D. (California, Berkeley) Associate Professor of Humanities and Art
  • Robin Veder, Ph.D. (William and Mary) Associate Professor of Humanities and Art History/Visual Culture
  • Craig Welsh, M.F.A. (Marywood) Associate Professor of Humanities and Communications
  • Matthew T. Wilson, Ph.D. (Rutgers) Professor of Humanities and English
  • Samuel Winch, Ph.D. (Indiana) Associate Professor of Humanities and Communications
  • David Witwer, Ph.D. (Brown) Associate Professor of History and Humanities

This program is interdisciplinary, emphasizing critical theories and interpretive approaches that transcend disciplinary boundaries as well as providing advanced study within various humanities disciplines. These include art history, communications, history, literature, music history, philosophy, and writing. The program offers small classes, individualized advising, and assistance in developing advanced analytical, synthetic, and interpretive skills. It accommodates both part- and full-time students.

Admission Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to general Graduate School requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Applicants must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a teriary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree msut be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates. In addition, applicants must have earned at least a 3.00 grade-point average in their junior and senior years and have studied in two humanities disciplines (usually a major in one area and some course work in another). Exceptions may be made for those with special backgrounds or abilities who are committed to advanced interdisciplinary study. All applicants must submit the following items: an application form and fee; two copies of official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended; a letter explaining personal or career goals and reasons for wishing to enroll in the program; two letters of reference (preferably from previous professors or others familiar with the applicant's intellectual/creative work or interests); and a writing sample (an academic paper; if this is not available, consult the graduate coordinator for an alternative).

Students applying for fellowships or assistantships must submit scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or similar examination by January 15. An admissions committee often interviews applicants in person or by telephone. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Degree Requirements

All students must complete 30 credits, 18 of which must be at the 500 level, achieve a 3.00 grade-point average, and successfully complete an interdisciplinary master's production (academic thesis or creative production with academic essay). Students work with their faculty advisers and supervisory committees to select courses in accordance with their individual interests.

Courses required of all students include HUM 500, a foundation course in research methods; HUM 560, a capstone course in interdisciplinary theory and research; and HUM 580, the master's production. (See course titles and descriptions in this section.) Recommended courses include HUM 525 Studies in Aesthetics, and HUM 535 Topics in Cultural and Intellectual History, both multidisciplinary courses, covering the content of various disciplines form the perspective of one discipline. To acquire breadth in the humanities, students must take at least one course in each of three disciplines; single-discipline courses are available as HUM 515 Seminar (repeatable for credit). Other courses in particular disciplines are available at the 400 level. Other available 500-level courses are listed in this section. Students planning to teach in a junior or community college may arrange a teaching internship (HUM 550), subject to appropriate preparation and approval by both the program and the community college.

A full-time student can expect to complete the program in four semesters, a part-time student in six or more semesters. Students are expected to complete all requirements for the degree within six years, although the deadline may be extended at the discretion of the graduate coordinator in accordance with policies approved by the Graduate Council.

Required Courses

HUMANITIES (HUM)
500. RESEARCH METHODS AND SCHOLARLY INQUIRY IN THE HUMANITIES (3)
560. INTERRELATIONS IN THE HUMANITIES (3)
580. MASTER'S PRODUCTION (1-6)

Recommended Courses

HUMANITIES (HUM)
525. STUDIES IN AESTHETICS (3)
535. TOPICS IN CULTURAL AND INTELLECTUAL HISTORY (3 per semester, maximum of 9)

Other Courses

HUMANITIES (HUM)
502. ENGLISH COMPOSITION STUDIES (3)
515. SEMINAR (3 per semester, maximum of 9)
Unit A. Art History (3)
Unit B. History. (3)
Unit C. Literature (3)
Unit D. Music History and Analysis (3)
Unit E. Philosophy (3)
Unit F. Communications (3)
Unit G. Writing (3)
530. SEMINAR IN COMPARATIVE ARTS (3 per semester, maximum of 9)
550. JUNIOR COLLEGE TEACHING INTERNSHIP (3)
590. COLLOQUIUM (1-3)
596. INDIVIDUAL STUDIES (1-9)
597. SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9)

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

HUMANITIES (HUM) course list

 

DATE LAST REVIEWED BY GRADUATE SCHOOL: 5/26/04

Last updated: 6/5/12