Institute of Humanities
3041 Batten Arts and Letters
Master of Arts - Humanities
Avi Santo, Graduate Program Director
The Institute of Humanities at Old Dominion University offers a Master of Arts in Humanities in the College of Arts and Letters. The program, which promotes interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis on critical theory and cultural studies, allows students to pursue individualized programs of study that incorporate classes from across departments within the college. Students in the program are encouraged to develop their curricular and extra-curricular activities around one of two thematic anchors: the digital humanities and/or humanities in the Hampton Roads. Each student works closely with the program director to create an appropriate program of study.
The Humanities master's program is open to all qualified holders of a B.A. or B.S. and is designed for full-time or part time students, students who have recently completed their bachelor’s degree, as well as nontraditional or adult students. Although admission is selective, the Humanities program recognizes that each individual has unique qualifications that should be taken into consideration.
In addition to meeting general University requirements, an applicant must have an undergraduate average of 3.25 overall, as well as 24 hours in liberal arts disciplines. All students seeking admission to the humanities program are required to submit recent GRE scores. Although admission is selective, the University recognizes that each individual possesses unique qualifications that will be taken into consideration. An essay of 500 words must be submitted with the application material. The essay should
- Propose a general program of study
- Discuss personal, intellectual, and professional goals
- Explain the relationship of those goals to the intended program of study
All application inquiries should be made to the Office of Admissions.
Once students gain admission to the program, they may pursue the 36-hour thesis option or the non-thesis option. All students must take HUM 601, HUM 602, HUM 603, HUM 604, and HUM 692. Thesis students enroll in HUM 698 or HUM 699; non-Thesis students enroll in HUM 693. Students may only take 12 hours at the 500 level. Students are required to complete their graduate work within a 6-year period.
All students must take the following five required courses. These courses provide an introduction to humanities research, critical theory (601) and methods (602), ongoing debates about the future of the humanities in a digital era (604), introduce students to interdisciplinary research and teaching (603), and serve as a foundation for each student’s individualized program of study. HUM 692 prepares students for their final project.
|HUM 601||Introduction to the Humanities||3|
|HUM 602||Theory and Methods in Humanities||3|
|HUM 603||Preparing Humanities Teachers & Scholars Pro-seminar||3|
|HUM 604||Debates in the Digital Humanities||3|
|HUM 692||Humanities Thesis and Non-Thesis Preparation||3|
Students pursuing the thesis option must take HUM 698-HUM 699 (thesis, six hours). The thesis is to be based on original scholarly research and should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the humanities degree. Each student will choose a faculty advisor who will chair a thesis committee appointed by the director of the Humanities Institute. The thesis committee will direct and evaluate the student’s work and consists of faculty members from at least two different Arts and Letters disciplines. Upon completion of the thesis, the committee will conduct an oral examination and student defense of the thesis. A formal written statement explaining and justifying the project must be submitted by the student before the oral examination.
Students selecting the non-thesis option must take the capstone seminar, HUM 693. Students have the option of creating a theoretically informed final project instead of a traditional thesis. Individual projects must be approved by the program director, but can include creative works, art installations, film and video, interactive and born-digital works, as well as other forms of community engagement.
M.A. Emphasis Areas
The Master of Arts in Humanities is interdisciplinary in focus. Choosing from more than 70 graduate-level courses offered through various departments of the College of Arts and Letters each semester, students may select their own emphasis and design a program in order to meet their own intellectual and professional objectives, or they may select a pre-approved concentration with a more structured program of study. Students will work closely with the program director to design a coherent program of study that encourages critical thinking, individual vision and dynamic scholarship. Together, the student and program director design an emphasis area that is comprised of courses from across the disciplines and fields in the College of Arts and Letters. These include art history, linguistics, literature, foreign languages and cultures, history, international studies, music, philosophy, political studies, geography, sociology, anthropology, communication, film studies, and women’s/gender studies.
The Institute is currently developing strength areas in the digital humanities and humanities in the Hampton Roads, around which we hope to generate grant funded collaborations and graduate student resources. These areas are also intended to serve as thematic anchors that students carry with them across their individualized and interdisciplinary course of study, proving grounded opportunities for students to develop coherent programs of study within the Institute’s flexible curriculum. These areas of focalization also provide opportunity for students taking varied courses to form community.
Visual Studies Concentration
The Master of Arts in Humanities –Visual Studies Concentration emphasizes interdisciplinary studies, and allows students to pursue individualized programs of study. In addition to the core courses in the Humanities and one core course in Art (Visual Arts Across Media and Time), a curriculum comprised of studies in Art Education, Art History, Studio Art can be combined with courses in other disciplines housed in the College of Arts and Letters. These include Communication, English, Philosophy, History, Foreign Languages, Music and Performing Arts, Women’s Studies, Sociology, Geography, Political Science, and International Studies.
At the center of the Visual Studies Concentration course of study is the required Visual Arts Across Media and Time seminar course. This course is an introduction to and overview of creative, curricular, and research activities in contemporary art, design, art education, and art history. Through lectures, readings, Students will gain an overview of creative theory and practice in contemporary art, design, art education, and art history. Through written research assignments they will gain critical and analytical skills that will broaden their concepts about art and culture. Through class studio projects, they will acquire an immediate awareness of, and experience in, creative process production while enhancing their hands-on artistic skills. The overview of the different disciplines (Art Education, Art History, and Studio Art) will guide students to selecting their own research direction in the Visual Studies track. discussion, and creative work, students will engage with ideas and artwork across a broad spectrum of contemporary art education, process, investigation, and production. Faculty lecturers representing different areas in the art programs (Art Education, Art History, Art Studio) will provide insights into theory and practice in their disciplines. Lectures and readings will introduce significant concepts, figures, and works in the respective fields. Through creative written and studio projects, students will explore research activities and develop their personal skills
The degree requires 36-hours in Thesis and Non-Thesis (Project) options.
Those who intend to pursue teaching positions at the Community College or 4-year College/University level must complete at least 18 hours in the intended discipline
For those intending to pursue studies in studio art, the submission of a portfolio of five examples of the applicant’s work in the area of intended concentration (Fine Arts, Prints, Graphic Design) is required.
For those intending to pursue studies in art history, the submission of a writing sample is required. The writing sample should demonstrate your ability to research and write a scholarly paper on a topic in Art History. The paper should be no more than ten pages in length and must be fully referenced according to a professional, scholarly style manual.
Women’s Studies Certificate
A Women’s Studies Certificate is available to graduate students through the Institute of Humanities (in association with the women’s studies program) upon completion of the following 15-hour program of course work:
|WMST 560||Feminist Theory||3|
|WMST 570||Feminist Research Methods||3|
|At least 9 additional credits in 500 or 600-level courses *||9|
Courses approved for the women’s studies curriculum and drawn from various disciplines (such as English, history, political science and geography, foreign languages, art history, women’s studies, etc.). No more than six of these credits may be taken in any one field. At least one of the courses chosen must be on the 600 level.
Only students who hold a B.A. or B.S. degree with an overall GPA of 2.80 may apply for the graduate women’s studies certificate. Students must maintain a 3.00 grade point average in the 15 graduate credits needed for the certificate. The women’s studies certificate may be undertaken independently or in combination with a graduate degree in humanities (or in combination with another graduate degree). Students wishing to pursue the certificate through the Institute of Humanities must gain admission to the humanities graduate program before the completion of nine graduate hours and must satisfy all of the admission requirements for the program including the GRE.
The director of the women’s studies program or a designee will serve as advisor for students who gain admission to the humanities program only for the purpose of pursuing the graduate women’s studies certificate. Students pursuing the certificate in combination with a graduate degree in the humanities will have their progress monitored by both a women’s studies advisor and the director of the Institute of Humanities.
The Institute of Humanities offers several BA/BS-MA accelerated degree programs, through which ODU undergraduate students can apply classes toward an MA in the Humanities and obtain a graduate degree within one additional year of study.
Current accelerated degree programs include:
- Cultural Geography
- Visual Studies
- Women’s Studies
For additional information please contact the Institute of Humanities at: http://al.odu.edu/hum/.
HUM 595. Topics in Humanities. 1-3 Credits.
1-3 credits. Advanced study of selected topics designed for small groups of qualified students to work on subjects of mutual interest which may not be offered regularly. These courses will appear in the course schedule and will be more fully descried in information distributed to academic advisors.
HUM 597. Tutorial Work in Humanities. 1-3 Credits.
1-3 credits. Independend reading and study on a topic selected under the direction of an instructor.
HUM 601. Introduction to the Humanities. 3 Credits.
Lecture, 3 hours. 3 credits. This class introduces students to the study of the humanities with a focus on the enduring questions and ideas of human history. These include questions of culture, reality, society, power, truth, communication, and mediation. Students address these questions and ideas by engaging with some of the great works of social theory from the twentieth century.
HUM 602. Theory and Methods in Humanities. 3 Credits.
Lecture 3 hours; 3 credits. This class instructs students in various theoretical and methodological approaches for conducting research within the humanistic disciplines. Students will become familiar with literary theory, critical/cultural studies, historical methods, qualitative social scientific approaches, and visual studies, as well as the conduct of research across disciplinary boundaries.
HUM 603. Preparing Humanities Teachers & Scholars Pro-seminar. 3 Credits.
The purposes of the pro-seminar are A)to help prepare Humanities graduate students to teach discipline-specific college-level introductory courses from an interdisciplinary perspective, and B)to provide Humanities students with opportunities to engage scholars who are producing new work across a range of disciplines, in turn learning to present their own research in public.
HUM 604. Debates in the Digital Humanities. 3 Credits.
This class will emphasize the ways in which the digital humanities intersects with critical theory and cultural studies approaches to studying digital media. Students will gain an understanding of the emerging role of the digital humanities across several academic disciplines. The course employs an experimental immersive learning component. Prerequisites: HUM 601 and departmental approval.
HUM 630. The Information Society. 3 Credits.
Lecture 3 hours; 3 credits. This course explores the theories, questions, claims and myths that have accompanied the rise of new communication technologies and electronically derived digital information that define the “Electronic Revolution,” also known as the Information Society. (cross-listed with COMM 630).
HUM 640. Television and Politics. 3 Credits.
Lecture 3 hours; 3 credits. This class closely examines television’s role in shaping and reflecting contemporary American political culture, the conduct of foreign policy, and formal political processes, such as elections. (cross-listed with COMM 640).
HUM 657. Introduction to American Popular Culture. 3 Credits.
Lecture 3 hours; 3 credits. This course introduces students to the history and diversity of popular culture forms, industries, criticism, and debates in the United States. The course is interdisciplinary, with a focus on the relationship of cultural hierarchy to social and national identity.
HUM 668. Internship. 3 Credits.
3 credits. This course allows graduate students in Humanities to pursue a structured work experience in a field relevant to a student’s course of study. Student will work with a supervisor at the work site and a faculty advisor in Humanities. Requirements include a formal essay connected to the experience, portfolio, and satisfactory evaluation by the supervisor. Permission of Humanities director required. Pass/fail grading only.
HUM 692. Humanities Thesis and Non-Thesis Preparation. 3 Credits.
This class is designed to prepare students for completion of their final projects in the program. The class is designed to teach students how to conduct research. Students workshop their projects as they are being developed. It also teaches students to navigate the various institutional requirements for completing this work. Prerequisites: HUM 601, HUM 602, HUM 603, and departmental approval.
HUM 693. Non-Thesis Project. 3 Credits.
Students have the option of creating a theoretically-informed final project instead of a traditional thesis. Individual projects must be approved by the program director, but can include creative works, art installations, film and video, interactive and born-digital works, as well as other forms of community engagement. Projects are developed with help of supervisor. Prerequisites: HUM 601, HUM 602, HUM 603, HUM 604, HUM 692 and departmental approval.
HUM 694. Interdisciplinarity and the Humanities: Theory and Practice. 3 Credits.
Lecture/seminar 3 hours; 3 credits. Prerequisites: HUM 601, 602. The capstone seminar for non-thesis humanities students. The seminar provides a forum in which to discuss contemporary theories and questions concerning interdisciplinary humanities research. Students will also develop and complete a research paper which reflects their own interdisciplinary programs of study.
HUM 696. Special Topics in Humanities. 1-3 Credits.
1-3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Appropriate advanced study of small groups on special topics selected under the direction of an instructor. Conferences and papers as appropriate.
HUM 697. Tutorial Work in Humanities. 1-3 Credits.
1-3 credits. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Independent reading and study on a topic to be selected under the direction of an instructor. Conferences and papers as appropriate.
HUM 698. Thesis. 3 Credits.
3 credits. Prerequisites: HUM 601 and 602.
HUM 699. Thesis. 3,6 Credits.
3 or 6 credits. Course requirement for thesis option.
HUM 795. Topics. 3 Credits.
HUM 796. Topics. 3 Credits.
HUM 797. Tutorial Work in the Humanities. 1-3 Credits.
1-3 credits. Independent reading and study under the direction of an instructor on a topic to be selected.
HUM 895. Topics. 3 Credits.
HUM 896. Topics. 3 Credits.
HUM 897. Tutorial Work in the Humanities. 1-3 Credits.
1-3 credits. Independent reading and study under the direction of an instructor on a topic to be selected.
HUM 999. Humanities 999. 1 Credit.