Avi Santo, Director, Institute for the Humanities
757 683-3823 www.al.odu.edu/hum/

The Institute for the Humanities offers a Master of Arts degree in the Humanities. The program allows students to pursue individualized curricula that incorporate classes from across ODU's seven colleges and more than 60 standalone graduate programs. The program attracts students with unique research projects and/or career objectives that cannot be fully realized within a single discipline and who will benefit from a cross-disciplinary approach. Students become experts in their field by triangulating courses across different disciplines. Students work closely with the program director to design a coherent program of study that encourages critical thinking, innovation, engaged scholarship and experiential learning. 

Concentration areas in the master's program include the following:

  1.                     Cultural and Human Geography
  2.                     Cultural Studies (including critical race studies and refugee studies)
  3.                     Gender and Sexuality Studies
  4.                     Media and Popular Culture Studies
  5.                     Philosophy and Religious Studies
  6.                     Visual Studies (including studio arts and art history)
  7.                    World Cultures

The Institute for the Humanities also offers graduate certificates in Arts and Entrepreneurship, Health and Humanities, and Social Justice and Entrepreneurship. 

Linked B.A./B.S.-M.A. Program

Linked Master of Arts in Humanities - Communications, Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Visual Studies, and Women's Studies.

The linked degree programs make it possible for exceptional majors in Art History, Art Studio, Communication, Fine Arts, Geography, Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy, and Women's Studies to take up to 12 hours of graduate courses while completing their undergraduate degree and to gain a head start on a graduate degree. Up to 12 graduate credits taken may be counted toward both the undergraduate and the graduate degree.  Students interested in pursuing the linked program should carefully plan their undergraduate course of study considering the requirements of the program.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the linked B.A./B.S.-M.A. program, students must declare a major in Art History, Art Studio, Communication, Fine Arts, Geography, Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies, or Women's Studies and complete a minimum of at least 60 undergraduate credit hours, including at least six hours of 300/400 level courses in the major. At the time of admission to the linked program, students must have an overall undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or better.

To be admitted to the Certificate programs as an undergraduate, students must be juniors or seniors in any major with a GPA of 3.25 or better. Undergraduates must maintain a 3.5 GPA in certificate-related courses to be able to earn the certificate. Undergraduates must be enrolled in the graduate sections of certificate-related courses for those credits to count toward the certificate.

Admission Procedure

Interested students who meet the admission requirements should apply to the humanities graduate program director as soon as possible after completing the required 60 undergraduate hours. In consultation with the undergraduate advisor for their department and the humanities graduate program director, students will:

  1. Draft a schedule of graduate courses to be taken as an undergraduate, which will be placed in the student's undergraduate and graduate advising files.
  2. Submit an Old Dominion University graduate application, a 500-word personal statement, a sample critical/analytical essay or research paper, and two letters of recommendation.
  3. An application form can be found here.
  4. Students will be officially admitted into the M.A. in humanities program once they have been awarded their bachelor's degree and have fulfilled all regular admission requirements for the M.A. in humanities. (Please refer to the appropriate section of this catalog for information on the requirements for the bachelor's degree in Art History, Art Studio, Communication, Fine Arts, Geography, Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies, Philosophy, and Women's Studies.)

Bridge Courses

Students admitted to the linked program may count up to 12 hours of bridge courses (graduate courses taken as an undergraduate) for which they have earned a grade of B (3.0) or better toward both the specific B.A. or B.S. and the M.A. in humanities. These courses may be 500 or 600 level courses within or cross-listed with the discipline, or approved graduate courses. Any 500-level course that is cross listed with a 400-level course may be substituted for the 400 level-course. However, all students must complete an undergraduate writing intensive course in the major. Students who complete fewer than 12 bridge course credits may fulfill humanities program requirements by taking courses during summer sessions and/or an additional semester; however, all students are required to fulfill a minimum of six bridge course credits in order to be eligible to continue in the linked program.

The M.A. in Humanities

Students in the linked program will fulfill all normal admission and curricular requirements for both a B.A. or B.S. in their discipline and an M.A. in humanities, with the following exceptions, conditions, and requirements.

  1. In addition, all students, regardless of their concentration, are required to take:
    HUM 601Introduction to the Humanities3
    HUM 602Theory and Methods in Humanities3
    HUM 603Preparing Humanities Teachers & Scholars Pro-seminar3
    HUM 604Debates in the Digital Humanities3
    HUM 692Humanities Thesis and Non-Thesis Preparation3
  2. All students must either complete a thesis (HUM 699) or project (HUM 693) as their culminating work toward the M.A. degree.
  3. No more than 12 hours of graduate credit at the 500-level may be applied to the M.A. in humanities.
  4. Students will not be permitted to take any 500-level course that they have already taken at the undergraduate 400 level.
  5. Art History/Art Studio students must take at least two 600-level courses offered by the Department of Art. Students must take ARTH 610 Visual Arts Across Media and Time. Graduate courses taken through departments other than Humanities and Art/Art History will count toward the M.A. only if they are approved in advance by the chair of Art or its director of graduate studies.
  6. Communication students must take at least two 600-level graduate courses offered by the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts. Courses taken through departments other than Humanities and Communication and Theatre Arts must correspond to the student's declared concentration area. No more than six credit hours may be concentrated in any one department other than Humanities or Communication and Theatre Arts.
  7. Geography students must take at least two 600-level courses offered by the Department of Political Science and Geography. Graduate courses taken through departments other than Humanities and Political Science Department and Geography will count toward the M.A. only if they are approved in advance by the chair of Political Science and Geography or its director of graduate studies.
  8. Philosophy students must take at least two 600-level courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Graduate courses taken through departments other than Humanities and Philosophy and Religious Studies will count toward the M.A. only if they are approved in advance by the chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies or its director of graduate studies.
  9. Women's Studies students will be required to take graduate-level courses that focus on women and/or gender in relation to various aspects of culture and the humanities. Students may elect graduate courses in women's studies, as well as courses that are cross-listed with women's studies, from any designated humanities or social science department, such as history, linguistics, literature, sociology, psychology, international studies, etc., or courses approved by the director of women's studies. However, no more than six credit hours may be concentrated in any one discipline other than humanities and women's studies.
  10. Upon completion of 36 graduate credits, students will be awarded the M.A. in humanities with a concentration in Cultural and Human Geography, Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Media and Popular Culture Studies, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Visual Studies or World Cultures.
  11. For additional information on the M.A. in humanities and the thesis and non-thesis options required to graduate, please refer to the Graduate Catalog.