Contacts | Qualifications and Eligibility | Two-Year Language Option | Time Limits | Registration, Tuition, and Financial Aid | Course Requirements | Application Procedures | General Guidelines

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Students in the College may pursue the master of arts degree in the Humanities while working toward an undergraduate degree. Undergraduate students admitted to this program pursue a specific course of study depending on their specific research and professional interests. Students may design their own course of study in any of the departments within the Humanities Division, such as Philosophy, English Language and Literature, or Art History, specializing in a single field or moving across disciplines. Alternatively, they may choose a more directed course of study in a number of fields with specific Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) program options, including Classics, Cinema and Media Studies, Creative Writing, Curatorial Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Poetics, and Theater and Performance Studies.

Undergraduate students who wish to complete an MA in the Humanities concurrently with a bachelor’s degree should begin by discussing this option with their College adviser in the Autumn Quarter of their third year and with the director of undergraduate studies in their major, followed by a conversation with the associate director of the MAPH Program.

Undergraduate students pursuing this option are in “concurrent residence” beginning in the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year at the University and remain in this status for three contiguous quarters.

Qualifications and Eligibility

Permission to receive concurrent BA and MA in the Humanities degrees is granted only to those undergraduate students who have demonstrated, in their undergraduate work, a record of uncommon excellence and who are sufficiently advanced in the fulfillment of the undergraduate degree requirements. The academic demands on these students are significant and applicants are carefully reviewed in the context of both the undergraduate major and the MA in the Humanities degree requirements.

Applicants should have a minimum GPA for their undergraduate work comparable to that required for honors in the major and have completed the College general education requirements as well as 39 courses.

In addition to a distinguished record of achievement during their time in the College, applicants must convincingly demonstrate that they will be able to complete all requirements for the two degrees by the end of the allotted three quarters of full-time concurrent residence. For this purpose, potential applicants should meet with their College adviser and fill out a Joint Degree Evaluation Form. The adviser’s signature certifies that prospective applicants are far enough along in their College program to complete the course requirements for both degrees within four years.

Two-Year Language Option

Year 1

During the first year, students participating in the Two-Year Language Option (TLO) move through the MAPH year in the traditional manner—a required core course in the Autumn Quarter, seven elective courses, and completion of a thesis in the Spring Quarter. However, BA/MA TLO students must devote at least one of their electives to language study every quarter. Students are eligible for College aid in the first year.

Year 2

In the second year, BA/MA TLO students take nine courses—one elective and two language study courses each quarter. Students are no longer eligible for College aid, but, in the second year, TLO students receive a scholarship that covers 90 percent of that year's tuition. To receive this scholarship, students must have completed all nine first-year courses by the start of Autumn Quarter and maintained a 3.5 GPA in those courses.

For more information, please email or contact Maren Robinson, associate director, at 773.834.1201.

Time Limits

This course of study is not intended to prolong registration beyond four undergraduate years for those completing the standard BA/MA option or five years for the Two-Year Language Option. All course registrations for both degrees must be completed in three quarters after enrollment into the MAPH Program for the standard BA/MA option or six quarters after enrollment for the Two-Year Language Option. Students who have finished all requirements for the BA and the MA in the Humanities in the Spring Quarter may take both the BA and the MA in the Humanities degrees at Convocation in June. Students in the TLO may take the BA in the fourth year and the MA in the fifth year at Spring Convocation.

Registration, Tuition, and Financial Aid

To receive at the same time both the BA degree and the MA in the Humanities degree requires that the last three quarters of the undergraduate course of study be spent in full-time (three courses per quarter) registration status in MAPH. Students are to register for a minimum of nine graduate courses. Three graduate-level courses may be double counted, that is, applied to both the College and the MAPH requirements. (Students may petition their director of undergraduate studies to apply the three graduate-level courses to their undergraduate major; otherwise the courses will be applied to general electives). For each of the three quarters in which the students are registered in MAPH, they pay tuition at the graduate tuition rate, which is somewhat higher than the undergraduate tuition rate.*

Students are not eligible for financial assistance from the Humanities Division. However, any awards a student receives from College Aid will continue in the MA year. Students in the TLO may be eligible for funding in the fifth year.

Course Requirements

Students will be required to take MAPH 30100 Foundations of Interpretive Theory (the MAPH Core Course). The Core Course starts two weeks prior to the beginning of Autumn Quarter and is only offered in the autumn. In addition to the Core Course, students take eight courses, three per quarter, over the course of the year. Most MAPH students complete an MA thesis and enroll in MAPH 30200 Thesis Writing Workshop A in the Winter Quarter and MAPH 30400 Thesis Writing Workshop B in the Spring Quarter.

Students prepare their theses under the supervision of faculty members and their preceptors. During the winter, students participate in a non-credit thesis workshop (MAPH 30200 Thesis Writing Workshop A) with their precept groups. Students exchange drafts with their peers and workshop their writing in biweekly to weekly sessions. In addition, preceptors are available for individual consultations as the thesis workshop progresses. During the spring, students participate in a for-credit workshop (MAPH 30400 Thesis Writing Workshop B). Preceptors divide their group into subgroups for weekly or biweekly meetings, supplementing this with individual meetings. 

With good reason, and with the permission of their preceptor and the MAPH Director, students can instead take eight courses and complete an additional assignment rather than writing a thesis. 

For courses counting toward the MA in the Humanities degree, including any courses that are double counted, students must earn a Pass in the Core Course, must maintain a B average with no grade lower than B-, and must earn a B or better on their thesis.

Application Procedures

Students interested in obtaining both the BA degree and the MA in the Humanities degree should submit an online application. The application should be submitted by February 15, but applications are accepted and reviewed starting January 1.

The following documents must be on file with the Humanities Dean of Students office before the application will be reviewed:

  1. the application
  2. two letters of recommendation
  3. official transcript(s)
  4. Joint Degree Evaluation Form
  5. Applicants interested in the Two-Year Language Option (TLO) must submit the above materials and a supplemental document. In the supplement, applicants should indicate why they are interested in the TLO and what language(s) they plan to study. 

Applicants are not required to pay the application fee nor are they required to sit for the Graduate Record Examination.

Applicants will be interviewed by the MAPH program director. These conversations will focus on the program’s requirements and the applicant’s qualifications and objectives.

For more information, please email or contact Maren Robinson, associate director, at 773.834.1201.

General Guidelines

  • Students who begin work towards the MA in the Humanities degree and then leave the University without completing the program will not be allowed to complete the MA in the Humanities at a later date.

  • Once a student has begun to pursue both the BA degree and the MA in the Humanities degree, a leave of absence is not normally possible. Students who find that they must take a leave of absence for a medical or family emergency during this period must obtain the approval of the dean of students in the Humanities as well as the dean of students in the College.

  • Admissions decisions are usually not released before College preregistration for the following year takes place. Admissions committees often wish to see Winter Quarter grades before making decisions. Thus, applicants should preregister for the coming academic year as usual.


Associate Director

Maren Robinson