Qualifications and Eligibility | Time Limits | Registration, Tuition, and Financial Aid | Course Requirements | Application Procedures | General Guidelines

Department Website: http://maph.uchicago.edu

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 with interests in cinema and media studies, classics, cultural policy, or creative writing take advantage of one of the four Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) program options in those fields.

Undergraduate students who wish to complete an MA in the Humanities concurrently with a bachelor’s degree should begin by discussing this option with the College BA/MA adviser and with the BA adviser in their major, followed by a conversation with the associate director of the MAPH Program and the dean of students in the Division of the Humanities.

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 the BA/MA adviser in the College and fill out a BA/MA Worksheet. The BA/MA 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.

Time Limits

This course of study is not intended to prolong registration beyond four undergraduate years. All course registrations for both degrees must be completed in three quarters after enrollment into the MA in the Humanities program. 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 MA in the Humanities degrees 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. Therefore, students admitted to this program should consult the College Aid Office to determine if their financial aid will be affected.

A minimum of six quarters of undergraduate residence in the College is required, including the three quarters of registration in MAPH.


Students pursuing a BA project are typically expected to register for one or two BA workshops in their fourth year. These workshops count as courses in the undergraduate program and are in addition to the nine graduate courses associated with the MAPH curriculum. Joint degree candidates should be aware that registration for a fourth course in any term will result in higher tuition.

Course Requirements

Students will be required to take MAPH 30100 Foundations of Interpretive Theory (the MAPH core course). The core starts two weeks prior to the beginning of Autumn Quarter and is only offered in the autumn. In addition to the core, students take eight courses, three per quarter, over the course of the year. One of these courses is MAPH 30200 Thesis Writing Workshop/MAPH 30400 Thesis Writing Workshop.

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) 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). Preceptors divide their group into subgroups for weekly or biweekly meetings, supplementing this with individual meetings. 

For courses counting toward the MA in the Humanities degree, including any courses that are double counted, students must earn a B- or better in the core, 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 obtain from the Humanities Dean of Students office (Walker 111) a graduate application. The application should be completed, signed, and returned to the same office with all the necessary supporting documents by February 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. three letters of recommendation
  3. official transcript(s)
  4. BA/MA Worksheet: filled out and signed by the College BA/MA adviser
  5. Joint BA/MA in the Humanities Form: top portion filled out

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 ma-humanities@uchicago.edu 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.