About the Program
The interdisciplinary Arts and Letters Program recognizes that in the contemporary world, a thorough grounding in the humanities offers the necessary intellectual and personal development for individuals to stay informed about timely issues—and timeless speculations—emerging throughout the world.
The Program prioritizes graduate-level liberal arts study and takes, as a guiding principle, Henry Adams’ belief that a valid education prepares a citizen to meet any emergency with economy and force.
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In consultation with an adviser, students in the M.Litt. Program may choose to write a Master’s thesis based on scholarly primary research or may choose to complete a non-thesis, coursework-only track.
In consultation with an adviser, students in the D.Litt. Program must write a dissertation based on significant and sustained scholarly primary research.
Concentrations for D.Litt.
D.Litt candidates also do a concentration of 4 courses, which should be selected to achieve congruence and connectedness. D. Litt. students must declare a concentration prior to registering for their 6th course. Some A&L courses may serve different concentrations, depending on content and subject to consultation with one’s adviser. Students must also take coursework from at least three separate areas of study. The available concentrations are:
Literary Studies (LTST): Explore the craft and meanings of literature from past and present, encompassing a variety of authors, time periods, and genres from Shakespeare to the graphic novel.
Fine Arts and Media Studies (FAMS): Explore the academic study of the arts, practice of the arts, and the arts in the public sphere.
Historical Studies (HSAL): Explore historiography and topics in a curriculum mainly focusing on Europe and America.
Irish/Irish American Studies: Is not currently an available concentration in the Program. In ARIS courses, students explore the literature, history, politics, and culture of Ireland and Irish America. Courses listed as Irish/Irish-American Studies (ARIS) may be applied to other concentrations, such as History (ARHI), Literary Studies (AREL), or others in consultation with the Program Director.
Studies in Religion (RLST): Explore the phenomenon of religion through a diversity of disciplines, approaches, and across traditions and cultural contexts.
Teaching in the Two-Year College (TTYC): Study in this concentration supports students training to teach at two-year colleges, including training in pedagogy, teaching specialization, and an internship.
Writing (WRGC): Explore writing through several different genres, including but not limited to: essay, poetry, short story, prose, and academic writing. This concentration is required for a creative writing dissertation.