The MAPH Difference

Elena Lounge

The Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) at the University of Chicago is designed to allow you the freedom to either focus on one academic discipline or explore interdisciplinary interests that may not fit well within a traditional MA program. That flexibility, combined with our strong support network, can help you take the next step in your professional and academic life in a short amount of time—more than 90% of our students graduate in 9 months.

The Value of a One-Year MA Program

While many master’s programs are completed over the course of two years, the traditional MAPH curriculum is a nine-month program. Master’s degrees have also become increasingly common for admission to PhD programs, and it is not unusual for an MA to serve as a requirement for entry into many professional fields. MAPH allows students to complete intensive academic work and prepares them to continue into further graduate study or a career that much faster. For students interested in language study, we also offer a two-year option that incorporates extensive language coursework into the MAPH curriculum.

Focus on a Single Area of Study or Explore the Humanities

By selecting elective coursework and completing a thesis in one particular academic field, MAPH can function like an MA program in a specific discipline—an MA in English Literature, for example. Other students take a more interdisciplinary path during their time at UChicago and take courses throughout the Humanities Division and other academic divisions, including the Divinity School, the Law School, the School of Public Policy, or the Social Sciences Division.

A Support Network to Help You Thrive

Sustaining a supportive and welcoming community is essential to the mission of MAPH. Student support is provided through three key areas: academic support, professional development, and social events.


Academic Support

MAPH students are provided with academic guidance from the moment they arrive on campus. Most often this support comes from the following sources:

  • All MAPH students take a required fall quarter course taught by the MAPH Director.
  • Students are placed in groups of 10-12 and work closely with an assigned Preceptor—a post-doctoral Instructional Professor or Teaching Fellow—throughout the year.
  • Over the winter and spring quarters, MAPH students work closely with a faculty member who has agreed to serve as their thesis advisor.
  • Three MAPH Mentors—recent MAPH graduates who work as staff members—are available to meet with students to discuss course selection, advising, and more

Professional Development

Students are provided with information sessions, panels, job application support and more throughout the MAPH year and after they’ve graduated. Here is a sampling of the programming we offer each year:

  • Alumni Career Night
  • Cover Letter and Resume Workshop
  • MA to PhD Panel
  • An MA Thesis Conference
  • Paid Internship Opportunities
  • Job Fairs in Fall and Spring Quarters
  • One-on-One Career Advising through UChicagoGRAD
  • Weekly Jobs Email targeted towards MAPH Alumni Interests

Social Events

We think the foundation of intellectual life is a genuine, supportive social community. In order to build a community among each year’s MAPH cohort, we offer regular social events on and off-campus as well as planned outings to Chicago cultural offerings.