Areas of Study


Students in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) build highly individual course schedules. Many students use the program to focus more narrowly in a particular discipline, while others explore a variety of different academic fields. MAPH students may take classes in almost any department at the University of Chicago, but students typically take the majority of their coursework within the academic departments of the Division of the Humanities.

Create a Discipline-Specific MAPH Year

Many students come to MAPH to further their study in a specific academic area like English Literature, Art History, Philosophy, or Cinema and Media Studies. For these students, MAPH can function like a discipline-specific MA program; in addition to our one required 'core' course (Foundations of Interpretive Theory), you may complete all eight elective courses in one area.

Explore Your Intellectual Interests

Other students come to MAPH to explore their varied intellectual interests on a more intensive level. Students who have completed their bachelor’s degrees in a field outside of the humanities and would like to learn more about humanistic study combine coursework in a number of fields —Art History, Theater and Performance Studies, and East Asian Languages and Civilizations, for example.

Develop a Thesis Project

Students use one of their elective courses for a larger project. Some opt for a curricular capstone experience, such as taking a research seminar.

Others opt to write a critical thesis that is a traditional academic research paper. Students are also free to be more adventurous in their work. Many students choose to complete a non-traditional thesis project which might mean writing fiction or poetry, completing a translation, working in video or other visual media, producing a musical composition, or making some other non-traditional intervention in a humanistic conversation.