The MAPH Year

Master of Arts Program in the Humanities seminar photo

Students in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) take one required course, seven electives, and write an MA thesis. In the fall quarter, all MAPH students take Foundations of Interpretive Theory as a cohort. From there, students complete their remaining coursework throughout the University of Chicago. Finally, all MAPH students complete a thesis with guidance from their preceptor—an advanced PhD candidate—and under the supervision of a faculty member.

Core Course: Foundations of Interpretive Theory

Foundations of Interpretive Theory (known colloquially as Core), is the intellectual heart of the MAPH community and is the only required course students take. Core begins two weeks before regular University of Chicago classes and serves as an introduction to the theoretical basis of contemporary humanistic research. Core is taught by the MAPH Director and Deputy Director and students meet in small groups with their preceptors each week.

Elective Courses

Outside of Core, MAPH students take seven additional elective courses. Many students will focus all of their elective courses in a specific academic department. Other students take classes from different areas across the university. 

MA Thesis

All MAPH students complete an MA thesis with a faculty advisor. Students most often write critical, scholarly papers. However, students can also produce a creative thesis accompanied by a critical piece of writing. In the winter quarter, students work closely with their preceptor to find a faculty thesis advisor, write a thesis proposal, and begin workshopping their writing. In the spring quarter, students complete their thesis while meeting regularly with their preceptors and fellow MAPH students.