Master of Arts

Master of Arts


About the Master of Arts Program

Graduates of the Master of Arts program will be able to think, speak, read, and write about vital ideas of the humanities and the Western cultural tradition with confidence and sophistication, demonstrating intellectual maturity and initiative that can be applied to a range of future endeavors. The master’s program consists of 36 credit hours with emphasis in imaginative literature, natural science, philosophy and religion, and social science. The program includes readings which may be selected from the Great Books of the Western World, other works by authors listed in the Bibliography of Additional Readings which may be available in many popular editions or collections, the Annals of America, and Great Books Foundation anthologies. The Bibliography of Additional Readings may be found in The Syntopicon: An Index to the Great Ideas II. Selections may be available in many popular editions or collections such as Penguin Classics (http://www.penguin.com/). Prices vary by selection. Students can work with their Mentor to choose editions of harder-to-find texts not available in Penguin paperbacks. This is a distance education program and students are never required to attend an on-campus class.

*View our admission criteria for Harrison Middleton University programs.


Master of Arts Completion Program

Graduates of the Master of Arts Completion Program will be able to think, speak, read, and write about vital ideas of the humanities and the Western cultural tradition with confidence and sophistication, demonstrating intellectual maturity and initiative that can be applied to a range of future endeavors. The Master of Arts Completion Program is designed for highly motivated individuals who have completed 6-18 graduate credits at an appropriately accredited institution and seek to finish their master’s degree. This is a distance education program and students are never required to attend an on-campus class.


Master of Arts/Master of Arts Completion - Program Objectives

A Master of Arts signifies that the recipient has passed an integrated course of study in one or more of the humanities. Upon successful completion of the Master of Arts program, students will have met the following objectives:

  • Design, implement, and complete a self-directed graduate program of study of the great works in the liberal arts.
  • Demonstrate facility with the Shared Inquiry methodology by formulating interpretive questions and taking part in course discussions.
  • Think critically about great ideas in Western thought and engage in rigorous discussion about fundamental questions of human existence.
  • Demonstrate a thorough and interdisciplinary knowledge of Western cultural history in their fields of choice.
  • Evaluate and synthesize the major literature, theories, practices, problems, and ethical issues discussed in their coursework.
  • Communicate effectively with clarity and sophistication in written and oral form in a variety of settings; utilize logical coherence and consistency, and the proper use of evidence and citations, in order to explore their fields of choice.
  • Present evidence of significant intellectual inquiry in the form of a capstone project and its defense.


Master of Arts/Master of Arts Completion – Program Outcomes

  • Written assignments—In preparation for each discussion, the student will formulate original interpretive questions and select passages for textual analysis that explore the course text(s), considering multiple possibilities of meaning in a way that is relevant to the student’s area of interest.
  • Capstone defense—The student will present an oral or written Capstone defense to the members of his or her Instructional Team, demonstrating the merit of the project itself as well as proficiency in the necessary communication skills.
  • The Capstone—The student will propose, plan, and execute a Capstone that applies the knowledge and skills acquired in coursework to a project of interest, making a tangible contribution to his or her field of choice.
  • Essays—For each course, the student will compose an end-of-course essay that demonstrates graduate-level writing skills, an understanding of the course text, and an original interpretive stance on some aspect of that text.
  • Discussions—The student will participate in Shared Inquiry discussions, answering and elaborating upon his or her interpretive questions in order to further develop initial thoughts and reactions, clarify ideas, and build a network of interpretive possibilities. 

Program outcomes promote the development of critical thinking, ethical reasoning, social responsibility, global citizenship, civic engagement, and lifelong learning.



Program of Study

It is the philosophy of Harrison Middleton University to provide the opportunity for a student to study the subjects that interest him or her. The Master of Arts program consists of 36 graduate credit hours, which include The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course, 28 credit hours of core coursework, and The Capstone. Students at Harrison Middleton University design a program of study focusing on the subjects or authors that interest them. There are a variety of ways to design a Master of Arts program. Students may choose to do an in-depth study of an idea from one of the disciplines of imaginative literature, natural science, philosophy and religion, or social science, or to do an in-depth study of specific authors. Additionally, students may complete a study of primary source documents from Great Books Foundation publications, or choose to study a combination of the three.

During the first course, The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course or the How to Think about the Great Ideas course, the student, with the guidance of the Instructional Team, will make the decisions concerning his or her program of study to meet the curricular requirements of the university. The selected Capstone must align with all federal regulations and the student’s home-state rules regarding state authorization.


Program Requirements

  • HUM 501: The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course ~ 4 credit hours
  • Core Student-Designed Program (Humanities) ~ 28 credit hours
  • HUM 502: Master of Arts Capstone (student-designed project, practicum, or thesis)  ~ 4 credit hours

*Master of Arts course descriptions may be found in the HMU Catalog.


"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science."
~ Albert Einstein