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 in 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. In designing programs of study, students at Harrison Middleton University use primary sources drawn from leading academic publishers, including Britannica (Great Books of the Western World), Oxford University Press, Penguin Modern and Nonfiction Classics, and W.W. Norton & Company. 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 - 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 major works in the liberal arts.

  • Demonstrate facility with methods of inquiry-based discussion by formulating interpretive questions and taking part in course discussions.

  • Think critically about essential ideas in humanities and Western thought and engage in rigorous discussion about fundamental questions of human existence.

  • Demonstrate an 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 and its defense.


Master of Arts – Program Outcomes

  • Written assignments—Upon completion of the program the student will have prepared for each discussion by formulating original interpretive questions and selecting passages for textual analysis that explore the course texts, considering multiple possibilities of meaning in a way that is relevant to the student’s area of interest.

  • Discussions—Upon completion of the program the student will have participated in inquiry-based 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.

  • Essays—Upon completion of the program the student will have composed end-of-course essays that demonstrate graduate-level writing skills, an understanding of the course texts, and an original interpretive stance on some aspect of those texts.

  • The Capstone—Upon completion of the program the student will have proposed, planned, and executed 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.

  • Capstone defense—Upon completion of the program the student will have presented an oral or written Capstone defense to the members of his or her Instructional Team, demonstrating the merit of the Capstone itself as well as proficiency in the necessary communication skills.

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



Program of Study

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 that examines the subjects or authors that interest them. Students may design a Master of Arts program in a variety of ways: an in-depth study of an idea from one of the disciplines of imaginative literature, natural science, philosophy and religion, or social science; or an in-depth study of specific authors; or a study of primary source documents selected from approved sources; or a combination of the three.

During The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course, students design their 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