30.8 Humanities


The Master of Philosophy in Humanities is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the opportunity to engage with specific questions, problems and concepts from multiple disciplinary standpoints. Students learn how to navigate disciplines and how disciplines tackle similar research problems in different ways. They learn how research questions and answers may be shaped by specific disciplinary presuppositions, and how interdisciplinary research can bring methods from one discipline to objects of study from another. Students build concrete skills in multidisciplinary reading, research and writing. The program is based on the interaction of a group of students with diverse backgrounds and interests studying a common core of texts in a shared set of courses. The program of study is designed for students with a Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) from any discipline, though students will usually have a background in one or more humanities disciplines.

Master of Philosophy

In addition to meeting these regulations students must also meet the General Regulations Governing the Degree of Master of Philosophy.

30.8.1 Qualifications for Admission

  1. Admission is limited and competitive. To be considered for admission an applicant will normally hold a Bachelor's Degree (or equivalent) from an institution recognized by the Senate, and will have a breadth of knowledge in one or more disciplines satisfactory to the Program Director and to the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.

  2. Applicants who do not hold a Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) with sufficient standing or breadth of knowledge in a Humanities discipline will be required to complete, prior to admission, a number of undergraduate courses, the nature and number of which will be determined on the basis of the applicant’s undergraduate record by the Program Director. Students will be required to complete such designated pre-admission courses with a minimum overall average of 75%.

30.8.2 Administration

  1. The program is administered by a Program Director with the support and guidance of a Program Advisory Committee on behalf of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. The program draws on scholarly participation from faculty members wishing to participate, regardless of Department or Faculty affiliation.

  2. The Program Director will make recommendations to the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences (as appropriate) concerning admission, financial support for students, student progress through the program, program administration and all other matters relevant to the program.

  3. Responsibility for the allocation of teaching and the support of related research will be managed by agreement between the Deans of the relevant Faculties, the Heads of Departments of participating faculty members, and the Program Director, in consultation with the Dean of Graduate Studies.

30.8.3 Program of Study

  1. Every student shall complete 18 credit hours in 6 of the regulation courses listed below. In addition, every student shall complete 6 credit hours in courses from other graduate programs in this University. Courses should be relevant to the student’s area of study and research. Course selections must be approved by the Program Director. Enrollment in courses offered by other programs requires the permission of the departments involved.

  2. With permission of the Program Director, a student may elect to substitute up to two of the regulation courses with courses from other graduate programs in this University. Neither 6000 nor 6041 may be substituted. Attendance in the courses of other programs requires the permission of the departments involved (see also General Regulations, Transfer of Course Credits).

  3. In the second year of the program, students are required to complete a major research project. The project should be interdisciplinary in nature and aimed at linking theoretical and practical knowledge by recognizing and articulating a problem from multiple disciplinary vantage points. The project may take the form of a traditional written analysis, but it may also incorporate an alternative mode of academic expression (e.g., a film or video; a website; a manual, guidebook, or other learning resource; digital, audio, or video files, etc.). Regardless of the form that the project takes, there must be a written component. The project should also include a theoretical basis and justification for the project rooted in secondary literature usually drawn from multiple humanities disciplines. The length of the written portion of the project should be 10,000-15,000 words. Papers and/or projects completed during courses may be incorporated into the major research project, but shall not, of themselves, constitute the entire research project.

  4. Each student in the program will be further supported by a tutor-supervisor. The tutor-supervisor provides the student with academic advice on research papers for the major research project as well as term papers. The choice of tutor-supervisor must be approved by the Program Director.

30.8.4 Comprehensive Examination

  1. Each student must pass a comprehensive examination based on their research project. The successful completion of the comprehensive examination is the final academic requirement for the Master of Philosophy Degree.

  2. The student, the tutor-supervisor and the Program Director will normally agree when the student may sit the comprehensive examination. However, the Program Director must accede to the student's request to sit a comprehensive examination, except that in no circumstances may a student attempt the general comprehensive examination before the student's course program is completed.

  3. The Examination Committee shall be appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies on the recommendation of the Program Director. The Committee shall normally consist of three members: a chair and two examiners. The examination will be chaired by the Program Director or a member of the Program Advisory Committee. In addition, the student’s tutor-supervisor may be invited to join the Committee as a non-voting member. The student shall be informed of the names of the committee before the examination.

  4. The schedule for the examination shall be agreed by the student, the tutor-supervisor, and the Examining Committee, and shall be communicated by the Dean of Graduate Studies.

  5. The examination shall be from one to three hours in length, shall be conducted by the Examining Committee, and shall be open only to the Examination Committee and to academic members of the Departments concerned.

30.8.5 Courses

  • 6000 Key Topics in Interdisciplinary Humanities
  • 6010 Readings in History and Memory
  • 6015 Special Topics Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • 6020 Readings in Literature, Art and Language
  • 6030 Readings in Philosophy and Critical Theory
  • 6040 Readings in Science, Technology and Nature
  • 6041 Seminar in Research and Writing in Interdisciplinary Humanities

The information on this site has been extracted from the Official 2023-2024 University Calendar. While every reasonable effort has been made to duplicate the information contained in the official University Calendar, if there are differences, the official Memorial University of Newfoundland Calendar will be considered the final and accurate authority.

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