General Info

  • Faculty working with students: Students have access to virtually all Duke faculty in the Humanities and in the interpretive social sciences.
  • Students: 6
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: Financial aid not available
  • Part time study available: Yes
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadlines: March 14
Application Info


John A. Klingensmith, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies
Program in Humanities
Duke University
Box 90068
Durham, NC 27708-0068
Phone: (919) 681-3257


Program Description

The Master of Arts Program in the Humanities is an interdepartmental program tailored to the needs of individual students who pursue interdisciplinary graduate study in the humanities and interpretive social sciences. The candidate must define a theme, historical period, or course of analysis and select appropriate course work with the aid and approval of an academic adviser (i.e., the director of graduate study). While there are no unique faculty or course offerings for this program, students have access to graduate faculty and courses offered in 11 humanities and social sciences departments. Students typically blend course work from multiple departments to tailor their own curriculum and research opportunities.


Program requirements include:

(1) A minimum of thirty (30) credit units

You must register for and complete a minimum of 30 credit units.

(a). This must include a minimum of 24 graded credits in graduate-level courses, which are those numbered at 500 or above. 

(b). There is a 12 credit per term cap on enrollment to promote successful completion. Nine (9) credit hours is considered full time.

(2) A minimum of three semesters of continuous enrollment** and payment at the flat-rate tuition and fees set annually by The Graduate School
Note: Summer Term I and II combined are equivalent to one semester.
**After three semesters of full-time study and enrollment or that equivalent, the student's approved academic load will be changed to part-time status, and tuition charges will be set at the costs noted under the Cost of Attendance.

(3) Either a final Thesis (usually 40-60 pages) with a Master's Exam (60-90 minutes), OR a Non-thesis Master's Exam (using two (2) substantial course papers) successfully defended with an Examining Committee of three graduate faculty (at least two must be Full graduate faculty).

Details on graduate faculty


Prerequisites and Admission

The Master’s Program in the Humanities offers students the opportunity to develop an intellectual and research focus not otherwise available in any traditional graduate program. It therefore seeks students who are interested particularly in traversing a number of traditional fields, or who are interested in pursuing new approaches to traditional humanities subjects. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree in any field from an accredited institution (or the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree), and must demonstrate sufficient background in humanities to permit study at the graduate level. Admission is by regular application to the Graduate School. Students may enroll full time or part time. 


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

Application Deadlines: March 14

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General (Optional)
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Writing Sample
None required