Master of Arts in the Great Books


Graduates of the Master of Arts program will be able to think, discuss, speak, and write on the ideas and texts found in the Western cultural tradition of Great Books in a meaningful way that prepares them for whatever walk of life they choose. The master’s program consists of 30 credit hours. 18 credit hours are devoted to Required Core Courses in classical literature, political theory, natural science, art, music, and Philosophy. The remaining credit hours may be earned by taking elective core courses and seminars.


Program of Study

The Master of Arts program consists of 30 credit hours:

Required Core Courses (3 credit hours each) 


  • CLE/PHIL/ENGL 601 – The Education of a Free Man: Introduction to the Liberal Arts (To be taken before the completion of 15 credit hours.)
  • Ancient Literature Elective, one of the following:
    • ENGL 606a – The Ancient Epic
    • ENGL 606b – The Christian Epic
    • ENGL 606c – Greek Drama
  • Renaissance and Modern Literature Elective, one of the following:
    • ENGL 607a – The English Novel
    • ENGL 607b – Goethe and the Literature of Russia
    • ENGL 607c – The Plays of Shakespeare
  • Philosophy, Religion, and Theology Elective, one of the following: 
    • PHIL/THEO 604 – History of Religion and Theology
    • PHIL/THEO 608 – The Study of Ethics and Moral Values
    • PHIL 610 – Introduction to Philosophy
  • Political Elective, one of the following: 
    • PHIL/POLI 602 – The Development of Political Theory
    • PHIL/POLI 605 – Philosophy of Law and Jurisprudence
  • Modern Quantitative Knowledge Elective, one of the following:
    • PHIL/NAT SCI 603 – Natural Philosophy and Modern Science
    • PHIL/SOC SCI 609 – Philosophies of Human Nature
18 Credit Hours

Further Elective Core Courses

  • Two more 3-credit-hour courses of your choice at the 600 level.
6 Credit Hours

Elective Seminars

  • Six 1-credit-hour seminar courses of your choice.
6 Credit Hours
Total Program Credits: 30 Credit Hours
**Academic Advisors may approve the substitution of other classes for these requirements on an as needed basis.

Program Requirements

  • Completion of 30 credit hours of courses as outlined above 
  • Capstone Written Comprehensive Exam and Oral Defense. 
  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA or above.
    • No more than two grades of C may be applied to the degree.
    • No grade of D or below may be applied to the degree. 
    • Courses may be retaken for a higher grade. 
  • Honor Code signed at the beginning of each academic year in the program. 
  • Course work must be completed within 5 years of entering the MA program.  
  • M.A. Completion Form must be submitted during the first week of the last semester of a student’s anticipated graduation date.