Humanities (Ph.D.)

Our doctoral program in humanities was inaugurated in 1989 as an interdisciplinary investigation of the question, “What does it mean to be human in an age of advanced technology?” In one form or another, this question still commands attention in the 21st century.

Our Program

Broadly conceived, the human-technology relationship remains at the heart of our curriculum, allowing students to draw insights and integrate knowledge from a variety of fields, including religion, philosophy, ethics, art, literature, new media, history, politics and cultural theory. We challenge our students to develop a specific research direction that builds on the broader humanities and engages with the doctoral theme.

Students begin the program by choosing an area of inquiry that is relevant to their preliminary research problem or issue: technology, science and society; culture, language and memory; global ethics and human security; or community, self and social transformation. Areas of inquiry are rooted in the scholarly expertise of faculty, the history of the doctoral program and the University’s mercy mission.

Students use their area of inquiry to leverage prior knowledge and study, work and life experience in developing their own individualized foundation, leading to problem-focused and integrated interdisciplinary research and a distinguished doctoral dissertation.

Courses are offered at our Newport campus and online. In addition, our low-residency program offers an intensive hybrid format, with students visiting campus for four weeklong residencies while completing the remainder of their coursework online.

Program Spotlight: Low Residency Format

Our Independent Research Fellows Cohort offers the same course of study found in our traditional program in an intensive and innovative format designed to serve qualified students who could not otherwise enroll in our on-campus program.

Four separate residency requirements span seven days each over the course of two years, joining the traditional brick-and-mortar experience with innovative learning, research, assessment and presentation technologies.

Our Faculty

Our faculty are passionate about exploring the most important questions of human life and eagerly lead students on an intellectual journey through an integrated series of courses.​

 

Meet Our Faculty

Humanities (Ph.D.)

42 credits

Required prerequisite courses:

  • HUM510: A History of Technology 
  • HUM600: Humanities Problems and Perspectives 

Required courses:

  • HUM500: Research Methods 
  • HUM501: Social and Ethical Issues: A Global Perspective 
  • HUM503: Global and Comparative Literature I 
  • HUM504: Global and Comparative Literature II 
  • HUM505: Global Traditions and Area Studies I 
  • HUM506: Global Traditions and Area Studies II 
  • HUM605: Philosophical Perspectives on the Digital Age 
  • HUM610: Religion, Culture and Technology 
  • HUM617: Political Philosophy and Technology 
  • HUM618: Humanities Theory, Method and the Disciplines 
  • HUM620: Social Transformation Through Art 
  • HUM625: Ethics and Modern Technology 
  • HUM630: Modern Literature and the Human Condition 
  • HUM635: Culture, Society and the Global Condition (capstone) 
  • HUM645: Research Colloquium 

Doctoral students progress through the program in three phases: the proficiency phase, which ends with the concentration paper and language translation examination; the qualifying phase, which leads to doctoral candidacy; and the dissertation phase, which culminates in an oral defense of the completed thesis.