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.
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.