2019-2020 Graduate and Continuing Education Catalog 
    Oct 18, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate and Continuing Education Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Classes are offered at our Newport campus.

Director: Sean O’Callaghan, Ph.D.
(401) 341-3166

About the Master’s Program

The Master of Arts offers the humanities as a dynamic tradition of ethical questions and practical methods. Grounded in the study of history, language and literature, the arts, philosophy, and religion.  Graduates expand their knowledge in focused humanities subject areas while developing practical skills. The evolving field of the humanities includes the new ideas and approaches that define the applied public and digital humanities.

Students choose a concentration that is theme- or problem-focused (humanitarian assistance, digital and public humanities, religion, peace and justice). Individuals strengthen the focus of their work by completing an internship, or practicum field experience that culminates in an action oriented written thesis. All graduates develop advanced skills in research and writing, creative synthesis, collaboration, and problem-solving. The Master of Arts may be pursued as a path to the humanities Ph.D. or combined with other programs for a dual degree.

Program Requirements

Following completion of an approved program of 12 courses (36 credits) and all degree requirements, students qualify to receive the Master of Arts degree in humanities.


Joint Bachelor’s/Master’s Program Leading to the Master of Arts in Humanities

Salve Regina University offers an accelerated program of study that leads to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree within five years.  This program is designed for the University’s highly motivated, academically talented and qualified undergraduates with a recommended grade point average of 3.30 or higher. Current undergraduates must complete the application process by February 15 of the junior year.

Undergraduate students considered for the five-year program are conditionally accepted into the master’s program and may take four graduate courses (12 credits) during their senior year. Of these 12 credits, six are applied to the undergraduate degree. Final program acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of the undergraduate degree and four graduate courses in the senior year. The total number of credits required to complete the five-year program is 150, 24 of which are graduate credits taken in the fifth year.

About the Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. offers the humanities as a foundation for understanding a world of accelerating and complex change. Cultivating expertise in traditional humanities fields and building skills as contemporary interdisciplinary scholars, students pursue doctoral research that makes a difference; bridging disciplines and exploring questions of human meaning in a dynamic study of the past, present and future. The humanities Ph.D. 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.The human-technology relationship remains at the heart of the curriculum allowing students to draw insights and integrate knowledge from a variety of fields: religion, philosophy and ethics; art, literature and new media; history, politics and cultural theory. Students begin by choosing a program area of inquiry that is relevant to their preliminary research problem or issue. Building upon previous studies, professional and life experience, students choose their concentration from four areas of inquiry rooted in the scholarly expertise of faculty, the history of the doctoral program and Mercy mission of Salve Regina University:

  • Technology, Science and Society
  • Culture, Language and Memory
  • Global Ethics and Human Security
  • Community, Self and Social Transformation

Each area presents a different web of possible relationships linking a range of theoretical issues, debates and practical problems with relevant methodologies and modes of inquiry from the humanities and social sciences. Students use the program area of inquiry to leverage prior knowledge and study, work and life experience in developing their own individualized foundation that leads to problem-focused and integrated interdisciplinary research and a distinguished doctoral dissertation.

Descriptions of Concentration Areas of Inquiry

Technology, Science, and Society

The humanities doctorate emerged from a historical moment at the end of the Cold War when studies of the impact of technology and science on the society and culture were coming to the fore. Information was the operative word and the World Wide Web was not yet a pervasive part of social and commercial life. In the interim, mobile and digital have become the new buzz words and awareness of global relationships has increased the currency of using cultural and critical theory to investigate the impact of both technology and science in people’s lives and on their ways of thinking. Works in this area include philosophy and technology, environmental sustainability, bio-ethics, medical humanities, technologies of war and violence, human factors and design, and the digital humanities.

Culture, Language and Memory

The malleable term culture encompasses the way we see ourselves and the past, the things we make and the institutions and customs we sustain around us. Language and memory are the primary means of reproducing and understanding culture. Work in this area focuses on debates and problems concerning public and personal memory, the politics of social representation and narrative, historical interpretation, comparative literature and culture, the sociology and/or the history of ideas and the public humanities.

Global Ethics and Human Security

The term global describes not only a networked and connected world but also one that is riddled with technological gaps and social inequalities. Like universal human rights, global ethics underscores the challenge of respecting difference while building common human community and history. Looking beyond national borders and tribal perspectives the question of human security offers a frame for addressing a range of issues concerning democracy, health and the environment, corporate responsibility, competition for scarce resources, and peace building. Work in this area includes cyber-security, conflict and climate; privacy and surveillance; civil-military relations; diasporas and immigration; community policing; economic justice; and peace studies and conflict resolution.

Community, Self and Social Transformation

The concepts of self and community lie at the heart of humanistic studies and are central constructs in making sense of the bridges and divides characterizing social, political and economic behavior. From the sphere of personal growth and individual healing to critiques of systems and institutions in an increasingly complex world we confront a range of oppositions from change vs. continuity, to the local vs. the global.

As we navigate personal relationships and the political and economic systems shaping our lives, questions arise about how we can serve the self and meaningfully connect to the larger world. How can self-fulfillment and individual beliefs be balanced with community in a pluralistic world? Work in this area includes religion and comparative belief; holistic studies; culture and values; leadership; educational reform; social policy; health care; mental health; and disability studies.

Program and Course Listings


    Master of ArtsDoctor of Philosophy



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