About the HUX Master of Arts Degree

The Humanities

Training in the Humanities helps to define and manifest those qualities which make a human being human. Blake speaks of the need to cleanse the doors of perception so that humans may see eternity. These doors of perception are the senses. The cleansing is accomplished through the esthetic, cognitive, and intuitive faculties.

Collectively, these faculties are the imagination. The imagination is a dynamic principle which understands, synthesizes, and appreciates. Its fruits are pleasure and creation. It has been and is an essential mode of survival. The Humanities stress that training in, about, and through art, literature, drama, philosophy, and history is essential in learning how to live deeply, expansively, and happily.

This training is not a frill, not a handmaiden to a meaningful life but its very source. The Humanities harmonize the mind and body, the rational and the non-rational, producing, in Byron's beautiful phrase, "felt-thought." Necessary for a fully realized life is the cultivated use of the entire human sensorium and the imagination through art, literature, music, philosophy, and history.

The Humanities stress three major areas:

  • Cultural knowledge:
    The Humanities acquaint students with seminal works and artifacts in their own and other cultures. These works and artifacts are studied as singular and interrelated manifestations of the human spirit.
  • Perceptual skills:
    The Humanities teach students to perceive and appreciate these manifestations and to formulate their perceptions into meaningful written statements.
  • Creative production:
    The Humanities encourage students to express their creative, aesthetic impulses through disciplined training in the various departments of the Humanities.
    Dr. C. Michael Mahon

An undergraduate concentration in the Humanities is not a prerequisite for this Master's Degree Program.

Key Features of the HUX Program

HUX students appreciate being able to take the program at their own pace.

HUX students have a lot of freedom to design a course of study that meets
their needs and interests.

Students receive a broad interdisciplinary exposure to all of the areas of the Humanities--history, literature, philosophy, music, and art--and the establishment of an integrative perspective among them, with emphasis on their interrelating effects and influences. Students may specialize in one discipline of the Humanities, or in specific cultural-thematic areas across all of the humanistic disciplines.

The HUX program, as part of California State University, Dominguez Hills, is fully accredited
by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges the local regional accreditation agency.

HUX gives students the freedom to go at their own pace and to craft the program for themselves. But it doesn't force them to go it alone.

Intended HUX Program Outcomes

At the end of the HUX program, students will be able to:

  1. Examine critically a broad spectrum of texts and cultural artifacts in humanities disciplines through analysis of primary and secondary sources
  2. Apply frameworks for organizing cultural knowledge using traditional and contemporary theoretical approaches from selected humanities disciplines
  3. Compare and evaluate texts and historical events from diverse cultural and national traditions using disciplinary and interdisciplinary methods
  4. Identify the applicability of rhetorical and critical thinking competencies to practical and marketable as well as academic situations
  5. Evaluate and research strategies using electronic and print media to refine understanding of key questions and issues
  6. Produce a formal written presentaiton on a focused topic in humanities that meets professional standards for the master's capstone experience
  7. Apply knowledge and values derived from the humanities to engage and impact communities, academic, regional, and global
  8. Explain how questions of social justice and ethical values are addressed through the humanities
  9. Explain how innovation and creativity are fostered through engagement in the study of the humanities or innovate and create through engagement in the study of the humanities (creative track)
  10. Explain human experience from multiple perspectives, including those that may challenge one's established assumptions

The HUX Curriculum

The HUX Master of Arts program is designed for self-motivated learners who wish to tailor an advanced study of the humanities according to their scholarly interests. No later than the end of the second trimester of coursework, students should select one curriculum from the options below and then plan all their coursework and research accordingly.

Our expectations for students’ level of scholarship are the same for all curricular paths. All of the options require 30 units and are divided into three phases: I: two-unit seminars which define key themes, theories, and methods in each of the five disciplines in HUX; II: the three-unit core course offerings, including interdisciplinary and discipline-specific courses; and III: the capstone thesis or creative project, including a thesis or project proposal preparation course and the final thesis/project course. Courses in Phases I and II may be taken concurrently, but Phase I and Phase IImust be completed before beginning work in Phase III. Regardless of the curricular path, students should enroll initially in Phase I courses.

Please note that students, if they so desire, may take more courses than are required for their degree. Click on the headings below for more information.

Curriculum A: Interdisciplinary or General Study
This path is appropriate for students with some undergraduate experience in integrated
or interdisciplinary studies and who are familiar with critical thinking and writing across the traditional disciplines. This path provides a broader view of the humanities disciplines: it involves looking at methods in all five disciplines individually (Phase 1) and then combining selected disciplinary approaches in order to analyze significant themes, questions, or issues in the humanities. The research and analysis in the capstone thesis should clearly use the theories and methodologies of two or more disciplines.

Curriculum B: Disciplinary Emphasis
This path provides graduate students with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth examination and application of the methods, knowledge, and theory in one of the traditional humanities disciplines. It is designed for the student who wishes to pursue a concentration in a traditional humanities discipline (history, literature, philosophy, art history, music) in an interdisciplinary context.

Capstone Thesis/Project
1. Thesis Option. This option culminates in a capstone thesis grounded in the methods of the emphasized discipline. Individuals who plan to use to HUX degree in a teaching career, or who intend to enter a doctoral degree program, will find this path most suitable.

2. Creative Project Option. This infrequently-used path culminates in a creative project rather than a thesis. Because the HUX program does not teach creative skills, students must have proven ability in the creative field of choice, as demonstrated by undergraduate degrees, concentrated coursework, or significant professional experience in creative expression (studio art, creative writing, or music). Students must be approved to take this option and should apply to pursue a creative project before the second trimester in the program. Students approved for the Creative Study Curriculum usually will take three independent study courses (9 units) in the Phase II category. All capstone creative projects must include a section of documented analytical writing placing the project in a scholarly context. See HUX 599 under Course Descriptions below for more information.

All of the courses offered in the Humanities External Degree.
Creating an Independent Study
How to construct an Independent Study. We advise students to do at least one Independent Study.
Sample Course Guide
Each course is accompanied by a student study guide or syllabi, called a "course guide," which is a specially prepared packet (produced by the Humanities External Degree faculty and updated by the staff) to provide the framework for independent learning.

Assignments are usually presented in essay format; midterm and final "exams," if any, are also essay format, and do not require proctoring. The average course requires from 4 to 7 assignments, with an average assignment length of 5-10 pages.

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