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Humanities PhD Program Information

Mar 04, 2021

Essential Information

The curricula of humanities-based Ph.D. programs emphasize advanced research techniques, student-teacher relationships, and higher level courses in music, literature, the arts, philosophy, and religion. Students must have completed undergraduate school and received their master's degree in order to qualify for a PhD program.

In order to graduate, students must develop and defend a thesis statement. A thesis defense, which is the primary focus of a Ph.D. program, is designed to illustrate the ways in which the student will contribute to her or his field of study. A thesis is generally scored according to its originality and likely impact on its field.


PhD in the Humanities

The humanities are disciplines concerned with critically examining human thought and culture. The coursework in such a doctoral program deals with how art, music, literature, the arts, and philosophy affect the world we live in. Students pursuing a PhD focus more on abstract questions than on technical skills. PhD programs allow students to share, expand, and ultimately defend their insights into humanity. Sample courses include:

  • Social Impact of Art and Aesthetics
  • Modern Ethics
  • Religion and Culture
  • Philosophy in the Digital Age
  • Modern Literature and Society

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of all postsecondary teachers is expected to grow 11% from 2018-2028, which is faster than the average for all the other occupations. In May of 2019, the BLS published the median annual salaries for these professionals to be $79,540.

Humanities Ph.D. programs usually include advanced courses focused on topics such as philosophy and various areas of the arts. These programs provide courses taught through the perspective of human thought and culture, preparing students for teaching positions involving a range of topics.

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