About the Humanities

Who are we? The Faculty of Humanities comprises over 125 full-and part-time faculty researching and teaching in nine departments. Over 3,000 undergraduate, masters and Ph.D. students from across Canada and around the world are enrolled in our programs. They join the many thousands who have graduated from humanities programs at McMaster since its establishment in 1887.

An institution’s declared vision is a good indicator of its deepest values and strongest aspirations. The vision of our Faculty is centered on excellence in research, innovation, and teaching. Of course, visions are nothing without achievements. McMaster Humanities’ achievements are everywhere: from the research projects and innovative teaching of our faculty to the intellectual and social engagement of our students at McMaster and in the wider world.

Our History

The Faculty of Humanities first came into being as a result of The McMaster University Act, 1976. The act officially launched the modern era creating the Faculties of Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences. All references to Humanities prior to 1976 came under the contexts of the Arts, from 1968 to 1976, and as the Faculty of Arts and Science from 1930 (when the university opened its door in Hamilton, Ontario) to 1968.

Humanities Vision

Executive Summary

The liberal arts lie at the heart of any great university. At McMaster University, we believe in a liberal arts mission that builds on the strengths of our various disciplines.

Our Faculty is committed to:
  • Seeking excellence in research, innovation in teaching, and creativity in the performing arts.
  • Encouraging critical reflection and logical thinking through written and verbal expression.
  • Recognizing the cultural diversity of our university, nation, and world.
  • Instilling in our students the importance of responsible and sensitive global citizenship, through cultural self-reflection, ethical reasoning, and historical understanding.
  • Knowing the value of languages and new media, as a means of opening our minds to new ways of communicating and new ways of understanding.
  • Venturing into new domains of research, including the cognitive dimensions of music, language, and communication.
  • Defining a liberal arts education in the 21st century, one that prepares our students for the major challenges of the next generation.

124203_pexels-photo-1438072.jpeg Buro Millennial / Pexels

Vision

The Faculty of Humanities is dedicated to cultivating a teaching and research environment which reflects the highest standards of our disciplines, and to undertaking ventures in new areas of interdisciplinary inquiry and pedagogy. In the Arts, we continue to strive for a balance between the best traditions of Humanities education and the new forms of knowledge emerging within and at the intersections of disciplines. By learning from past and pressing issues facing our global world today, we promote advances in knowledge that make innovative, positive differences in the diverse lives of our students.

Mission

The Mission of the Academic Advising Office is to assist students in the Faculty of Humanities in realizing their full potential. The academic advising staff interacts with students in a variety of settings, evaluating their needs and teaching them how to navigate the higher education system. We work with students to develop and implement individual plans for the purpose of achieving both academic and personal goals.

Upon entering the faculty, students are paired with an advisor who will support them from the first year through to graduation with all their academic needs.

Academic Advisors provide support in the following areas:

  • Identifying individual education goals.
  • Program and course registration.
  • Interpretation of academic regulations.
  • Academic work accommodations.
  • Exploring other resources on campus as necessary.

Major New Initiatives and Gateways

The Faculty has proposed five new initiatives to advance this exciting agenda in the liberal arts. Building on our strengths, the initiatives represent significant new gateways to learning and discovery. Some of these initiatives will find their home in the new Liberal Arts building: others will be located elsewhere. They all intersect and support each other, each one being congruent with the directions outlined in campaign documents and with our own visioning exercise.

  • Centre for Global Citizenship and Culture.
  • Language Learning Commons.
  • Wilson Institute for Canadian History.
  • Centre for the Performing Arts & New Media.
  • Humanities and Social Sciences Research Institute.
Programs taught in:
  • English (Canada)

This school also offers:

PhD

McMaster University Faculty of Humanities

The challenges we face today—social and environmental injustice, climate change, precarious work, surveillance, and a shrinking public sphere—are big, complex and multifa ... [+]

The challenges we face today—social and environmental injustice, climate change, precarious work, surveillance, and a shrinking public sphere—are big, complex and multifaceted. Among their many other dimensions, they are questions of communication and culture, which demand urgent engagement. The Ph.D. in Communication, New Media, and Cultural Studies (CNMCS) is for creative students who embrace complexity, love difficult questions, and hunger for intellectual, artistic, and pedagogical risk-taking driven towards positive social change.

This program brings together three interdisciplinary fields that all originated in attempts to understand and debate big problems using tools from the arts, humanities, and social sciences: cultural studies began by trying to articulate the significance of culture beyond the privileged space of the university, communication studies wanted to understand how mass media was changing modern society, and new media scholars and artists wanted to probe how computing and digital communications were changing human knowledge and creativity. Each of these fields understands that the problems we face today, with all their varied technological, economic, ecological, and political implications, are, fundamentally, problems of communication and culture. Learning to read, critique, and create culture, media, and communication is critical to seeing things, and doing things, in new ways.... [-]

Canada Hamilton
September 2020
English (Canada)
Full-time
4 years
Campus
McMaster University Faculty of Humanities

McMaster’s Doctoral Program in Philosophy offers courses of study leading to the degree of Ph.D. in philosophy. The program is designed so that students may quickly enter ... [+]

McMaster’s Doctoral Program in Philosophy offers courses of study leading to the degree of Ph.D. in philosophy. The program is designed so that students may quickly enter into the excitement of their own research, while steadily building a solid foundation of comprehensive knowledge.

Admission

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires an M.A. in Philosophy or an equivalent degree. There is also a possibility for students enrolled in McMaster’s M.A. program in Philosophy to be accepted into the Ph.D. program without completing the M.A. degree, subject to their satisfying certain conditions for excellent progress in their first year. Selection is made by the Ph.D. Program Committee of the Department of Philosophy, and any student admitted comes under the general regulations of McMaster University.... [-]

Canada Hamilton
September 2020
English (Canada)
Full-time
4 years
Campus
McMaster University Faculty of Humanities

It is an interdisciplinary program of four years, organized around literatures and cultures of the French-speaking world, including France. We invite candidates with a tr ... [+]

It is an interdisciplinary program of four years, organized around literatures and cultures of the French-speaking world, including France. We invite candidates with a traditional master's degree in French studies, as well as candidates whose course has been less typical, provided that their file meets the requirements of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS). The objective of the program is to help students gain a comprehensive vision of the Francophone world through time, space and different socio-cultural discourses and practices. The program also seeks to facilitate their professional integration into an increasingly globalized world. With the help of their thesis committee, successful candidates will have the opportunity to create their own academic background.... [-]

Canada Hamilton
September 2020
French (Canada)
Full-time
4 years
Campus

Welcome Week 2019

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