The Faculty of Humanities at McMaster offers graduate programs in varied fields of study. Find out more about our program areas or jump straight to a list of our programs.
The Department of Classics enjoys a longstanding international reputation. Departmental faculty are recognized for their research and are dedicated teachers. We offer the three fields of Ancient History, Classical Literature, and Classical Art and Archaeology and aim to provide our students with a broad training, while also developing their expertise in an area of specialty. We also emphasize professional development to equip our students to pursue successful careers. Our MA students have entered leading international programs in Classics, Museum Studies, Law, and Education as well as jobs in a variety of professions. Graduates of our doctoral program hold professorships at a variety of universities in Canada and abroad.
Cognitive Science of Language
The graduate programs (M.Sc.; Ph.D.) in the Cognitive Science of Language, based in the Department of Linguistics and Languages, are interdisciplinary, including faculty from Humanities, Science, and Health Sciences. The programs have a strong research orientation with emphasis on Cognitive Science, Corpus Linguistics, Neurolinguistics, Psycholinguistics, Sociolinguistics and Theoretical Linguistics. The breadth of faculty research areas provides a rich environment for graduate training. Our graduate programs welcome students with some linguistics knowledge from different backgrounds (linguistics, psychology, health sciences, engineering) providing flexibility so that students can optimize their studies around their own areas of interest.
Communication and New Media
Students pursuing the Communication and New Media M.A. gain experience in independent communication studies research and/or multimedia design, while developing advanced knowledge in communication theories and methodologies and in new media research-creation.
Entering from undergraduate Communication Studies and/or Multimedia programs, our M.A. students bring a spectrum of interests that contribute to a vibrant interchange of ideas. The program cultivates their intellectual development through coursework, a major research project, and extracurricular activities.
The program prepares students both for further graduate study in communication, media and multimedia, and for employment in fields including media production, media administration, communication policy, organizational communication, and the arts.
The Graduate Programs (MA and PhD) in French and Francophone culture, literature and language attracts students with traditional education in French Studies but also with atypical backgrounds, including those with degrees in journalism, linguistics, and cultural studies, and applicants who come from a professional workplace where they have acquired experience and extended exposure to the French language. The program cultivates an interdisciplinary perspective, encouraging students to examine literary texts and also cultural artefacts, such as archives, art objects, and film. The program offers the possibility of spending up to a year conducting research abroad in an academic setting or a cultural organisation. Co-supervisions (“co-tutelles”) are possible with the University of Paris X-Nanterre and other francophone universities, offering students two separate degrees.
Gender Studies & Feminist Research
Gender Studies & Feminist Research is an interdisciplinary M.A. program with a strong social justice focus that combines theory with practice. We accept students from a wide variety of backgrounds who are interested in the study of gender, sexuality, and feminism and our faculty come from diverse disciplines, such as cultural studies, sociology, history, science, and social work. The core M.A. course, “Knowledge in Action,” takes up community outreach and participatory action research. Students in the course complete an experiential learning project.
The Graduate Diploma (Ph.D.) in Gender Studies and Feminist Research aims to enhance the intellectual development of students enrolled in doctoral programs by allowing them to combine disciplinary research with interdisciplinary scholarship from Gender and Feminist Studies.
One of the most exciting features of the graduate program at McMaster is the Wilson Institute for Canadian History, which regularly recruits fine young historians from across Canada. With a focus on placing Canadian history within a global framework, the Wilson Institute puts graduate students in contact with the brightest minds and most up-to-date ideas in the discipline.
Intellectual creativity is a hallmark. The capstone of the one-year MA, the Masters Research Project, encourages development of a research conception with a faculty member. For PhD candidates the tailoring of the coursework and of the dissertation conjoins student interest with faculty expertise to fashion innovative work.
English & Cultural Studies
McMaster has long been considered one of Canada’s best places for graduate work (MA and PhD) in English. Our faculty represent a diverse range of specializations, from medieval to contemporary literature, and theoretical approaches including gender and queer studies, postcolonial and critical race studies, Indigenous Studies, poststructuralism, new historicism, material culture, ecocriticism and posthumanism, critical pedagogy and more. We also support an interdisciplinary MA in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory (CSCT). The program examines the conditions of cultural and social life through an analysis of a wide range of cultural and social practices, inquiring into areas such as gender, sexuality and the body, race and ethnicity, mass culture and visual culture.
The Department of Philosophy at McMaster University is a vibrant, research-oriented department offering both M.A. and Ph.D. programs. We embrace a variety of approaches. Our research and teaching strengths include both continental and analytic perspectives, legal and political philosophy and ethics as well as epistemology and metaphysics, and strength in the history of philosophy from ancient through modern to twentieth century thought. The Russell Archives and the Ontario Legal Philosophy Partnership offer unique advantages to graduate students, who can also enroll in graduate diploma programs in the United Nations Water Without Borders Program or the Gender Studies and Feminist Research Program.