Degree Requirements

Complete information on the IHGG M.A. and Ph.D. degree requirements, procedures and deadlines can be found in the Degree Requirements Handbook.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Group program trains both M.A. and Ph.D. students. M.A. students learn the methods and practices by which knowledge is created in the humanities and are able to communicate about the content and methods of the humanities in many organizational and institutional settings. Ph.D. students combine and extend multiple research practices, apply them to novel topics, and produce new insights about the humanities. They are prepared to anticipate possible directions of change in an evolving knowledge economy, to play many roles in it, and to adapt methods and activities to meet both current and future needs.

Art class on the lakeM.A. and Ph.D. students share a general set of Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Become proficient in selected theories and research methods appropriate to the study of the humanities.
  • Understand and apply both disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to humanities research.
  • Achieve domain expertise in a particular disciplinary or interdisciplinary field of the humanities.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in research, analysis, and critique in the humanities through exams, papers, and theses.
  • Display commitment to the research ethics and professional standards of the humanities and to the particular field of expertise.

The standards of mastery for the M.A. are:

  • Develop communication skills and strategies appropriate for explaining the content and methods of the humanities to a wide range of audiences.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in using one or more established research methods to address existing topics in a humanities field.

The standards of mastery for the Ph.D. are:

  • Create scholarly and creative works that use multiple and diverse methods for communicating about the content and methods of the humanities with any audience.
  • Identify original topics in a humanities field and demonstrate proficiency in combining, modifying, expanding and critiquing existing research methods and theories in order to address them in an imaginative way.

Students demonstrate proficiency in each PLO through successful accomplishment of the required capstone activities of the program, including comprehensive oral and written exams, a thesis or dissertation, and a thesis or dissertation defense.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

In accordance with University of California policy, a minimum of four semesters in academic residence is required prior to awarding the Ph.D. Typically, a longer period of study, five to six or more years, is required for completion of all degree requirements. It is the responsibility of the graduate group to inform the student upon admission to the program of the expected degree time. All graduate students are considered resident graduates, not candidates for a degree, unless admitted to candidacy after completion of all candidacy requirements and approval by the Graduate Division after formal application. A student advances to candidacy for the Ph.D. upon successfully demonstrating a high level of scholarship at the Ph.D. level, and upon completing all preparatory work and demonstrating readiness to proceed to the dissertation phase.

Students demonstrate breadth and emphasis by taking four or more Readings in the Interdisciplinary Humanities courses. At least two must be in one cross-disciplinary focus area, and at least one must be in another cross-disciplinary focus area. The three focus areas are:

  • Past Worlds (IH210). This focus area emphasizes content and approach typical of history and archaeology courses.
  • Social and Spatial Dynamics (IH220). This focus area emphasizes content and approach typical of cultural anthropology, linguistics, and geography courses.
  • Expressive and Imaginative Works (IH230). This focus area emphasizes content and approach typical of literature, art, music, and religion courses.

All courses in the program follow a standard 4 credit hours. IHGG courses are extremely time-consuming classes that are intended to move students toward proficiency and independence in reading and writing, which are the core practices of the humanities. IHGG classes will generally meet for three hours per week, and will require at least 12 hours per week of outside preparation. IHGG Readings courses will typically require students to read one or two books per week or the equivalent in articles (a total of 250 to 500 pages of reading per week), to write weekly response papers analyzing what they have read, to prepare class presentations throughout the semester, and to write extensively. Instructors may require a 25- to 30-page seminar paper or a larger number of shorter writing exercises that allow students to practice various modes of scholarly communication. IHGG Methods and Research courses will require students to identify, acquire, read, critique and synthesize scholarship together with creative or archival works, to present their work in progress, and to offer an end-of-term presentation of their semester of work.

ArchaelogyCourse Requirements - Core and Electives (total 54 units)

The IHGG program will train both M.A. and Ph.D. students, but will distinguish between standards of mastery for the two groups. Ph.D. students will combine and extend multiple research practices, apply them to novel topics, and produce new insights about the humanities. They will be prepared to anticipate possible directions of change in an evolving knowledge economy, to play many roles in it, and to adapt methods and activities to meet both current and future needs.

A total of 54 units is required: 24 units of core courses, 16 units of Readings in the Interdisciplinary Humanities (4 courses) of which at least two are in one interdisciplinary area and at least one is in another interdisciplinary area, and 14 additional units of credit bearing activities. A minimum course load is 12 units each academic semester, and per UC regulations students cannot enroll in more than 12 units of graduate level courses per semester. Courses that fulfill any of the graduate group course requirements may not be taken S/U.

All Ph.D. students are required to enroll in IH 201A, IH 201B, IH 202, IH 203, IH 205 and IH 206. IH 201A and IH 201B: Thearies and Approaches courses are taken in sequence over the year and are team-taught across humanities fields with guest speakers. IH 203: Pedagogy, Theory and Practice is taken during the fall of the first year of matriculation, and IH202: Study Plan Design is completed during the third semester (of the second year). IH 205:Humanities in the World and IH 206: Methods and Research may be taken at any time during matriculation.

All Ph.D. students are also required to take four Readings in IH courses (IH 210, IH 220, and IH230). All Readings in IH courses are repeatable; themes will vary based on instructor expertise. Students must take at least two versions of one Readings course number and must take at least one Readings course of another number.

Additional credits may be used at a student’s discretion for research, exam preparation, thesis writing, courses outside of IHGG, or deeper exploration of an area of interest.

Students who wish to seek an exemption to any IHGG requirement must: a) write a memo of justification explaining the proposed exception, a proposed substitution for the requirement, and the educational rationale for the request, and b) obtain a letter of support from their major advisor. The Graduate Advising Committee will review student petitions for exemption and make determinations about them.

Independent study courses should be kept to a minimum, and are not available to first year students who are expected to be actively engaging with fellow graduate students in small seminars, settings in which they can best develop the intellectual skills needed to continue in the program. Only students beyond the first year, who are in good academic standing, who are making timely progress toward their degrees, and who have fulfilled progress reporting requirements may take independent study classes. Independent study courses also may not substitute for the classes required by the curriculum.

The same rules apply to enrollment in courses outside of the IHGG program, either in other UC Merced programs or on other campuses. Given the interdisciplinary orientation of the IHGG program, students beyond the first year are encouraged to take courses and work with faculty in other programs at UC Merced and beyond.

Language Examination

All Ph.D. students must demonstrate reading proficiency in at least one language other than English. Students demonstrate proficiency by taking a language examination. The language exam is a two-hour open-dictionary written test in which students translate a page of scholarly writing in the humanities from the target language into English. If the examiner is not a member of the IHGG core faculty, the student must write a petition of explanation for approval by the student’s major advisor and confirmation by the Graduate Advising Committee. Following the exam, the examiner must complete the Language Exam Reporting Form (Appendix B) for review by the student’s advisor and the Graduate Advising Committee. The language exam is pass/fail, and may be taken repeatedly. The Graduate Division will be advised in writing about the date passed.

Research Paper Requirement

All IHGG Ph.D. students are required to complete an article-length research paper. This may be completed at any time prior to advancement to candidacy. The student’s major advisor will select a journal in the student’s field that offers a model for the length, format, and standards of the research paper. The paper should be appended to the annual progress report for advisor approval and Graduate Advising Committee ratification.

M.A. Degree Requirements

The master’s degree is attained by a Thesis option or a Comprehensive Examination option. A minimum of two semesters in academic residence is required prior to the award of a master’s degree. All master’s degrees have a capstone element that is satisfied by the requirement of thesis or comprehensive examination.
Thesis Option. This plan requires a minimum of 42 semester units in approved graduate-level courses and other credit bearing activities as detailed in the Course Requirements, including completion of one article-length research paper in addition to an M.A. thesis followed by an oral defense.

Comprehensive Examination Option

This plan requires a minimum of 50 semester units in approved graduate level courses and other credit bearing activities as detailed in the Course Requirements, including completion of at least one article-length research paper. A comprehensive oral and written examination in the major subject is required of each candidate. No thesis is required.

Students demonstrate breadth and emphasis by taking four or more Readings in the Interdisciplinary Humanities courses. At least two must be in one cross-disciplinary focus area, and at least one must be in another cross-disciplinary focus area. The three focus areas are:

  • Past Worlds (IH210) -- This focus area emphasizes content and approach typical of history and archaeology courses.
  • Social and Spatial Dynamics (IH220) -- This focus area emphasizes content and approach typical of cultural anthropology, linguistics, and geography courses.
  • Expressive and Imaginative Works (IH230) -- This focus area emphasizes content and approach typical of literature, art, music, and religion courses.

All courses in the program follow a standard 4 credit hours. IHGG courses are extremely time-consuming classes that are intended to move students toward proficiency and independence in reading and writing, which are the core practices of the humanities. IHGG classes will generally meet for three hours per week, and will require at least 12 hours per week of outside preparation. IHGG Readings courses will typically require students to read one or two books per week or the equivalent in articles (a total of 250 to 500 pages of reading per week), to write weekly response papers analyzing what they have read, to prepare class presentations throughout the semester, and to write extensively. Instructors may require a 25- to 30-page seminar paper or a larger number of shorter writing exercises that allow students to practice various modes of scholarly communication. IHGG Methods and Research courses will require students to identify, acquire, read, critique and synthesize scholarship together with creative or archival works, to present their work in progress, and to offer an end-of-term presentation of their semester of work.

Course Requirements - Core and Electives (42 total units for Thesis Option students and 50 total units for Comprehensive Examination Option Students)

The IHGG program will train both M.A. and Ph.D. students, but will distinguish between standards of mastery for the two groups. M.A. students will learn the methods and practices by which knowledge is created in the humanities and will be able to communicate about the content and methods of the humanities in many organizational and institutional settings.
All M.A. students are required to complete 20 units of core coursework. Thesis students are required to complete an additional 22 required units and Comprehensive Examination students are required to complete an additional 30 units, for a total of 42 or 50 units respectively. Full-time students must enroll for 12 units per semester including research, academic and seminar units. Courses that fulfill any of the graduate group course requirements may not be taken S/U.

All M.A. students are required to enroll in IH 201A, IH 201B, IH 202, IH 203, IH 205 and IH 206. IH 201A and IH 201B: Thearies and Approaches courses are taken in sequence over the year and are team-taught across humanities fields with guest speakers. IH 203: Pedagogy, Theory and Practice is taken during the fall of the first year of matriculation, and IH202: Study Plan Design is completed during the third semester (of the second year). IH 205:Humanities in the World and IH 206: Methods and Research may be taken at any time during matriculation.

All M.A. students are also required to take four Readings in IH courses (selected from IH 210, IH 220, and IH 230). All Readings in IH courses are repeatable; themes will vary based on instructor expertise. Students must take at least two versions of one Readings course number and must take at least one Readings course of another number. M.A. students are strongly encouraged to take IH 202, although this course is a requirement only for Ph.D. students.

Additional credits may be used at a student’s discretion for research, exam preparation, thesis writing, courses outside of IHGG, or deeper exploration of an area of interest.

Students who wish to seek an exemption to any IHGG requirement must: a) write a memo of justification explaining the proposed exception, a proposed substitution for the requirement, and the educational rationale for the request, and b) obtain a letter of support from their major advisor. The Graduate Advising Committee will review student petitions for exemption and make determinations about them.

Independent study courses should be kept to a minimum, and are not available to first year students who are expected to be actively engaging with fellow graduate students in small seminars, settings in which they can best develop the intellectual skills needed to continue in the program. Only students beyond the first year, who are in good academic standing, who are making timely progress toward their degrees, and who have fulfilled progress reporting requirements may take independent study classes. Independent study courses also may not substitute for the classes required by the curriculum.

The same rules apply to enrollment in courses outside of the IHGG program, either in other UC Merced programs or on other campuses. Given the interdisciplinary orientation of the IHGG program, students beyond the first year are encouraged to take courses and work with faculty in other programs at UC Merced and beyond. Students in the first year who wish to enroll in independent study courses or courses outside of the program must obtain a letter of support from their advisor and petition to the Graduate Advising Committee. Students beyond the first year may freely use elective credits for courses outside of the program.

Special Requirements

All IHGG M.A. students are required to complete an article-length research paper. This may be completed at any time prior to advancement to candidacy. The student’s major advisor will select a journal in the student’s field that offers a model for the length, format, and standards of the research paper. The paper should be appended to the annual progress report for advisor approval and Graduate Advising Committee ratification.
 

 

Graduate Division

Graduate Admissions:
Phone: (209) 228-4723
 
Graduate Funding:
Phone: (209) 228-4622
 
General Inquiries:
Phone: (209) 228-4723
Fax: (209) 228-6906
 
Mailing Address:
University of California, Merced
ATTN: Graduate Division
5200 N. Lake Road, SSB 310
Merced, CA 95343

 

Graduate Group

Graduate Group Chair: Anne Zanzucchi
(209) 228-4173
 
Graduate Group Chair: Robin DeLugan
(209) 228-4032
 
Graduate Group Coordinator: Mitch Ylarregui
Phone: (209) 228-4105
 

Additional Resources

Graduate Resource Center
Graduate Peer Mentor Program
Writing Services
Grad Student Association
Resolve a Conflict

 
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