Who is the program for?

The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities (MAIH) is a fully accredited degree program designed with three main groups of students in mind:

  1. Academics
    • ​​​​​​​​​Students desiring to advance to doctoral studies in English, Philosophy, History or Interdisciplinary Humanities.
  2. Educators
    • Teachers and administrators wanting to enhance their instruction and leadership by engaging the general Humanities or one of the streams of English, Philosophy or History.
    • Professional development that contributes to the British Columbia Teachers Qualification Service.
  3. Professionals
    • Career-based technicians, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, administrators, pastors, and others wishing to engage the Humanities to gain skills and grow in understanding of cultural issues and faith-based perspectives.
    • Pre-professionals seeking qualification to prepare for careers in law, education, librarianship, non-governmental organizational leadership, social services, public relations, and the ministry, to name a few. 

Program Options:

1. Specialized Humanities

Students with a strong interest in English, History, or Philosophy may concentrate their elective course selection and earn a specialization similar to that of an MA in one of these disciplinary streams.  Students may choose to do a disciplinary coursework track, or they can opt to complete a major paper/applied project/thesis, depending on the student’s desired outcome.  Generally speaking, future academics will complete a major paper or thesis, while educators and professional will satisfy their graduation requirements by finishing the coursework or applied project options.

All students engaging the Specialized Humanities in English, History or Philosophy will be exposed to interdisciplinary practice within the MAIH by: 1) completing the required interdisciplinary core seminars (ENGL 600, HIST 600, PHIL 600); 2) selecting diverse courses in conversation with their advisor that meet the individual’s interests; and, 3) completing a major paper/applied project/thesis or further coursework that intentionally considers disciplinary perspectives from outside of their chosen focus. Where appropriate, students are also encouraged to consider faith-based perspectives in ways that are integrative and interdisciplinary.

Specialized Humanities - Paper/Applied Project or Thesis
The major paper/applied project option is recommended for students in English and History; Philosophy students should consult with their advisor for the most appropriate academic pathway.  The thesis is recommended for students in Philosophy; it is an option for English and History candidates as determined in consultation with advisor.

maih english stream (major paper/applied project)
Core: (9 SH) Electives: (15 SH) Paper/Project: (6 SH)
ENGL 600 At least one ENGL 600 level ENGL 610
HIST 600 Any 4 ENGL at 500/600 level ENGL 613
PHIL 600
maih history stream (major paper/applied project)
Core: (9 SH) Electives: (15 SH) Paper/Project: (6 SH)
ENGL 600 At least one HIST 600 level    HIST 610
HIST 600 Any 4 HIST 500/600 level HIST 613
PHIL 600
maih philosophy stream (major paper/applied project)
Core: (9 SH) Electives: (15 SH)  Paper/Project: (6 SH)
ENGL 600 At least one PHIL 600 level    PHIL 610
HIST 600 Any 4 PHIL 500/600 level PHIL 613
PHIL 600
maih philosophy stream (thesis option)
Core: (9 SH) Electives: (12 SH) Paper/Project: (9 SH)
ENGL 600 At least one PHIL 600 level    PHIL 610
HIST 600 Any 3 PHIL 500/600 level PHIL 611
PHIL 600 PHIL 612
*Must inlcude at least one course from each of ENGL, HIST, PHIL

Specialized Humanities – Thesis & Non-Thesis Checklist

2. General Humanities

The General Humanities track is designed for MA students who wish to strengthen their perspectives on relevant social, political, economic, and cultural issues.  Teachers of English, History, and Social Studies, professionals and other students desiring broad studies in the humanities disciplines, or academicians hoping to pursue Ph.D. studies in general humanities should consider this program pathway.  The General Humanities track presents two opportunities to satisfy degree requirements:  The coursework option requires students to select courses across a spectrum of topics and from various disciplines.  Candidates can either drill down on a specific topic and explore it from perspectives unique to English, History and Philosophy, or they can choose a thematic approach and explore a variety of topics.

maih General humanities stream (coursework)
Core: (9 SH)          Electives: (21 SH) Paper/Project:                         
ENGL 600 At least 3 ENGL/PHIL/HIST 600 level
HIST 600 Any 4 ENGL/PHIL/HIST at 500/600 level
PHIL 600

General Humanities Checklist

The General Humanities track also offers a major paper/applied project option. Candidates who wish to apply their Humanities training to a specific issue or project should consider this as a way to fulfill their degree requirements.

maih general humanities stream (major paper/applied project)
Core: (9 SH)          Electives: (15 SH) Paper/Project: (6 SH) 
ENGL 600     At least one ENGL/PHIL/HIST 600 level ENGL/PHIL/HIST 610             
HIST 600 Any 4 ENGL/PHIL/HIST at 500/600 level ENGL/PHIL/HIST 613
PHIL 600
*Must include at least one course from each of ENGL, HIST, PHIL


One of the great strengths of TWU’s MAIH program is our commitment to work with each student as an individual, to create a unique program pathway that meets his/her particular needs. This is carried out in the following ways:

  • The advising and shaping of an individual's program within the broad structure of the overall program.
  • The availability of a very wide range of directed or independent study courses.
  • The commitment of the faculty members to give considerable personal attention to the academic and career interests of the student.

 Over the past 12 years, the MAIH has distinguished itself as an academically rigorous and intellectually challenging program.

  • Twenty-four students have received MA scholarships through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) while attending the program and nine graduates have earned SSHRC Doctoral awards.
  • MAIH graduates have gone on to Ph.D. programs at major research universities, including the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, Baylor University (Texas), and the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), and many others have utilized the knowledge and skills gained through the program to enhance their vocations of teaching, writing, media relations, administration, development, and public service, to name a few examples.

MAIH faculty members are committed to the individual student's success and spend extra time advising, directing individual study courses, and supervising theses. In many cases, it is that extra attention from faculty members that makes all the difference in students getting papers accepted at conferences, completing application forms for significant grants and awards, and being accepted into Ph.D. programs.  And, the ongoing connections with faculty and peers means that educators and professionals create a life-long network of thinkers who share a common interest in and love for the Humanities. 

The MAIH utilizes cross-disciplinary teaching and research to educate thoughtful and well-informed graduates who have the ability to understand some of the most pressing social issues of our time, the courage to make sense of an increasingly complicated and globalized world, and the confidence to find relevance in their own expression of faith. Feedback from our graduates confirm that we are exceeding expectations when it comes to fostering cross-disciplinary social analysis, encouraging personal/intellectual growth, breadth of awareness, moral sensitivity, and balanced judgment, requiring graduate-level competency in and across the disciplines of English, History or Philosophy, thereby equipping for effective leadership in academic, educational, and professional contexts.

The MAIH’s dialogical approach to the integration of faith and learning, focused on but not limited to Christian thought and action, has produced a half-generation of talented scholars, teachers, and life-long learners who have made hopeful contributions to our exploration and examination of the ideals of truth, goodness, and beauty.

Because of our exceptional faculty, we offer many areas of focus within the overarching disciplines of history, English, and philosophy. Such areas of focus include:


  • Religion (esp. Christianity) and literature
  • Gender and literature
  • Nature and literature
  • Poetry, Place, and Spirituality
  • Trauma and literature
  • Literary and Cultural Theory
  • Creative writing
  • Children's literature
  • Fantasy literature
  • British literature
  • Canadian literature
  • American literature
  • The moral imagination
  • Selected Individual Authors: William Shakespeare, John Milton, Henry Vaughan, Margaret Cavendish, Daniel Defoe, James Hogg, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, George McDonald, Emily Dickinson, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Charles Williams, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Thomas Merton, and Madeleine L'Engle.


  • History & religion (especially early Christianity, Europe, Canada & the United States)
  • ​Canada (government, indigenous nations, Christianity, environmental history)
  • US/Canada relations
  • Medieval, Renaissance and reformation Europe
  • Family & gender
  • Alterity and Historical Difference (including (dis)ability studies)
  • War & peace
  • Science, the environment and religion
  • Government - developments in Europe and Canada
  • Atlantic world
  • Middle East


  • Analytic philosophy
  • Continental philosophy
  • Epistemology
  • Philosophy of body
  • Philosophy of language
  • Philosophy of religion
  • Social and political philosophy