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Doctor of Philosophy in Humanities

Major: HUM
Degree Awarded: Ph.D.
Unit: GA
Program Webpage:

Program Information

Application Instructions

Admission to the Humanities Ph.D. Program is exclusively for the fall semester of each academic year.

All materials must be received by January 15th for the following fall. No late applications will be accepted.  

All applicants must have completed an appropriate Master's degree (M.A., M.F.A., M. Div, or other) prior to beginning the program.

All applicants must also have fulfilled all requirements of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS).

Required materials are: 

  1. The SIGS application.
  2. A statement of intent (750-1000 words) detailing educational and future professional goals. 
  3. A current academic curriculum vitae.
  4. A scholarly or creative writing sample (scholarly, fiction, creative non-fiction: 5000 - 10,000 words; for length guidelines in other genres, (please contact the Ph.D. Program Administrator).
  5. Official transcripts of all undergraduate- and graduate-level work.
  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test scores.
  7. If applicable, proof of English proficiency.
  8. Three letters of recommendation from former instructors attesting to capability for doctoral-level work. 
  9. $60 application fee, paid to SIGS.     

Additional Information

For additional information on the Ph.D. program and/or Graduate Teaching Assistantships, see the Humanities Ph.D. website.

For any further questions regarding specifics of the Humanities Ph.D. Program application, please e-mail the PhD Program Administrator



I.  Core Coursework, All Students:

A.  Foundations:

          1.  Hum 660:  Proseminar: Introduction to Doctoral Study, 3 credit hours

          2.  Hum 661:  Historical Perspectives on the Arts and Culture I, 3 credit hours       

          3.  Hum 662:  Historical Perspectives on the Arts and Culture II, 3 credit hours

          4.  Hum 663:  Global Perspectives on the Arts and Culture, 3 credit hours

B.  Theories and Methodologies

          1.  Hum 673:  Topics in Cultural Theory or approved substitute, 3 credit hours

          2.  Hum 674:  Topics in Aesthetic Theory or approved substitute, 3 credit hours

C.  Professional Project

          Hum 650: Doctoral Internship, 3 credit hours

D.  Directed Study

          1.  Hum 653:  Doctoral Project I, 3 credit hours

          2.  Hum 654:  Doctoral Project II, 3 credit hours

II.  Additional Coursework, by Specialization:

A.  Culture, Criticism, and Contemporary Thought (C3T)

          Approved C3T scholarly courses, minimum 12 credit hours

B.  Public Arts and Letters (PAL)

          Approved PAL scholarly and workshop courses, minimum 12 credit hours

III.  Foreign Language Requirement, All Students:

Basic proficiency in two classical and/or modern languages, or advanced proficiency in one, in addition to English. See the Ph.D. Program website for details.

IV.  Comprehensive Examination, All Students

V.   Dissertation Writing and Defense, All Students


NOTE:   It is strongly recommended that students orient completion of specialization coursework toward a specific discipline, and supplement required coursework with elective courses in that discipline.

Departmental Faculty

Shelley Salamensky

Director of Graduate Studies

Pamela Beattie

Assistant Professor

Simona Bertacco

Associate Professor

Mark E. Blum 


Ying Kit Chan

Director of Hite Art Institute

John Gibson

Associate Professor

Aaron Jaffe

Director of Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Dismas Masolo

Distinguished University Scholar

Ranen Omer-Sherman

The Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence Endowed Chair in Judaic Studies

Natalie Polzer 

Associate Professor

Patrick Pranke

Assistant Professor 

Tatjana Soldat-Jaffe

Associate Professor

Elaine O. Wise
Assistant Professor
Chair of Humanities Division

Contact Information

Humanities - Ph.D.

Lisa Schonburg
Humanities Ph.D. Program
Bingham Humanities
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: (502)852-3887

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