Krieger School of Arts & Sciences > Full-time Graduate

Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies

Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies
Degrees Offered: PhD

The PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies (IHS) aims to facilitate the investigation of topics and problems that benefit from the insight of two disciplines. Under this program, first-year doctoral students have the unique opportunity to design a customized interdisciplinary PhD curriculum that they will pursue over the remaining years of their doctoral study.

IHS students work with faculty advisers from two different PhD fields, combining the methods, resources, and requirements of the two fields to develop and carry out their specific interdisciplinary course of study and research. At least one of these fields must be in the humanities or humanistic social sciences.

To be eligible to apply, students must be currently enrolled in their first year of doctoral study at Johns Hopkins in a humanities or humanistic social sciences discipline. 

Engineering

Engineering
Students can: Major Minor
Degrees Offered: BA, BS, MA, MS, PhD
The Whiting School of Engineering provides academic instruction in a wide range of disciplines in nine undergraduate departments, 10 graduate departments, its Engineering for Professionals programs (part-time), and the Center for Leadership Education.

Molecular Biophysics

Molecular Biophysics
Degrees Offered: PhD

New fields of scientific inquiry are emerging at a breathtaking pace. Biophysics, with its inherent foundation of integrative science, addresses the mysteries of life using all of the methods available to us through biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computer science.

The Program in Molecular Biophysics brings together Johns Hopkins faculty at the Homewood and Medical School campuses. Its goal is to prepare students to deal with interdisciplinary problems in molecular biophysics and structural biology. It provides students with training in both the fundamental principles of biophysics and contemporary advances in the field.

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Chemical Biology

Chemical Biology
Degrees Offered: PhD

The Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) graduate program provides students with training that enables them to challenge the traditional boundaries currently separating chemistry from biology. Upon completion of the program, CBI students receive a PhD in chemical biology.

Our curriculum, including writing an original research proposal, is designed to help students further develop their analytical skills and the ability to think independently. Peer support and learning are also integral to the educational experience.

Coursework ensures that students have a strong foundation in chemistry in addition to ample knowledge of the biological sciences. The breadth of faculty research and teaching interests enables students to explore many aspects of the Chemistry-Biology Interface.

Cellular, Molecular, Developmental Biology and Biophysics

Cellular, Molecular, Developmental Biology and Biophysics
Degrees Offered: PhD

The Program in Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology, and Biophysics (CMDB) cross-trains doctoral students in the areas of molecular biology, cellular biology, developmental biology, and biophysics.

The CMDB program includes faculty from Johns Hopkins University’s departments of biology, biophysics, and chemistry, as well as from the Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Embryology.

A program of study leading to the PhD degree is open to students who are candidates for, or who already have, the bachelor’s or master’s degree in the biological or physical sciences.

To be admitted, the applicant should have had either a thorough training in the fundamentals of biology and both organic chemistry and general physics, or a broad training in the physical sciences and mathematics. Special attention is given to the applicant’s quality of scholarship and his or her promise as an investigator.

Advanced Media Studies

Advanced Media Studies
Degrees Offered: Certificate

The discipline of media studies has emerged from the cultural studies, critical theory, and philological disciplines dedicated to historical, cultural, and linguistic analysis of how ideas are communicated. In today’s global media market, digital and other emerging media have become so widespread that they demand their own field of specialized research.

The Center for Advanced Media Studies (CAMS) aims to fulfill this need within the Johns Hopkins community by establishing fellowships and residencies, organizing workshops, lecture series, and screenings/gallery installations, and broadly supporting the burgeoning field of advanced media studies. The center is geared toward graduate students with an interest in media studies, but is open to the larger Johns Hopkins and Baltimore communities.

Writing Seminars

Writing Seminars
Students can: Major
Degrees Offered: BA, MFA

Johns Hopkins University was, in 1947, among the first major academic institutions in the United States to create a degree for writers.

The department of the Writing Seminars, distinguished by 60-plus years of teaching by prominent American writers, is characterized by the quality of its faculty, small classes, and a broad liberal arts curriculum as part of the major. More than 30 introductory writing classes are offered each semester, with an additional 20 reading seminars and writing workshops for majors and non-majors.

For the BA, students work primarily in fiction and poetry but may take courses in nonfiction prose, editorial writing, screenwriting, playwriting, and science writing. An array of internships and a visiting writers’ reading series offer wider opportunities.

For the two-year MFA, students concentrate in either fiction or poetry. The Writing Seminars’ success at all levels is confirmed by an extraordinary record of prizes for, and publications by, our alumni.

What can you do with your degree?

Write! With skills learned at The Writing Seminars, countless students have gone on to publish novels, short stories, poetry collections, and nonfiction articles and books. Our graduates also excel simultaneously in fields such as teaching, editing, arts administration, and a variety of other professions ranging from law to business to medicine.

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Near Eastern Studies

Near Eastern Studies
Students can: Major
Degrees Offered: BA, PhD

The ancient Near East is where the first crops were sown, the first cities were built, and the first writing was invented. The origins of Western culture are found in its great civilizations, from the three main monotheistic religions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—to things we use every day and take for granted, such as the alphabet and marking time by hours and minutes.

The Johns Hopkins Department of Near Eastern Studies offers a wide range of courses on the cultures and languages of the ancient Near East, including Egypt, Israel, Syria-Palestine, Mesopotamia, and the Arabian peninsula. Archaeology is also an option for students, and the department carries out excavations in Egypt, Syria, Oman, and Ethiopia. Courses cover archaeology, history, religion, art, language, and literature of the ancient civilizations of the Near East.

The department uses modern tools of analysis to study ancient Near Eastern civilizations, utilizing ancient written records and physical evidence as primary data. The study of language and script allows for an ability to access sources in the original, while historical and archaeological study facilitates an understanding of context and relationships with surrounding cultures. 

What can you do with your degree?

A degree in Near Eastern studies can be used as the basis for a career in Near Eastern history, languages, art history, or archaeology, teaching or conducting research at a university, college, museum, seminary, or research institute. In addition, the grounding in humanistic, social science, and natural science techniques as well as in the study of different cultures prepares graduates for careers in a wide diversity of fields beyond Near Eastern studies itself.

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Classics

Classics
Students can: Major Minor
Degrees Offered: BA, BA/MA, PhD

The civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome continue to delight and engage us with their history, literature, art, philosophy, and perennial relevance. Students of the Classics ground their enthusiasm for the ancient world in the study of the languages, thought, and physical remains of these amazing societies.

The Department of Classics offers a rigorous yet flexible BA program, while also accommodating a variety of interests in and approaches to the ancient world. Classes are small and students work closely with their professors and instructors.

The department offers courses in ancient Greek and Latin language and literature at all levels, as well as a variety of courses on the history, civilization, religion, art, archaeology, philosophy, and mythology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. Students are also encouraged to spend a semester or summer overseas in Italy or Greece.

Undergraduates have the option of working toward a five-year BA/MA co-terminal degree.

What can you do with your degree?

There are many possible professions and career paths for Classics majors. The ability to speak other languages can lead to positions all over the world. In addition, the knowledge of languages such as ancient Greek and Latin is a rare skill that sets you apart in a competitive job market. Many doctors, lawyers, politicians, and historians have a background in classical studies.

Some students go on to do graduate work in classics or related academic areas. Others apply to professional schools, especially law and medicine. Some students elect to enter the workforce directly after graduation in fields such as publishing, museum work, or government service.

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Psychological and Brain Sciences

Psychological and Brain Sciences
Students can: Major Minor
Degrees Offered: BA, PhD

In 1883, G. Stanley Hall founded the first psychological laboratory in America at Johns Hopkins University. Since then, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences has played a key role in the evolution of the field, investigating the most fundamental questions of behavior, mind, and brain.

Dedicated to research, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is one of the top-ranked psychology departments in the world. The program stresses methodology for the investigation of the biological and psychological processes underlying human and animal behavior and cognition.

The intimate size of the department gives students and faculty significant flexibility to design individual training programs, and promotes an atmosphere of exceptional collegiality. At the same time, the department has at its disposal all the resources of a major research university, as well as the advantages of its connection to one of the world's leading medical institutions.

Students have many opportunities for research, both with the Arts & Sciences faculty and in the labs at the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Internship opportunities are available at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, Kennedy Krieger Institute, and other local institutions.

What can you do with your degree?

Psychology can be applied to a broad range of fields, including health and human services, management, education, law, and sports. Psychologists might work with business executives, performers, or athletes to reduce stress and improve performance, or they recommend psychologically ideal jurors to lawyers during the jury selection phase of a trial. They team with law enforcement and public health officials following disasters to analyze the cause, or by helping the victims or witnesses recover from trauma. Psychology is applicable in a variety of real-world settings, as well as preparation for graduate work in psychology or related fields such as business, medicine, law, or computer science.

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History of Art

History of Art
Students can: Major Minor
Degrees Offered: BA, BA/MA, PhD

Thanks to the university’s proximity to remarkable collections in Baltimore and Washington, the Department of the History of Art offers unique opportunities for the study of art history. Students work closely with a faculty of research scholars on aspects of European and American art. In small classes and informal excursions, they integrate their direct experience of works of art with knowledge acquired through historical research.

The department’s faculty members are among the most distinguished in the fields of ancient Roman, medieval, Renaissance, baroque, and modern art history; in addition, Johns Hopkins routinely welcomes visiting scholars and museum curators to offer courses on the arts of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Internationally renowned artists and art historians visit campus to discuss their work in lectures and seminars. Intensive classroom study is complemented with excursions to world-class museums in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Access to these collections supplements undergraduate course work with the excitement of direct interactions with great works of art.

The university also maintains an extensive art library, which includes the Fowler Collection of treatises on architecture. Research materials in numerous regional libraries and museums and in the Library of Congress are also accessible to art history students.

What can you do with your degree?

Because the department emphasizes the historical, cultural, and social context of art, art history is an excellent program for undergraduates interested in a humanistic education as well as for those preparing for a career in the field.

Comparative Thought and Literature

Comparative Thought and Literature
Degrees Offered: PhD

The Department of Comparative Thought and Literature comprises a cadre of scholars who share a commitment to philosophical questions as they relate to art, literature, film, and history. Collaboration, exchange of ideas, and intellectual freedom are at the department’s core.

The department’s interdisciplinary nature is one of its main strengths and provides crucial common ground for scholars from humanities departments across the university. Faculty members work in a variety of fields but are unified by a common investment in intellectual curiosity, flexibility, open-mindedness, and careful reading and criticism. Graduate students are encouraged to undertake projects addressing authentic philosophical or theoretical problems without the restriction of disciplinary conventions. Students may also cultivate strong ties with faculty in other departments working in their areas of interest.

What can you do with your degree?

A PhD degree in humanistic studies can lead to various career paths. At Johns Hopkins, your scholarly work in the classroom is complemented by robust research opportunities and hands-on learning. Such broad background leads to careers in academia, museums and art galleries, journalism and writing, politics, teaching, media, and non-profit management.

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