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Comparative Humanities

  • M.A.
    • Full- or part-time
    • One-year program (if full-time)
    • Deadline:  Rolling through May 1. Review begins January 15.
    • Need- and merit-based scholarships available
  • B/MA
    • Full-time
    • Deadlines:
      • Juniors: May 1
      • Seniors: November 15


Master of Arts in Comparative Humanities


"At every point in humanistic inquiry, the actual meets the possible in an encounter whose results cannot be predicted in advance. " --Geoffrey Harpham

About the Program

Brandeis University's Master of Arts in Comparative Humanities (M.A.C.H.) encourages the kind of creative inquiry between and beyond the disciplines of the humanities that takes the mind places it never knew existed. M.A.C.H. provides a flexible, interdisciplinary curriculum across 30 program areas, ranging from (but not limited to) film to philosophy, history to the fine arts, and literature to women’s and gender studies, with the potential for connections to the natural sciences and other fields.  The versatility of the M.A.C.H. program allows students to work with an advisor to customize a program that helps them meet their academic and professional goals. Our program offers rigorous humanistic studies in both cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural frameworks, and takes advantage of our dynamic faculty’s expertise across geographies, nationalities, historical periods, and/or languages.  Some additional highlights of the program include:

  • Located just outside of Boston with its world-renowned academic resources--an ideal location for internships, research, and career opportunities;
  • Individualized faculty mentorship that capitalizes on Brandeis’ close-knit community of scholars. Students work closely with their faculty advisor to structure their curriculum requirements and when completing their capstone project;
  • Brandeis’ Mandel Center for the Humanities encourages cross-cultural and trans-regional work that draws upon our rich co-curricular course offerings;
  • Draws upon our close connections with well-known academic, cultural, and research resources of the Boston area including the Boston Area Graduate Consortium.


We encourage you to explore one of the department’s greatest assets through our faculty pages.

Courses and Degree Requirements

In conjunction with a primary advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), each student builds a cogent curriculum that bridges cultures in courses that span 30 program areas. Visit the department's curriculum page for required course descriptions and degree requirements.

How to Apply

Application Deadlines:

M.A.: For fall semester (starts in late August): Rolling through May 1. Review of applications begins January 15th.

B.A./M.A.C.H. (for current Brandeis students): Brandeis seniors: November 15; Brandeis juniors: May 1

Admission Requirements:

To apply for the program, you need to submit:

  • An online application;
  • An application fee (please click here for more information; waived for the B.A./M.A. and for alumni);
  • Transcripts from all universities and colleges attended must be uploaded to your application; do not mail official transcripts to our office. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page;
  • Two letters of recommendation, submitted electronically (note: only 1 letter of recommendation is required for the B.A./M.A. and for alumni within the past 3 years);
  • A curriculum vitae (CV) or resumé;
  • A statement of purpose indicating your reasons for undertaking graduate study. In addition, please describe your qualifications for the M.A.C.H. and your objectives in undertaking this program.
  • A writing sample, not to exceed 35 pages.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required (though this is waived for the B.A./M.A., as well as for Brandeis students/alumni applying for the M.A.). Our GRE institution code is 3092 (please note: this institution code only applies to GRE scores).
  • International applicants:  For additional requirements for international applicants (non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents), minimum TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, and important information regarding visas, please click here. If you are submitting TOEFL scores, please note that our TOEFL institution code is 3261.

For a more comprehensive description of application requirements, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Financial Aid and Scholarships 

Brandeis University offers a generous array of tuition scholarships, fellowships, and loan opportunities.; for more information please visit our Financial Aid page.

Careers and Alumni

With its strong emphasis on research and communication skills, the Comparative Humanities graduate program provides opportunities for professional development, enhanced marketability in numerous career areas, and preparation for doctoral studies in a wide range of fields. Graduates may find themselves in various settings—from museums, libraries, and classrooms, to Ph.D. programs and Brandeis’ Master’s program in Teaching. The master’s degree can be used as a stepping stone to a Ph.D. program in a wide variety of humanities-related fields. Teachers in K-12 in all subjects who pursue a Masters in Comparative Humanities may gain better standing in their schools and greatly enhances their teaching of art, social studies and social sciences, languages, and much more.

The M.A.C.H. program provides both guidance and flexibility for:

  • Professional or pre-professional students seeking advanced training in language, literature, and culture studies;
  • Prospective doctoral candidates seeking rigorous preparation in textual and cultural studies;
  • Students who want to explore several fields before identifying a definitive career path;
  • Current teachers aiming to return to the classroom and non-teachers looking to teach at the secondary or community college levels;
  • Individuals with knowledge of one discipline wanting to enhance their understanding of another.

Students can work closely with our Career Services office for an array of resources, including CV/resumé help, job search, and networking.