Program Requirements

Your role in the Program

The Global Humanities MA Program is interdisciplinary and draws on the resources of faculty in many areas of the Arts and Social Sciences. It is, therefore, possible for the Master's student to create, in cooperation with the Global Humanities Graduate Program Committee (GPC), an individualized program of studies to suit their scholarly interests and goals.

Learn more about our MA Program

Student Responsibilities


student declaration

The student declaration is important. It imposes obligations on you as a graduate student and affects rights and privileges including property rights. You must not enroll as a student at the University if you do not agree to become bound by the declaration below. By agreeing to become a student, you make the declaration below and agree to be bound by it.

Upon enrolling in classes, you have initiated a contract with the University and you are bound by the following declaration:

I hereby accept and submit myself to the policies, rules, and regulations of Simon Fraser University and any amendments thereto, which may be made while I am a student of the University, and solely to the laws of the Province of British Columbia and the federal laws of Canada, as applicable, and I promise to observe and be bound by the same and, in any litigation, to attorn to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of the Province of British Columbia or Canada, as applicable.

Policies, rules, regulations, and Ordinances

University level

You are required to inform yourself of the policies, rules and regulations, and ordinances (including bylaws and codes) and to any amendments thereto applicable at the University. These regulations may change during the course of your program and it is your responsibility to review and follow the current applicable policies. 

Program level

It is your responsibility to be aware of program requirements stated in the Calendar. Should the academic program requirements change during your credential, please contact your Graduate Program Chair as you may select to use the program requirements which are most beneficial to you. You must also adhere to any additional handbooks or guidelines provided by your program.

Coursework and Thesis

Successful applicants will enter the program in the fall term. With a sequenced combination of four courses and a thesis, students will complete the degree in 24 months. 

MA Program Requirements

Complete a total of 26 units while maintaining at least a 3.0 CGPA

Completed coursework must include all of:

  • HUM 800 - Theories and Methods in the Humanities (5)
  • HUM 801 - Research Development Seminar (5)
  • HUM 803 - MA Thesis (10)

and two of:

  • HUM 802 - Themes in the Humanities (5)
  • HUM 804 - Directed Readings (5)
  • HUM 805 - Special Topics (5)

Required courses from the second list can be fulfilled via accelerated undergraduate courses, directed studies, or relevant course offerings taken in other departments or faculties (see note).

Note: a great alternative to fulfill the requirement for two additional courses beyond the three required HUM courses are the elective courses (LS 810–819) from the Graduate Liberal Studies MA Program.

Submit a thesis giving evidence of independent research and critical abilities

Students who have completed their coursework and/or are researching and writing their thesis will enroll in HUM 803 (MA Thesis).

Course selection must be made in consultation with the senior supervisor. It is expected that students complete all coursework within their first year of the program. The second year will be devoted entirely to the thesis.

HUM 804: Directed Readings Approval Form

Thesis Proposal, Preparation, and Defence

Graduate students in Global Humanities will construct a major thesis (60–80 pages) that:

  • Interconnects sub-arguments in the form of chapters that, when taken as a whole, convincingly argue a distinct perspective on their chosen topic.
  • Demonstrates a command of the technical terminology in the language particular to their chosen field of study.
  • Articulates discipline-specific language clearly to the non-expert reader.
  • Develops a clear and consistent scholarly voice.
  • Exhibits effective editing skills to create a coherent and thoughtful argument.
  • Employs up-to-date bibliographical tools.


Thesis writing

1. Proposal

Students will write a thesis proposal to be presented to their Supervisory Committee (SC) to ensure that the student and SC are in agreement about the nature of the work to be done for thesis completion and the schedule for finishing degree requirements. Both the SC and GPC must approve the thesis proposal. Students are expected to complete their proposal by the end of their second term in the program. Typically, they do so in the context of HUM 801.

2. Preparation

Preparation for the examination of a master’s thesis shall not take place until the thesis is substantially complete and in the required format. Before a defence date can be set, both the Senior Supervisor and Supervisory Committee Member(s) must have received and read a complete draft of the thesis and agree that it is ready to be defended.

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3. Defence

Thesis defences are open to the University Community. During the thesis defence, the candidate will give an oral account of the research on which the thesis is based and defend the thesis itself. It is expected that this oral presentation will not exceed 20–25 minutes. The candidate must be prepared to answer questions on the field of the research and related fields.

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Completion and Graduation

There are steps students need to take in order to complete their degree, including submitting their thesis to the Library following their successful thesis defence. Please visit the Graduate website for the graduation checklist for more information on the required steps toward convocation.

Apply to Graduate

During your final term you will need to apply to graduate. You may apply to graduate at any time in what you plan to be your final term and you do not have to wait until your defence or thesis has been submitted to the library. If circumstances change, it is a straightforward process to withdraw your application to graduate.


Convocation takes place in June and October. If you completed in the Fall or Spring term, you will be invited to the June ceremony, while students who completed in the Summer term are invited to the October ceremony. In rare cases, you may ask to be in the following convocation (i.e. if you are unable to attend in June, you may email and request to be included in October).

Early Completion Refund

In some cases students are eligible for a reduced tuition rate in their final term if their degree is completed within the first month of the term. You do not need to apply for the early completion refund. If eligible, the refund will be processed by Graduate Studies once the Library confirms the submission date and Degree Recommendation.