The M.A. program offers excellent opportunities for persons seeking advanced study in the Liberal Arts for its own sake as well as to enhance preparation for careers involved in interpreting American life. Some students may also undertake the M.A. in preparation for entrance into a doctoral program.
Full-time M.A. students finish their course work in two semesters; they are encouraged to finish theses during the following summer. The program's course of study is individually driven, so students work closely with their advisors and other faculty in shaping curricula and research topics that best suit their interests. Master's thesis topics have included the making, distribution, and continuing reception of Colonial Williamsburg's long-running orientation film, "The Story of a Patriot" (1957); jazz and the civil rights movement; and the relation between the work of popular artist Thomas Kincaid and evangelical Christianity.