Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Drew Moser


The content covered within humanities courses is intrinsically personal, and the pursuit of a degree from this school of study requires deep contemplation, as well as the ability to convey those thoughts in meaningful text. This study explored the impact that pursuing a degree within the humanities (English, history, philosophy, etc.) has on an undergraduate student’s whole-person development. The areas of development identified include intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development. This study implemented a phenomenological design with an interview-based data collection process. The ten participants in this research were Senior undergraduate students studying English and history; the questions posed in their individual interviews remained open-ended as to provide them the opportunity to respond as authentically as possible. The qualitative data collected from this study revealed several themes that emerged as shared experiences among the participants, as well as shared perceptions of their personal growth and development by way of their majors; these themes point to the existence of whole-person development as those of both intellectual/analytical and social/emotional natures emerged. The results of this study further reveal the importance of humanities degrees for producing thoughtful, reflective, and competent graduates from an undergraduate institution.