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Master of Arts Degree in Catholic Studies



In the long history of the Church, the gospel has been proclaimed not only by bishops and theologians, but also by philosophers, scientists, physicians, historians, artists, poets, and architects.  There is a growing need for a systematic study of the Catholic intellectual tradition across the arts and sciences. 

Our Master of Arts in Catholic Studies is an interdisciplinary study of the Catholic intellectual tradition with an emphasis on its relation to Western philosophy.  The program is open to all qualified students and will particularly benefit Catholic educators and other professionals serving in a Catholic context.

Course and research requirements

Students in the program take 34 credits that are normally distributed as follows: twelve credits of theology; twelve credits of philosophy (Ancient Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy, Metaphysics, and Introduction to Moral Philosophy); six credits of either language or elective courses; and four credits of thesis direction.  To complete the program in two years a student will typically take nine credit hours per semester.

Graduate with Diploma

First Year

Second Year

Special studies students may substitute elective courses for the required Catechism courses.  These elective courses include:  Church History, Theology of Faith and Revelation, Liturgy and the Arts, Philosophy of Nature, Epistemology, Catholic Social Doctrine, Modern Philosophy, Natural Theology, Contemporary Philosophy, and Christian Anthropology.

Comprehensive Examination

Typically, comprehensive examinations will be given each spring or when the student has completed degree program requirements.  Students must complete the course requirements before sitting for the examination. 

Prerequisites for Admission to the Program

In order to apply, a candidate must have completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with a 3.0 average.


Application and letter of recommendation forms are available below for download or from the registrar's office.

Master Of Arts Application Form

Master Of Arts Letter Of Recommendation Form

Someone who is interested in Catholic Studies, but not in a full master's degree, can take many of the Athenaeum's courses individually.

Percentage of students admitted each year who have graduated:






Two-year total




Percentage of students admitted each year who are still enrolled or have graduated:






Two-year total




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