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Harrison Middleton University is a great books, great ideas, great conversations, distance learning university that offers undergraduate and graduate education in the humanities with concentrations in imaginative literature, natural science, philosophy and religion, and social science.

In keeping with Harrison Middleton Universityís commitment to promote excellence in education and its desire to create highly trained scholars and professionals who have a broad, interdisciplinary perspective, the university offers a Doctor of Arts degree program.  Students design their own program of study and choose interdisciplinary doctoral coursework from the fields of Imaginative Literature, Natural Sciences, Philosophy and Religion, and Social Science.

Through the exploration of imaginative literature, primary texts in the natural sciences, philosophical and religious tracts, and works in the social sciences, students at Harrison Middleton University develop and hone their capacities to analyze, interpret and criticize complex works within their areas of interest.  Our emphasis on interdisciplinary systems of knowledgeóin combination with a supportive distance learning program that encourages personal and social developmentóalso helps to foster intellectual vitality, confidence, independent thinking, leadership, and the flexibility professionals need to succeed in an ever-changing world.


The Doctor of Arts degree is a first professional degree that gives students the opportunity to pursue advanced scholarly study of interdisciplinary content areas that can be utilized in a variety of situations. The degree program offers students the opportunity to pursue their self-designed studies in such a way as to enhance their breadth of applicable knowledge in the four concentrations of Imaginative Literature, Natural Sciences, Philosophy and Religion and Social Science.

This interdisciplinary program, which encourages analytical and synthetic thought, hones research methods and improves written and oral communication skills, will also prepare students for a variety of fields which are enhanced by advanced training, including law, medicine, art, architecture, education, religion, science, business, engineering, civil service, publishing and lifelong learning.

The program of study includes 60 credit hours of graduate credit beyond the masterís degree level.  The Doctor of Arts program of study is designed by the student in consultation with the studentís Instructional Team and the Dean of Graduate Studies. The student submits her or his program of study for the Doctor of Arts degree program to the university and it is approved by the studentís Instructional Team and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

The Doctor of Arts degree at Harrison Middleton University is unique in the way our program is deliveredóentirely at a distanceóand because of our flexible and individualized, student created program of study.  In this way, the manner in which the student fulfills the degree requirements can be tailored to each studentís educational and career goals.


Harrison Middleton Universityís Doctor of Arts degree program is based on the belief that primary source documents provide unique opportunities for the past to be explored.  The coursework portion of the Doctor of Arts degree at Harrison Middleton University is primarily organized around the Great Books of the Western World and the educational philosophies espoused by Mortimer Adler, Robert Hutchins, and Clifton Fadiman, among others, as well as the Board of Directors of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Great Books of the Western World Committee of Consultants.

The Doctor of Arts degree program consists of  The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course (4 credit hours), 48 credit hours of coursework divided into two 24 credit hour concentrations consisting of readings from the Great Books of the Western World including syntopical readings on topics, sub-topics, references, cross-references, and additional readings from the Bibliography of Additional Readings, and lastly, the Doctoral Capstone Course (8 credit hours).  The capstone course proposal requires the creation of a significant original work. The work must be an original contribution to knowledge and demonstrate the studentís proficiency as an independent investigator.   The doctoral capstone proposal must be approved by the studentís Instructional Team and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

By using a combination of primary source documents from Great Books of the Western World, as well as other primary source documents from the Great Books Foundation publications, the Annals of American History, additional readings from the Bibliography of Additional Readings. The Doctor of Arts student will craft a program of study rich in primary sources crucial to the study of the great ideas. Using these primary source documents, the program of study focuses on extensive research activity on one or a combination of the great ideas: art, animal, aristocracy, art, astronomy and cosmology, beauty, being, cause, chance, change, citizen, constitution, courage, custom and convention, definition, democracy, desire, dialectic, duty, education, element, emotion, eternity, evolution, experience, family, fate, form, God, good and evil, government, habit, happiness, history, honor, hypothesis, idea, immortality, induction, infinity, judgment, justice, knowledge, labor, language, law, liberty, life and death, logic, love, man, mathematics, matter, mechanics, medicine, memory and imagination, metaphysics, mind monarchy, nature, necessity and contingency, oligarchy, one and many, opinion, opposition, philosophy, physic, pleasure and pain, poetry, principle, progress, prophecy, prudence punishment, quality, quantity, reasoning, relation, religion, revolution, rhetoric, same and other, science, sense, sign and symbol, sin, slavery, soul, space, state, temperance, theology, time, truth, tyranny and despotism, universal and particular, virtue and vice, war and peace, wealth, will, wisdom, world.

In essence, our program of study embraces the concept that oneís natural intellectual curiosity should guide learning, the notion that learning is a life-long pursuit for wisdom and the idea that such wisdom can be furthered by the interdisciplinary study of the greatest works of the last 3,000 years in Imaginative Literature, Natural Science, Philosophy and Religion, and Social Science.


Graduate students in any discipline may pursue a Certificate in Scholarly Publishing in conjunction with their degree programs.  The program is also open to students who already hold graduate degrees. Students gain an understanding of the structure of scholarly publishing (scholarly journals, reference books, college textbooks and scholarly electronic media), its role and responsibility in society, the legal and ethical issues that impinge upon it, and its economics.  They also learn to perform responsibilities as editors, designers, or producers of scholarly publications.  The certificate requires 16 hours of course work.  Some courses may be applied to the certificate and the studentís degree program.  Students must have completed 12 hours of graduate level coursework before they can begin to pursue the Certificate in Scholarly Publishing.


The program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours beyond the masterís degree.  Harrison Middleton University has open enrollment and students may begin their program of study at any time.  The studentís academic year is based on his or her start date (The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course).


Course work must be completed in no less than 2 years and no more than 10 years from the date of enrollment.


When students have essentially completed their coursework in an approved program of study, they will take the comprehensive examinations.  The oral examinations are designed to access the studentís mastery of the field of specialization.  Failure in the comprehensive examinations is considered final unless the instructional team recommends, and the Dean of Graduate Studies approves, a reexamination.  A reexamination may be administered no sooner than three months and no later than one year from the date of the original examination.  Only one reexamination is permitted.


Doctoral students should apply for admission to candidacy immediately after they have met all requirements for the degree, except the Doctoral Capstone course.  These requirements include passing the comprehensive examinations and other requirements specified by the Graduate College.


One of the components of the Doctor of Arts professional degree program is the completion of the Doctoral Capstone Course (8 credit hours).  A student may choose to complete a applied project or pedagogical training for their doctoral capstone course.

The scholarly paper, applied project and pedagogical training component of the Doctor of Arts degree may consist of: 1) a scholarly paper that may take the form of a research project, a doctoral report, a doctoral essay or a doctoral thesis; 2) an applied project such as a book, a manuscript, a collaborative publication, a creative portfolio or other applied project relevant to the subject matter fields of the studentís program of study such as creating works of art, composing and performing music, writing scientific journal articles, solving an extended mathematical problem or writing a philosophical or religious treatise; or 3) pedagogical training.


The final oral examination in defense of the Doctoral Capstone Course scholarly paper, applied project or pedagogical training is mandatory.  The oral defense is scheduled with the studentís instructional team and the dean of the graduate college.


The student is eligible for graduation when the Graduate College scholarship requirements have been met, the final oral examination has been passed, and the Doctoral Capstone Course scholarly paper, applied project or pedagogical training has been completed and approved by the studentís Instructional Team and the Dean of Graduate Studies.