Master of Liberal Arts degree: Spring 2020 courses available

MLA courses are eligible for tuition remission for JHU employees, and they are also available to full-time Homewood graduate students via an interdivisional course request through their home school. Non-degree seeking students are welcome to enroll, though they will have to complete an application.

Open registration for spring 2020 courses closes Jan. 12; please allow some time for your application to be processed. For more information about our spring course offerings visit the MLA Course Schedule webpage.

The following on-campus course still has seats available:

  • AS. 450.640.01—Nature and the American Imagination, scheduled for Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8:45 p.m., starting Jan. 28. This course offers an interdisciplinary study of the American landscape and the role it has played in shaping American identity. We anchor our study by looking at the way the idea of land has been constructed throughout our history as a kindred spirit by Native Americans, as a "howling wilderness" by the early colonists, as a school for spirit by the New England Transcendentalists, as a precious inheritance in need of preservation by 19th-century conservationists such as John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt, and in keeping with Manifest Destiny, as a rich resource that was "ours for the taking." Philosophically, we explore the influence on early colonists of biblical and Enlightenment thought, of the European Romantic movement, the moral ambiguities of the slave experience of the American land, the ideas of Romanticism that gave rise to Emersonian Transcendentalism (America's first homegrown philosophy), the competing theories behind the national park movement, and more recently the revival of Native American holistic values in ecological paradigms. Beginning with Thoreau, who "went to the woods to learn to live deliberately," we read primary texts of American nature writing, arguably one of America's finest contributions to world literature, and we experiment with keeping nature journals. Finally, we discuss the bridging of the two cultures, science and art, in the writings of paleontologist Loren Eiseley and conservationists Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, and Al Gore.

The following online courses currently have seats available:

  • AS.450.644.81 – U.S. Environmental History
  • AS.450.651.81 – Western Political Philosophy
  • AS.450.678.81 – Religions of the Emerging World
  • AS.450.739.81 – Race and Jazz

Recently ranked as the Best Online Master of Liberal Arts Program in the country by, the MLA Program accepts applications on a rolling basis. The program consists of 10 courses that may be completed on campus and online.

For more information about the program, visit the MLA website.

For additional information about these courses or the MLA Program, contact Laura DeSisto, MLA Program director, at