Program Website: Graduate Studies – Hiram College

Graduate Programs

Hiram College’s graduate programs provide students from a variety of academic backgrounds a graduate education grounded in the liberal arts. Coursework offers a graduate learning community that fosters students’ intellectual, social and ethical development, and that will provide them with the skills to recognize, understand, and act upon complex social problems.


Sherman Dean, Professional Academic Advisor

Karyne “Missie” Mallinak, Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean & Advising Center

Janet Pope, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

BIOL Graduate Courses

BIOL 52800:  SEM::  3 Hour(s)  
BIOL 58100:  EVOLUTION:  3 Hour(s)  

EVOLUTION ~ Evolutionary theory is the cornerstone of all modern biology, whether molecular, organismal, or behavioral. The theory of evolution is “true – and the truth only makes us free,” according to the late invertebrate paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. We will examine parts of Charles Darwin’s fundamental text “On the Origin of Species,” and will then examine the fundamental principles of evolution using population genetics, biogeography, behavioral biology and molecular genetics - which form the basis of modern evolutionary biology. We will finish by discussing human evolution to ascertain whether we follow the same “rules” of evolution as all other living organisms. Throughout the course, the emphasis will be placed upon the methods used to provide the vast array of evidence for evolution and its processes.


EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENT ~ An exploration of the “great engine of evolution” – embryonic development. We will study how changes in embryonic gene expression can create or change form and function in animal species. Topics include: flies to butterflies, how to get a snake from a chicken, is that an enhancer or are you just glad to see me, and “endless forms most beautiful.”


GENOMICS & BIOINFORMATICS FOR THE CLASSROOM ~ This course is designed to provide the content knowledge and hands-on experience needed for high school teachers to bring genomics and bioinformatics into their courses. You will learn how to implement in your courses a free online gene and genome analysis project on a microorganism of your choice and also how you can connect genome analysis to a wet lab project. You will also have the opportunity to put what you learned into practice by helping teach high school students in the Hiram Bio-innovation Institute.

BIOL 58115:  GENES&GENOMES 21ST CENTURY:  3 Hour(s)  

GENES & GENOMES IN THE 21ST CENTURY ~ Humans have long known that children look like their parents and other ancestors, but it is only in the last century or so that we have come to understand why. Genetics is critical to all life on Earth, but we have moved beyond the transmission genetics of Mendel to a gene-centered strategy and now to a genome-wide view. This course covers our 21st century understanding of genetics and genomics. The course will focus on genetics as a “toolbox” for understanding how life works with a heavy emphasis on problem-based learning, using algebra, probability, and statistics in biology, and incorporating research into courses. Examples will come from all types of organisms.

BIOL 58125:  HUMAN BIOLOGY:  3 Hour(s)  

HUMAN BIOLOGY ~ The human body has undergone significant physical and physiological transformations across millennia since the split from great apes, and again more rapidly since the advent of agriculture. This graduate seminar covers a range of topics related to the following topics: the molecular and cellular mechanisms that form the basis of human physiology, ecology and development, and an exploration of how our evolutionary history has shaped physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development. Primary research from the sub-disciplines listed above form the content base for this course. Participants will identify additional research regarding a more specific area of interest with the themes listed above that will then form the bulk of the remaining course materials, and the basis for individual research projects.


READINGS IN NEUROPHARMACOLOGY ~ This course will familiarize students with the operation of central and peripheral neural synapses and alterations of their normal activity under the influence of various exogenous agents. The topics covered include neuronal cytology, molecular biology of synapse, receptors, neuromodulators, and the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of multiple transmitter systems including serotonergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic cell groups. Drug trials and study design will also be addressed. Emphasis in the class is on coverage of the history of discoveries in each area as well as contemporary state of the art in approaches to the topic.


ADVANCED TOPICS IN MARINE ECOLOGY ~ This course evolved from three related courses taught by at the Shoals Marine Lab since 1982, Adaptations of Marine Organisms, Experimental Marine Ecology and Research in Marine Biology. The Marine Ecology course (Biology 34200) is the Hiram College version of the course taught every other year since 2004. Through the years, the focus of the course has shifted from adaptation and marine ecology to experimental design taught at the level of a graduate course, hence the offering of this course at the master’s level. In this course, we will learn skills that are required of all scientists including: designing and carrying out effective experiments, analyzing results using statistics, and communicating the meaning of your results in the form of scientific presentations and papers. The context in which you will learn these skills is marine ecology and physiology. Together we will design and three experiments, which will expose you to a variety organisms and environments, and experimental and statistical techniques. We will provide background material for each experiment in the form of lectures and readings. We will examine some data sets from Hiram courses from 2012 and 2014. The course is modeled as a biostatistics course.

BIOL 58170:  INTRO TO CANCER BIOLOGY:  3 Hour(s)  

INTRODUCTION TO CANCER BIOLOGY ~ This course introduces the cellular and genetic changes that lead normal cells to transform into malignant cancer cells. Topics will include the history of cancer, oncogenes, tumor suppressors, programmed cell death, cell proliferation, cell differentiation and genetic susceptibility as well as current strategies for treating the disease. Because of the prevalence of cancer in society, research is continuously advancing this knowledge. Students will also learn to evaluate research papers providing up to date advancements in predictors, treatments and prevention of cancer.

BIOL 58180:  PATHOPHYSIOLOGY:  3 Hour(s)  

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY ~ Provides graduate students with a theoretic foundation of human physiology, the phenomenon that produce alterations or pathology in human physiologic function, and an understanding of the basis of disease processes across the lifespan.


ADVANCED READINGS IN IMMUNOLOGY ~ An introduction to the vertebrate immune system including the function and mechanism of action of immune cells in response to foreign invaders, tolerance to self and the consequences of system imbalance. In addition to online lecture materials, discussion of journal articles, case studies and problem solving will be used. The major topics discussed in the course will include: I. The innate, acquired and mucosal immune systems; II.The functions and development of immune cells for each system; III. The role of signaling molecules and receptors during the immune response and IV. Immunity-related diseases and modern therapeutic approaches

BIOL 58280:  SEM:  3 Hour(s)  


EDUC Graduate Courses


ADVANCED EXCEPTIONALITY THEORY AND PRACTICE ~ This course examines the philosophical, historical, legal and ethical foundations for individuals with special needs. The characteristics, etiology and sociopsychological implications of exceptional conditions, including specific disabilities, gifts and talents, are explored. Categorical and noncategorical classification systems; assessment; diagnosis and evaluation; and educational adaptations and assistive technologies, are included. Participants will explore the impact on families of disabilities at different life stages, from infancy and early childhood to adolescence and adulthood.


BASICS OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA ~ This course introduces participants to the foundational concepts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), childhood trauma and positive childhood experiences (PCEs). The primary age-group focus of this course is birth-18, but many concepts will apply to young adults. Short term and long term impacts will be introduced as they relate to physical, social and emotional well-being. Extensive discussion of possible precipitators of trauma, as well as its prevalence, and the mitigating impact of PCEs will be covered through extensive readings of professional literature.


CHILDHOOD TRAUMA:BRAIN AND DEVELOPMENT ~ This course will delve into the brain’s response to traumatic experiences birth-age 21 and the resulting developmental impacts. The course will begin with a review of child and adolescent development and then progress to brain-specific development. Participants will use this foundational knowledge to learn how traumatic experiences can impact brain development and have short and long term impacts cognitively, physically and emotionally. Discussion of how Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs) can mitigate brain and development impacts will be featured.

Prerequisite: EDUC 65000


RELATIONSHIPS & RESILIENCE ~ Safety, trust, and relationships are critical for supporting students who have experienced trauma. Extensive discussion of these concepts, as well as the developmental aspects of attachment, will provide the foundation for this course. Protective and promotive factors that contribute to resilience will be discussed and connected to the importance of both strong peer and student-adult relationships.

Prerequisite: EDUC 65000


TRAUMA RESPONSIVE:MANAGING BEHAVIORS ~ Learning and discussion in this course will focus on what it means to be trauma-informed and how to put that knowledge into action to create trauma-responsive environments. Participants will engage in readings from a range of authors whose work focuses on the importance of trusting and supportive relationships as a means to manage classroom behaviors. Additionally, discussions will emphasize the need to look beyond behaviors to recognize the safety and relational needs of students, especially those who have experienced trauma. Discussion of Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) will be included, but not the primary focus.

Prerequisite: EDUC 65000

HIST Graduate Courses

HIST 52370:  THE AMERICAN COLD WAR:  3 Hour(s)  

THE AMERICAN COLD WAR ~ This seminar will explore historians’ evolving understanding of the United States’ involvement in the Cold War. Readings will examine the Cold War in both its domestic and international contexts. The class will place a particular emphasis on how historians have analyzed the connections between domestic social relations and international developments, how the Cold War allowed key social categories to be simultaneously understood locally and globally. Through close examination of recent historical works on the Cold War, students will develop both an understanding of important transformations during this critical era and an appreciation for the ways historians work. We will pay attention to how historians have exposed new archives to contextual analysis in order to change historical narratives about the Cold War.


AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY ~ This course will introduce students to the history of environmental issues and environmental activism in North America. Students will consider how Native Americans interacted with the natural environment prior to the European arrival, how the Europeans who entered North America looked upon the natural environment and how their views and practices differed from those of the Native Americans, and how the European settlement in North America affected the natural environment. Students will also explore how the growth of industrial capitalism and westward expansion affected the natural environment, and how Americans viewed the “wilderness” and the environment in the nineteenth century. Finally, students will explore the rise of a conservation movement and social activism to protect and preserve the environment, and they will study closely the rise and growth of a modern environmental movement in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.

MAIS Courses

MAIS 52030:  LEADERSHIP & MOTIVATION:  3 Hour(s)  

LEADERSHIP & MOTIVATION ~ This course offers a broad framework for understanding leadership in a variety of contexts. Evolutionary, biological, and social perspectives on leadership, what it means to be an effective leader, and how motivation plays a role in leadership will be explored. Contemporary issues and perspectives as well as classic theory will be examined in relation to theories of motivation and how these intersect with leadership styles.

MAIS 52040:  POSITIVE LEADERSHIP:  3 Hour(s)  

POSITIVE LEADERSHIP ~ This course explores the nature of effective leadership within the modern organizational context. The central questions to be addressed include: What is “Positive Leadership”? How does it differ from traditional approaches to leadership? What is the relationship between “Positive Leadership” and the emerging field of “Positive Psychology”? Why is such an approach needed? What, exactly, is involved in the practice of “Positive Leadership”? This course is primarily directed at those MAIS students and upper division management majors who wish to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to function as “Positive Leaders” in professional and personal contexts.

MAIS 52480:  SEIZING THE MOMENT:  3 Hour(s)  

SEIZING THE MOMENT: GENDERED PERSPECTIVES ON SUCCESS AND LEADERSHIP IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURY US ~ This interdisciplinary course analyzes two special “moments” in the past that appeared uniquely poised to offer special opportunities to one gender. The first occurred in the early 19th century, the era of the “self-made man” mythology, when the new United States was experiencing unprecedented expansion and development. The second “moment,” during and following WWII, saw women taking on so-called male roles as builders, doers, and providers. Each “moment” resulted from a unique convergence of economic, political, and social conditions, and beckoned the most ambitious to step forward and claim participation and leadership roles in it. The themes of success and leadership inform our examination of these two unique situations. The disciplines of history and organizational behavior provide the framework to help determine what individuals, organizations, and society deemed successes and failures within organizational or institutional settings, including the idea of home and housewifery considered a career for women. Through the lenses of history and organizational behavior disciplines, leadership theory and concepts of historical context, gender, culture and organizational behavior will be analyzed.


"What is man born for," asked Ralph Waldo Emerson, "but to be a Reformer?" The urge to remake society, to perfect democracy and humanity, has inspired people to take action throughout U.S. history. This course will examine the ideas, the efforts, and the social impact of various reform movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Students will explore the conditions and problems that gave rise to each movement as well as the reformers' strategies for change. Students will also examine what made these reform movements more or less effective, and what impact these movements had on the wider society. The reform movements will include antislavery, women's rights, labor and socialism, and religious fundamentalism.

MAIS 52800:  SEM::  3 Hour(s)  
MAIS 53810:  INDEPENDENT STUDY:  1-4 Hour(s)  


MAIS 55700:  STUDY ABROAD:  1-4 Hour(s)  

PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT ~ In this course, the student will work with individual faculty advisors and with the course instructor to plan, research, and write the capstone proposal. The course instructor and fellow students will provide support, feedback and guidance to each student during the writing process. The capstone proposal must be submitted to and approved by the MAIS Oversight Council before the student will be allowed to register for the capstone course. The capstone proposal development course is taken on a Pass/No Credit basis. Students must have approval from the associate dean of academic affairs prior to enrolling in the capstone proposal development course. For further details, see the Capstone Guidelines.

MAIS 55800:  CAPSTONE:  3 Hour(s)  

CAPSTONE ~ Students whose capstone proposals have been approved by the MOC will register for the capstone course. In this course, the student will continue to work with individual faculty advisors and with the course instructor to research and write the capstone. The course instructor and fellow students will provide support, feedback and guidance to each student during the writing process. Students will also reflect on and assess their experiences with interdisciplinary inquiry and research. This course is taken pass/no credit. Students will use research and interdisciplinary integration in writing the complete capstone paper, reflect on the cognitive and affective experience of doing interdisciplinary work, and interpret individual experience in the MAIS Program holistically and as it relates to individual goals. For further details, see the Capstone Guidelines.

MAIS 55820:  CAPSTONE II:  1-4 Hour(s)  

CAPSTONE II ~ Students in this course will continue to work on the MAIS capstone, providing feedback to each other on capstone drafts, and preparing a final draft for approval by faculty advisors and the outside reader. Students will continue to use research and interdisciplinary integration in writing the complete capstone paper, reflect on the cognitive and affective experience of doing interdisciplinary work, interpret individual experience in the MAIS Program holistically and as it relates to individual goals. Additionally, students will prepare for the oral presentation of the capstone to the community. For further details, see the Capstone Guidelines.


INTERDISCIPLINARY INQUIRY, THEORY, AND PRACTICE ~ This course explores the interdisciplinary research process and the theory that informs it. A portion of the course focuses on the intellectual essence of interdisciplinary and, in general, lays the foundation for the MAIS program. Also emphasized, however, is the step-based interdisciplinary research model which seeks to unify and balance disciplinary influences and create a more comprehensive understanding of complex problems. Familiarity with this research process fosters cognitive capacities useful in all interdisciplinary inquiry as well as methodological tools which are necessary for the successful completion of the integrative capstone project. Students will explain the meaning and significance of interdisciplinary inquiry, describe the process of interdisciplinary inquiry, evaluate examples of interdisciplinary scholarship, develop an appropriate interdisciplinary research question of significance, do a literature search in two disciplines on the research question, write a critical literature review of sources in the two disciplines on the research question, and write a paper answering the research question that integrates supporting scholarly evidence from two disciplines.


INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH ~ Students in this course will plan and complete a research project that requires the analysis of scholarship in two disciplines and the integration of insights from these two disciplines to answer a significant question. Pre-requisite: MAIS 57100 INTERDISCIPLINARY INQUIRY

Prerequisite: MAIS 57100


METHODS AND APPROACHES OF DISCIPLINES ~ This course will expose students to a particular discipline or related disciplines and explore the particular disciplinary perspective and insights that the disciplinary perspective tends to produce. Students will examine the various assumptions and theories of the discipline, phenomena the discipline generally engages, and methods for producing and evaluating discipline-related insights. Students will discern the assumptions of scholars in different disciplines, describe the methodologies used by scholars in different disciplines, compare and contrast the methodologies used by scholars in different disciplines, prepare a literature search in two disciplines on a question or topic of significance, prepare an annotated bibliography of sources in two disciplines on the question or topic chosen, and prepare a critical literature review of sources in two disciplines on the question or topic chosen.

MAIS 57400:  LEADERSHIP STUDIES:  3 Hour(s)  

LEADERSHIP STUDIES ~ This course will provide students with an overview of historic and contemporary leadership theories and encourage students to consider how those perspectives inform our understanding of what makes a good leader, especially in a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary settings. The course will also include discussion of inclusion and diversity in leadership and what techniques or perspectives are most effective in embracing and sustaining diverse workplaces and environments. Students will reflect on their own experiences as a leader or in observing leadership and develop their own leadership philosophy.

MAIS 59800:  INTERNSHIP:  4 Hour(s)  

SPMT Graduate Courses


APPLIED SPORT MANAGEMENT SKILLS ~ Through this course, students will engage an in-depth analysis of the relationship of sport and management. The study of sport includes sporting goods manufacturers; fitness centers; recreation departments; broadcasting; Little League teams; and high school, NCAA, and professional leagues. The study of management follows the four functions of management: planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Students also will apply and deepen their knowledge on these topics through engaging in a community-based project with classmates and a nonprofit community sport organization.


STRATEGIC SPORT MARKETING ~ This course serves as a broad overview of marketing in the world of sports. Several marketing concepts from the undergraduate level will be emphasized further, such as the marketing mix, consumer behavior, advertising, and target segments. Further analysis of theories related to the concept of sport marketing will be explored. Strategic marketing and the importance of developing an effective marketing research paper will be emphasized.


ADVANCED COACHING AND LEADERSHIP ~ This course is designed for those students preparing to enter a coaching career or be involved in the management and organization of an athletic program. Students will learn guidelines and principles for organizing a successful athletic program. Topics include, but are not limited to developing a coaching philosophy, evaluating theories in motivation, understanding team dynamics, communicating effectively, and improving player performance. This course will also emphasize an awareness of the demands of the coaching profession and explore issues and ethical considerations significant to coaching.

WRIT Graduate Courses


WRITING CREATIVE NONFICTION ~ This course is designed to introduce participants to forms of nonfiction that have as their purpose not only the presentation of “facts” and research, but also the inclusion of personal voice; a target audience of good general readers (not just academic ones); attention to literary techniques beyond straight exposition; the opportunity for imaginative decisions about writing that are more commonly associated with “creative” writing. According to Sue William Silverman in her book Fearless Writing, the genre of creative nonfiction “is a long river with many moods and currents.” We will explore several of them, allowing participants to be more present in their nonfiction writing than perhaps they had before, more relaxed, and more open to surprise.