Dedicated to the renewal of the Western heritage of liberal arts and the Christian
intellectual tradition since 1966.
Graduate education for a renewed generation of scholars
The Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts was founded in 1966 on the basis of a
grant from the Blakley-Braniff Foundation. Established only ten years after the University
of Dallas opened its doors, Braniff offered master’s degrees in art, English, and
business administration and a Ph.D. in politics and literature. Not long after, the
Art Department added an M.F.A. degree, one of only two offered by Catholic Institutions
in the United States. Over time, master’s programs in American studies, humanities,
philosophy, politics, psychology and theology were added, all focused on reviving
the Western heritage of liberal education and recovering the Christian intellectual
tradition. Combining our devotion to this tradition with innovation, master's programs
in classical education and leadership were added in 2016. To date, the Braniff Graduate
School of Liberal Arts has awarded over 1,500 master’s degrees.
The Institute of Philosophic Studies
Simultaneous with the founding of Braniff was the beginning of the Willmoore Kendall
program in politics and literature, the only Ph.D. offered by the university at the
time. This program later became the Institute of Philosophic Studies and expanded its offerings to include doctoral degrees in philosophy, politics and
literature. These programs have been nationally recognized for their unique approach
to graduate education, which is grounded in a core curriculum devoted to the pivotal
texts of Western civilization. All Ph.D. students—regardless of degree program—participate
together in this core curriculum during their first three years of graduate study,
creating a true cross-disciplinary intellectual community unlike any other in the
Supporting the work of teachers
Besides our distinctive approach to interdisciplinary scholarship at the graduate
level, the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts is also known for its welcoming
support of teachers, who are invited to enroll in any of our degree programs or continue
their education as non-degree seeking special students. Recognizing that educators
are a vital force in maintaining the strength of our nation, and knowing that a graduate
education can be cost-prohibitive for many, the University of Dallas offers full-time
teachers and administrators a special tuition rate through the Educators Cohort.
Cultivating lifelong learning
As part of our mission to deepen the life of the mind for all, both inside and outside
the University, the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts also offers a number of
special programs, lectures, exhibits, non-credit courses, and events such as the semi-annual IPS Colloquia where doctoral students are given the opportunity
to present papers to faculty, other students, and the public.
Achieving Academic Excellence
Many of our graduate students have received impressive grants and generous fellowships
from organizations like the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts, the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the Claremont Institute's Lincoln Fellowship. While pursuing the intellectual life, Braniff students also engage in the mission
of sharing the rich discoveries that emerge from living the "life of the mind" in
a full and fruitful manner during their time at the university.
We invite you to join us in the renewal of the Western heritage of liberal arts and
the Christian intellectual tradition. If you are interested in learning more about
our programs, please begin your exploration of our Academics page. If you are interested to applying to one of our programs, please visit our Admissions page.