About the Braniff Graduate School

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 nation.

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

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