Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.)

Program Description

The master of arts in liberal studies (M.A.L.S.) is an innovative, interdisciplinary graduate program, intended to promote broad intellectual comprehension and enrichment rather than vocational or professional training within a single field or discipline. Housed within the College of Liberal Arts but drawing its courses and instructors from across the University, the program makes available a diverse spectrum of offerings and a wealth of faculty expertise and resources. The program addresses the particular interests of students who seek to deepen their knowledge by designing their own challenging but flexible program of cross-disciplinary learning.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the master of arts in liberal studies is selective. A bachelor's degree is required for admission. Students will be asked to provide relevant transcripts of their educational experience, a resume, and letters of recommendation. They will also be asked to submit a brief essay describing why they are particularly interested in this program and indicating the sort of interdisciplinary focus or area of learning in which they might like to concentrate their study. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required but is helpful.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 30 credits divided into three parts: an interdisciplinary seminar selected by the MALS coordinator and required of every student, to be taken within one year of entrance to the program; a concentration made up of at least five elective courses chosen from various disciplines across the liberal arts that centers on an interdisciplinary theme or topic; and a 6 credit master's thesis LS 899 or a 6 credit project LS 898, which is intended to act as an integrating capstone experience for liberal studies students.

LS 800Core Seminar 14
Select a concentration 220
LS 898Master's Project 36
or LS 899 Master's Thesis
Total Credits30
  • Demonstrate the ability to carry out graduate work in different disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts and possibly in other Colleges.
  • Develop a concentration by pursuing a significant question across disciplinary lines.
  • Develop an interdisciplinary M.A. Thesis (a scholarly thesis) or M.A. Project (a creative or applied project) that grows out of this concentration.
  • Working with a committee of three faculty members from different disciplines, research, complete, and defend this capstone thesis or project.