About Us

The M.A. in Liberal Studies is a thirty-hour program, consisting of at least ten courses: three are required courses, and seven are selected by you in consultation with the program director.

The first two required courses are the introductory MALS 6101 "Interdisciplinary Graduate Study: An Introduction" and MALS 6102 "Ideas Across the Curriculum." Their purpose is to reacquaint you with the ways of intellectual inquiry at the graduate level and to help you formulate a solid approach to conceptualizing important issues in any area of endeavor. The other required course is the last one in your program, MALS 6600 "Concluding Seminar," in which you'll work closely with your advisors and the Director to generate a meaningful thesis/conclusion to your program.
The remaining twenty-one hours (seven courses) constitute the program emphasis (four courses) and three other electives. You may follow the direction set by some of the suggested tracks in MALS or you can work with the Director to design your own by using courses in other departments, such as History, English, Information Technology, Philosophy, and so on.

Semester Hours

Core courses: MALS 6101 and 6102 6
Program emphasis 12
1 Liberal Studies elective: MALS 6000 3
General electives 6
Concluding seminar: MALS 6600 3


Ideally, students should begin thinking about their thesis or project a semester or two before the final semester. The difference between a "Thesis" and a "Project," is that the former is a scholarly project that follows the academic outlines of a typical research paper, while the latter allows for greater flexibility in developing a creative work that synthesizes ideas in a non-traditional format. Thus, while some students will opt to prepare a 50-page analytical research-driven paper, others might produce a digital work, a documentary, a work of creative non-fiction, or something in that vein. (The "project" would also require a rationale explaining and contextualizing what you have done.)Throughout this process, however you choose to complete your degree, you will be able to rely on assistance from the MALS Program Director as well as the faculty members you have chosen to work with. And, it's worth noting, there's nothing more exciting than completing an original effort that you (and your advisors) feel is a fresh and innovative representation of who you are intellectually!

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