Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.) is designed for educators, artists, writers, activists, advocates, lifelong learners and others who, in collaboration with their academic advisor, want to create the design and focus of their own unique graduate degree plan. These are people with experience, imagination and creativity — active learners who value an interdisciplinary sequence of studies focused on a central theme, concept or issue.

Program Design

The M.A. in liberal studies is a highly individualized program consisting of 12 3-credit courses. Your program begins with two courses that provide the tools you need to understand and adopt the perspectives of multiple disciplines. These courses are intended to help you explore the questions and topics of interest to you that are central to your individualized degree plan.

Required Courses

  • Seminar in Liberal Studies: examine the nature and value of liberal study
  • Models of Critical Inquiry: develop the skills necessary for graduate-level critical reading, writing and thinking
  • Perspectives on Interdisciplinary Studies: explore interdisciplinary study and lay the foundation for your educational plan
  • Literature Review: review literature relevant to your individual program
  • Methods of Inquiry: master the theory and methods appropriate for your individual program


Take six electives that reflect and reinforce the focus of your degree.

Final project

Your final project can be a thesis, practicum, creative project or series of papers. You work with your academic advisor to produce a project that integrates your course work and reflects your individual focus.

More Information

Program Chair: Mark Soderstrom, Ph.D.,

The distinctive feature of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is that you have the freedom to design a highly individualized, interdisciplinary program in your own focused area of interest. You can pursue an intellectual or creative interest and develop theoretical understandings by approaching that interest from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The disciplines must be drawn primarily from the liberal arts (e.g., the humanities, social sciences and/or natural sciences).

Apply for Admission 

Admission to the M.A. in liberal studies program is selective. This program begins new students in the fall and spring terms only.

To apply, review the admissions requirements and submit an online application.