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Liberal Studies

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) is an interdisciplinary degree program that examines issues and themes in the arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and natural and applied sciences. The program is offered primarily to working adults who seek educational enrichment and professional development on a part-time basis, and does not specifically serve as a prerequisite for a more advanced degree.

Important note for teachers: The MALS degree is valid toward meeting requirements for a professional license (certification), provided the degree course work contains 12 credits relevant to your area of initial certification. It does not, however, lead directly to an initial certification. Please read the Teacher Certification page before applying.

Faculty Director / Academic Advisor

Elisa Scott

For general inquiries, please email

Degree Awarded

MA in Liberal Studies






  • Personal statement.
  • A bachelor’s degree, with a cumulative 3.0 grade point average.
  • Two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation should be from teachers or professors with whom you have studied. Letters from professionals in fields of work related to the area of specialty you wish to pursue are also appropriate.
  • In those cases where the departmental admissions committee deems it desirable, personal interviews with departmental representatives may be necessary.



Degree Requirements

This degree program consists of 11 three-credit courses, distributed among the three areas listed below. All degree requirements must be completed within five (5) years from the semester date of admission as a matriculated student.

Liberal Studies Core - 15 credits
  • LSF 501 Effective Professional Communication
  • LSF 502 Effective Professional Thinking
  • LSF 503 Effective Professional Global and Cultural Awareness
  • LSF 504 Effective Professional Action and Leadership
  • STEAM Elective – Any course with the NSLS designator

Courses may be substituted in core and elective categories as approved by an advisor.

Thematically-Related Concentration - 15 credits

A concentration is a group of courses that represents a focused area of interest. Students are allowed considerable freedom and flexibility in designing their concentrations, and may choose from most of the courses offered through SPD. (Teachers must read the Teacher Certification page prior to developing their concentrations.)

Students may also choose to incorporate a 3- or 6-credit internship into their thematically related concentration. 

Capstone Seminar (CED 595) - 3 credits

The goal of the Capstone Seminar is to teach students to understand and conduct graduate-level research. Students will be guided in selecting a topic for their research paper. Methodology and resources will be reviewed as the student’s work is developed.

Prerequisites: Matriculation in MALS, MPS or MS degree program; completion of 24 graduate credits within the program. There are no transfer credits or substitutions permitted for CED 595 Project Seminar. Students must earn a minimum of a "B" grade in this course to fulfill the degree requirement.

NOTE: The course descriptions for this program can be found on the program’s website.




Program faculty are drawn from various University departments