University of Miami

College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)


1300 Campo Sano Avenue, Suite 215

Coral Gables, FL 33146

United States

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Preparing for Life: A Liberal Education

"What can you actually do with this program?" Bob Kulpa, a former student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program, was recently faced with this question by a number of members of the association of Legal Administrators, Kulpa, controller with Adorna & Zeder, P.A., gave the following response from the perspective of successful 1998 MALS graduate.

"The MALS program, is not a traditional subject-specific graduate program; it cuts across the arbitrary boundaries of specialization. Although there are courses that are specified as MALS courses, a MALS student may take classes in any discipline in the College of Arts and Sciences, and often courses offered elsewhere in the university may be taken. My classes were primarily in the areas of English, sociology, physics, biology, and religious studies. My self-selected unifying theme was 'life in the city,' and as much as possible, I tried to use that theme to give consistency to the classes and the program."

"For my first class project, on the people of Sarasota, I traveled there to conduct research in the city's archives and libraries and to hold pre-planned and impromptu interviews. In another project, I focused on late 19th and early 20th century 'beautiful city' movements in this country and in England, featuring Central Park in New York and Coral Gables in Miami-Dade County. My final work was a master's thesis on the subject of 'the city in text,' more specifically, what writers of nonfiction have said about Miami over the last 25 years."

"Reading, writing, and test preparation were the work components of the program. The fun part took place in the classroom. My fellow classmates were mature adults, ranging in age from their early 20s to retirees. Because we were there by choice and were not desperate to get it over with, we had relaxed evening discussions about all sorts of things- the deeper the questions, the better the answers."

"It's over, and I miss it. Although I did not start the MALS program with any career development goals in mind, the mix of people, thinking and ideas in which I participated made me a better, more rounded person and employee. My purpose for enrolling in the program and continuing with it year to year was to do something good for myself. It worked."

Former Program Director Eugene Clasby adds, "A liberal education opens the door to new ways of thinking. It brings with it, not just more information, but ways of understanding that information and putting it to work in real life and a vacation. Increasingly, one of the central problems in the business and professional world is how to handle new information, what to do with it, how to use it how to understand its rhythms and patterns, how to make it make sense. A liberal education prepares students, through a rigorous course of inquiry and thought, to winnow information, evaluate it, array it in meaningful ways, and discern its patter and symmetries. This sort of education develops in the individual mind the habit of skill of critical thinking. Perhaps the most important thing imparted by a liberal education is the sense of excitement and pleasure in learning for its own sake- that sense of discovery and new beginnings that seems so ethereal and yet is so essential to a step forward in any endeavor."


The University of Miami is fully accredited by SACSCOC - Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The MALS program is a member of the AGLSP - the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs

Eligibility Requirements:

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program accepts rolling admissions; this means you may apply any time. Domestic students interested in applying to the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program should submit the following: Online application form, $85.00 non-refundable application fee, statement of purpose, admission essay, three (3) letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. The GRE is not required.

International Student Requirements:

International students must comply with all the general admissions requirements and submit the following: Official transcripts from all universities/colleges attended, including U.S. universities (all transcripts and diplomas must be in their original language with a certified English translation of both the transcript and the diploma), photocopies of all diplomas and/or certificates earned, and a copy of passport Bank statement or sponsorship letter issued within the last six (6) months. International applicants whose native language is not English must take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. The minimum TOEFL score is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (IBT), or a 6.5 on the IELTS.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

# of Credits Required: 30

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): $2,100 USD

In State Tuition (per year): N/A

Out State Tuition (per year): N/A

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large Suburb

Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999

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