Iowa Master of Liberal Arts & Humanities On-Campus Programs & Liberal Arts Colleges

Whether you are looking for liberal arts colleges with graduate programs or universities with Master of Liberal Arts and Humanities programs, there are a number of reasons to choose to study on campus. Most liberal studies masters programs explore topics that range form the humanities and social sciences to the natural and formal sciences. If you have a scholarly curiosity, are interested in developing a range of potentially transferable skills, explore the variety of graduate school options for liberal arts majors by reading on!

Campus Liberal Arts Masters Degree Program Information

Master of Liberal Arts and Humanities: Essentials

If you desire a well-rounded program, a Master of Liberal Arts and Humanities Degree program is designed both for students who seek specialized knowledge, and those who seek cross-disciplinary study. Often, Liberal Arts Graduate schools allow students to tailor their masters programs to meet their own needs, interests, or career goals.

Prospective applicants typically are required to have a Bachelor’s degree, GRE Scores and may need to pass an interview process or other admission protocols. On average, a masters program takes two years to complete, but this could depend on whether you are a full or part-time student. There is usually a capstone project and completion of core curriculum; this of course, is likely to vary between Liberal Arts graduate Schools.


Top executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts.[i]

The MLA vs. Master of Liberal Arts and Humanities Programs

The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) is known for being interdisciplinary and inclusive; you might study human behavior and human interaction as well as fine arts, literature, film and the social sciences. This type of degree builds critical thinking and communication skills while teaching you to appreciate history, language or world perspectives on economics. Often they are framed in other ways, such as the Master of Public Affairs & Social Sciences, Liberal Arts & Humanities masters degree.

If you are currently working, a Master of Liberal Arts and Humanities Degree Program might help you refine your skills, perhaps open up a new avenue. Say for instance, you have an undergraduate degree in writing, and you find jobs that appeal to you but you don’t quite have the credentials for them. Here is where enrolling in an MFA in Creative Writing (fiction) or a Master of Science in Publishing may help give you the tools of your trade and potentially help you compete for roles previously out of reach. Other options might include Business Ethics MBA, a Master of Arts: Communication in Corporate Communication & PR, Journalism and Digital Multimedia or Master of Science in Communication: Health Communication.

FUN FACT: 26% of Chief Executives hold a  master’s degree[ii]

What Types of On-Campus Programs are there?

Master of Liberal Arts and Humanities Programs cover a variety of fascinating subjects. and you may have more choices for liberal arts colleges with onsite graduate programs than for either hybrid or online. Check out the major categories:

  • Masters in Area, Ethnic & Cultural Studies
  • Masters in Communications & Public Relations
  • Masters in Economics
  • Masters in English
  • Masters in History
  • Masters in Humanities
  • Masters in Languages
  • Masters in Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Masters in Literature & Writing
  • Masters in Philosophy & Ethics
  • Masters in Women’s Studies

Lots of Program Formats - Why Choose On-Campus?

There are just as many graduate school options for liberal arts majors as there are programs! You might choose a Liberal Arts College or a university with a strong Liberal Arts and Humanities department. Either way, studying on campus has some potential benefits to consider:

Social learning environment: Choosing to attend classes at graduate school means you get the explicit learning derived from textbooks and lectures plus the implicit learning derived from human interaction and communication.

Network: In terms of that interaction, you might build new social and professional networks. In any event, you are meeting professors and classmates in real time rather than in a virtual setting.

Interpersonal Skills: Communication is a strong component of Liberal Arts and Humanities; studying on campus may provide more opportunity to work in groups, engage in discussions and analysis, learn to ask questions effectively, and probably brainstorm with other grad students.

Everything in one place: Studying at a Liberal Arts College or grad school often means that all the facilities are in close proximity and you have access to all the facilities – language laboratories, libraries, student services, student lounges.

Extra Stuff: Sometimes campuses post announcements in common areas to encourage participation in guest lectures or college gatherings. You may want to join and experience the extras that come from your college community.

Finding a Liberal Arts Graduate School

If you know the type of Masters of Liberal Arts and Humanities program you want to review, simply choose the ‘campus program format’ on This will yield listings in this subject that you can review. Some programs have links to visit their school site, and may have tabs you click for more info from the university or liberal arts college.

If finding a Liberal Arts masters program in a specific geographical area is important to you, use the city, state or country tabs to view listings by location. It is very straightforward.

Liberal Arts College Accreditation

You are looking through universities and liberal arts colleges and find that some are “accredited” and you start wondering whether this is important. Accreditation is a type of quality control. It means that the graduate school adheres to certain standards for their curriculum and faculty. This may also be important to prospective employers. Also, some licensing programs may require that you've graduated an accredited program because it ensures that faculty qualified to teach in that field has educated you.

In the United States, accreditation takes place at different levels. At the highest level, governmental and other agencies govern and recognize the accrediting bodies. For instance, the US Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Association (CHEA) and the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) give authority to associations that oversee accreditation at the regional, institutional or program level.

Regional Accreditation: The US Department of Education recognizes 6 distinct higher education regions, and a different accrediting body supervises each of these.

Institutional Accreditation: Some liberal arts colleges may be accredited by institute-specific agencies.

Specialized Accreditation: Focuses on specific areas of study and individual graduate programs. Also referred to as professional accreditation in that specific programs meet the national standards for that field of study.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

You now have the tips and techniques to choose a Master of Liberal Arts and Humanities graduate program and graduate school. Continued success as you embark on a potentially exciting and rewarding academic journey!

Sources: [i] | [ii]

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