Liberal Studies Masters Programs & Graduate Degrees
A masters in liberal studies offers a broad-based, interdisciplinary framework drawing primarily from the humanities and social sciences. Students can earn a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in this discipline.
Liberal arts graduate programs are not standardized. Each course of study offers different areas of study. Before applying, it is important to have a general sense of an area you would like to focus on so you can ensure the schools you’re considering offer relevant classes.
Liberal arts graduate programs were created to promote learning. Potential students ideally possess the following qualities:
- A love of reading
- A broad range of scholarly interests
- An affinity for holistic, systems-based thinking
- Motivation to create an independent track of study
- Desire for an academic approach that’s not part of conventional master’s programs
Liberal Arts Graduate Degree and Curriculum
Liberal arts graduate programs are generally comprised of seminars introducing students to key themes and texts, a multitude of electives draw from various disciplines. Elective courses can be housed within the graduate program of liberal arts or in separate departments, creating opportunities for connecting with students and professors who have different affiliations. Classes tend to be small, offering space for discussion and sharing of ideas.
Depending upon the school, liberal arts graduate students may have the opportunity to design their own course of study by drawing from an extremely diverse range of course offerings. It’s important to note, students are expected to explore their academic specialization within the context of a broader culture. Completion of a degree usually requires a thesis or capstone project offering new research or a fresh interpretation of research that has been done in the past.
Liberal Arts graduate programs are generally designed to be
completed in two years of full-time study, but may offer part and full time schedule options to accommodate working students. Because these programs are so flexible and self-directed in nature, there are usually many opportunities for study abroad.
A bachelor’s degree, personal statement and letters of recommendation are usually required, in some cases GRE scores are not required, be sure to check with the admissions department of your chosen school for information on specific application requirements
Liberal Arts Career Paths
Liberal Arts graduate degrees can prepare an individual for a number of different careers. Those pursuing a graduate degree in liberal arts often become teachers or college professors. However, graduates may also find positions in a number of different industries; employment eligibility is often determined by an individual’s specific experience, talents, and area of expertise. Some liberal arts career options could include:
- Entry level management
- Design/ Graphic arts
Johns Hopkins University
Established in 1962 the Johns Hopkins Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) Program has gained national recognition for the quality of its teaching and the breadth of its course offerings.
- Boston, MABoston, MA
Our Gender/Cultural Studies (GCS) program examines constructions of gender, race, class and nation in the United States and across the globe. We foster a supportive, stimulating environment with small classes, faculty mentors and a flexible curriculum...
- Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University
Cross-Disciplinary Studies, M.A.
The M.A. in Cross-disciplinary Studies is multidisciplinary, experiential, and allows students to self-design their degree.
- Plainfield, VTPlainfield, VT
Part of the Goddard Graduate Institute, the Master of Arts in Health Arts & Sciences is an interdisciplinary degree founded on the principle that community health, personal health and the health of the natural world are three dimensions of the same whole...
John Marshall Law School
- Edinburg, TXEdinburg, TX
University of Texas-Pan American
Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in English, History, Music and Spanish.
- Parkville, AustraliaParkville, Australia
University of Melbourne
The first of its kind, the EMA is a leadership master’s degree for humanities and social science majors.
- Brooklyn, NYBrooklyn, NY
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
- Twin Cities, MNTwin Cities, MN
University of Minnesota
The Graduate School and the College of Continuing Education offer the Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program for adult and part-time students.
- Twin Cities, MN
- Duluth, MN
Kent State University
Design your own Interdisciplinary Masters degree, using courses online or in the classroom, with the Masters of Liberal Studies...
- Gainesville, FLGainesville, FL
The University of Florida
The Master's of Sustainable Development Practice (MDP) Program at the University of Florida is a professional, interdisciplinary program designed for individuals aspiring to pursue work in international development. Coursework is combined with hands-on...
- Baton Rouge, LABaton Rouge, LA
Louisiana State University
- Arlington, TXArlington, TX
University of Texas at Arlington
The program is practical and flexible in that it enables students to develop their own individual interdisciplinary "Program of Work" or concentration...
- Reading, United KingdomReading, United Kingdom
University of Reading
An interdisciplinary course in contemporary critical theory focused on theories of the body in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
- Amsterdam, NetherlandsAmsterdam, Netherlands
University of Amsterdam
Social scientists, economists, historians, artists, writers, and of course philosophers have been engaged in public affairs since antiquity.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Program Concentrations Antioch University Midwest’s Individualized Master of Arts (IMA) program current mission is to guide students in the development and completion of individualized degree programs. We encourage ongoing personal, professional and...
- Yellow Springs, OH
- Salt Lake City, UTSalt Lake City, UT
University of Utah
- Brockport, NYBrockport, NY
State University Of New York, College At Brockport
Unlike traditional graduate programs, liberal studies programs are neither research oriented nor practice oriented, and are not...
- Bowling Green, KYBowling Green, KY
Western Kentucky University
The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Administration combines courses in research, business, economics, psychology, communication, environmental law...
- Blacksburg, VABlacksburg, VA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The graduate program in Science and Technology Studies offers interdisciplinary perspectives on science and technology and their social impact. Opportunities to study cognate science, technology, or humanities subjects are a regular part of the degree.
- Athens, OHAthens, OH