United States 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
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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.
- Plainfield, VTPlainfield, VT
Part of the Goddard Graduate Institute, the Individualized Master of Arts is a four-semester (48 credit) interdisciplinary liberal studies degree integrating personal vision and voice with radical thinking and engaged practice...
- Plainfield, VT
- 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.
- Peoria, ILPeoria, IL
The purpose of the Master of Liberal Studies program is to provide motivated adults with opportunities to continue intellectual growth by integrating...
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
- Nacogdoches, TXNacogdoches, TX
Stephen F Austin State University
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
New School, The
The Liberal Studies program offers graduate training in intellectual history, cultural studies, and the art of fine writing, bringing together students of social thought, philosophy, the arts, and current affairs who wish to work on the quality of th...
- New York City, NY
- Moraga, CAMoraga, CA
St. Mary's College Of California
Designed for working adults with a love of learning, the Graduate Liberal Studies Program at Saint Mary's College offers interdisciplinary study at on...
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies
The MALS evening program provides students the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary studies at Northwestern University.
- South Orange, NJSouth Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University
Seton Hall University's College of Education and Human Services prepares students for a multitude of teaching opportunities while offering knowledge and understanding in the foundations of education that enhance professional competency. The Graduate...
- Provo, UTProvo, UT
Brigham Young University
- Tulsa, OKTulsa, OK
Oklahoma State University
The University of Oklahoma Research and Graduate Studies Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
- Bethany, OKBethany, OK
American Bible College And Seminary
- Columbus, OHColumbus, OH
Ohio Dominican University
Designed to make connections between the study of the liberal arts and the lifelong journey toward becoming fully human.
- Iowa City, IAIowa City, IA
University of Iowa
- Miami, FLMiami, FL
University of St. Thomas
The 36-credit-hour Master in Liberal Arts (MLA) program at the University of St. Thomas is a customizable and flexible degree...
- Dallas, TXDallas, TX
Southern Methodist University
SMU's Master of Liberal Arts program allows adults to pursue classical learning in the liberal arts in a uniquely modern format.
- Savannah, GASavannah, GA
Savannah College of Art and Design
Students synthesize the strengths of design disciplines to holistically address large-scale challenges to the human condition.
- Stephenville, TXStephenville, TX
Tarleton State University
The Master of Science degree with a major in Liberal Studies requires 36 semester hours of graduate study.