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
  • Sales
  • Design/ Graphic arts
  • Teaching
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