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Graduate Catalog

Liberal Studies

(585) 395-2262

Director of Liberal Studies, School of Letters and Sciences: Stuart Appelle, PhD, George Washington University.

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The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) is an interdisciplinary program in the liberal arts and sciences for students seeking an alternative to conventional specialized graduate programs. Consisting of a broad interdisciplinary course of study in the fine arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, the MALS program enables its students to acquire a deeper understanding of contemporary society, to sharpen their critical thinking and writing skills, and to discuss significant ideas and issues in the company of similarly interested individuals from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Students also have the opportunity to take courses in career-related fields.

Unlike other master's programs, the MALS program is not meant to be a step toward the doctorate. As such, it is open to qualified college graduates and professionals regardless of the subjects in which they have previously concentrated. It is designed for those individuals who seek intellectual development, personal enrichment, and the intrinsic rewards of advanced liberal arts education. The MALS program also may be of interest to teachers seeking certification whose special needs or interests are not met by the College's registered permanent certification programs.

Entrance Requirements
Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university, and completion of the self-managed application for graduate admission. Documents required as part of this application include at least three letters of recommendation, a written essay on reasons for pursuing the MALS program, and official transcripts from all prior undergraduate and graduate work documenting an undergraduate and/or graduate GPA of at least 3.0.

General Structure of the MALS Program
To receive a MALS degree, students must earn a total of 30 graduate credits. Since SUNY Brockport graduate courses are generally worth three credits each, a normal MALS Plan of Study consists of 10 graduate courses. Students are required to complete three specially designed interdisciplinary seminars: one in the humanities, one in the social sciences, and one in the natural sciences. The interdisciplinary seminars are 600-level courses that is, all of the people enrolled are graduate students and the work assigned is relatively advanced. In addition to these three 600-level courses, MALS students must take at least two additional 600-level courses. Students enrolled in the program may take the remaining 15 credits in other graduate courses which the MALS director deems suitable for MALS students. However, MALS students may take no more than nine credits within any single department or discipline, and no more than six credits from courses bearing professional credit (B-suffix courses). MALS students may complete up to nine credits in independent-study projects. Graduate students whose GPA falls below 3.0 will have their Plan of Study reviewed by the director, resulting in a recommendation for dismissal from or continuation in the program. Students may contact the Director of Liberal Studies at (585) 395-2262.

Required Interdisciplinary
MALS Seminars

HUM 6XX Humanities Seminar. Varies according to the instructor. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

NSM 6XX The Natural Science Seminars. Varies according to the instructor. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

SSC 6XX The Social Science Seminars. Varies according to the instructor. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

HUM 699 Independent Study in Humanities. Prerequisite: Program director's permission. Arranged in consultation with the instructor- sponsor prior to registration. 1-6 Cr. Upon Special Arrangement.

NSM 699 Independent Study in the Natural Sciences. Prerequisite: Program director's permission. Arranged in consultation with the instructor-sponsor prior to registration. 1-6 Cr. Upon Special Arrangement.

SSC 699 Independent Study in the Social Sciences. Prerequisite: Program director's permission. Arranged in consultation with the instructor-sponsor prior to registration. 1-6 Cr. Upon Special Arrangement.