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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.



The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is a multidisciplinary degree for students seeking an alternative to traditional graduate courses of study that focus on professional training in a single area. Instead, the 30-credit Liberal Studies program is designed for the adult learner seeking intellectual development, personal enrichment, and the benefits of an advanced education in the liberal arts and sciences. The program allows each degree candidate the opportunity to develop an individualized Plan of Study tailored to his or her own personal and/or professional goals. Through this Plan of Study, the program examines significant ideas and contemporary issues from the perspectives of the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. It provides an integrative educational experience that promotes a deeper understanding of self, nature, and society, and offers opportunities to sharpen critical thinking and communication skills.

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:

  1. At least three letters of recommendation;
  2. A written essay on reasons for pursuing the Liberal Studies program;
  3. A statement indicating a particular central theme or focus for a proposed Plan of Study; and
  4. Official transcripts for all prior undergraduate and graduate work documenting an undergraduate and/or graduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Applications are reviewed three times a year. Deadlines for each review period are October 15, March 15, and June 15. At each of these deadlines, applicants with completed applications are reviewed to select the most qualified candidates. Because admission is on a competitive basis, applicants should be aware that the stated minimum criteria only guarantee consideration for admission, not admission itself.

General Structure of the Liberal Studies Program
To receive a Liberal Studies degree, students must earn a total of 30 graduate credits. Since SUNY Brockport graduate courses are generally three credits each, a normal Plan of Study consists of 10 graduate courses. These courses include four required Liberal Studies courses and six elective courses. The required block includes (a) one course from each of three disciplinary perspectives: the arts and humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences, and (b) the Project Portfolio, a synthesizing experience entailing both a reflective component and a knowledge application component based on the student's individual Plan of Study. In the Liberal Studies program, elective courses are selected through advisement (a required procedure that must be completed before a student may continue with the matriculation process). The electives must reflect a programmatic theme or focus that satisfies the degree candidate's personal and/or professional goals. The following restrictions apply to the selection of these courses:

  1. At least two elective courses (six credits) must be at the 600-level or higher (i.e., courses designed exclusively for graduate students).
  2. No more than two courses (six credits) may reflect content intended for application in a specific professional setting (these courses are usually designated as "B" courses at SUNY Brockport).
  3. No more than three courses may come from the same department or discipline (e.g., His- tory, English, etc.)
  4. No more than six credits can be taken as Independent Study.
  5. No elective course may be taken on a "Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory" grade basis.

Liberal Studies Courses

LST 700 -719 Topics in the Arts and Humanities. Varies according to instructor. 3 Cr. Every Semester

LST 720 -739 Topics in the Natural Sciences. Varies according to the instructor. 3 Cr. Every Semester

LST 740 -759 Topics in the Social Sciences. Varies according to the instructor. 3 Cr. Every Semester

LST 798 Project Portfolio (A). Prerequisite: Instructor's permission. Students may not register for this course until they have completed all of the Liberal Studies degree requirements or are concurrently registered for their final course requirements as specified in their Plan of Study. A pre-graduation "culmination project" that entails both a reflective component and a knowledge application component. Includes a statement of the specific programmatic goals around which the Plan of study has been developed, (b) a reflective statement describing how the interrelationships between the areas of knowledge and skills acquired through the student's Plan of Study have provided an integrative experience that has contributed holistically to one's educational objectives. (c) a paper applying insights and/or methodologies from the three Liberal Studies disciplinary approaches (arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences) to an understanding of some issue or problem with contemporary society, and (d) sample work from the student's required and elective courses (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading). 3 Cr. Every Semester

  The information in this publication was current as of December 2002 when the text was compiled. Changes, including but not restricted to, tuition and fees, course descriptions, degree and program requirements, policies, and financial aid availability may have occurred since that time. Whether or not a specific course is scheduled for a given term is contingent on enrollment, budget and staffing. The college reserves the right to make any changes it finds necessary and may announce such changes for student notification in publications other than the College catalogs. For the purpose of degree and program completion, students are bound by the requirements in effect as stated in the printed catalog at the time of their matriculation at SUNY Brockport. Inquiries on the current status of requirements can be addressed to the appropriate College department of office. Also refer to the Brockport Web site home page at for current information.