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Liberal Studies

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) is an online 30-credit multidisciplinary program for graduate students seeking an alternative to the traditional graduate courses of study that focus on professional training in a single area. Each student has the opportunity to develop an individualized Plan of Study that is tailored to his/her personal and/or professional goals. If you prefer, you may choose to take the 6 elective courses in the traditional face-to-face classroom format. 

Is MALS an appropriate choice for you? It could be if:

  • you are interested in a fully online degree program.
  • you need an advanced degree in order to progress in your current career or profession.
  • you are required to earn a master’s degree for professional certification as a teacher.
  • You are interested in earning a graduate degree for personal development and intellectual enrichment.

Although the specific courses making up the Plans of Study may vary considerably from student to student, the program provides a common set of objectives for all its degree candidates:

  • An understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of knowledge and an appreciation of the value of a multidisciplinary approach to scholarship.
  • A multidisciplinary course of study for the student seeking intellectual development, personal enrichment, and the benefits of an advanced liberal arts education.
  • An examination of significant ideas and contemporary issues from the perspectives of the fine arts, humanities, social and natural sciences.
  • An integrative educational experience addressing the student’s personal and professional goals.
  • A deeper understanding of self, nature, and society.
  • Opportunities to sharpen critical thinking and communication skills.

Program Design and Requirements

  • A student’s Plan of Study can be customized with a specific focus to meet his/her goals.
  • The 30-credit program requires the completion of 9 credits of seminar courses, 18 credits of elective courses, and a 3-credit capstone course.
  • The program may be completed entirely online.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum undergraduate 3.0 GPA
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A written statement of objectives that includes reasons for pursuing the Liberal Studies program and indicating a specific central theme or focus for a proposed Plan of Study.

Application Deadlines

  • March 15 for the summer session
  • June 15 for the fall semester
  • October 15 for the spring semester

Career Opportunities

  • Education
  • Human services agencies
  • Business and other positions requiring interpersonal skills necessary for successful interaction with others

Application Instructions | Apply Now

Program Contact


Kulathur Rajasethupathy, PhD
Graduate Program Director
(585) 395-5760

For complete information about the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies visit


Last Updated 8/21/14