Alumni Spotlight

A photo of MALS graduates at a graduation reception. A photo of MALS graduates at a graduation reception.

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program likes to share the stories the experiences of our alumni. Explore the experiences of our alumni to learn how a MALS degree can benefit you. For more information about university alumni please visit the University of Miami Alumni Association webpage.


Scott Siegel

What skills did you acquire from the MALS program, and how have these skills played a role in your career?

It made me a better writer. It taught me research techniques. My degree was earned during the Internet’s infancy so I learned how to conduct research on the internet before Google! As a matter of fact, my essay on Big Bang Theory from the “Theories of the Physical Universe” class was one of the most clicked on essays on Big Bang Theory in the history of the Internet. From about 1997 until about 2007, it was among the top ten search results for “Big Bang Theory” accessed millions of times and incorporated into hundreds of secondary and post-secondary curriculums. The paper still has over 3,600 search results even today.

Creation of A Cosmology: Big Bang Theory.

Erin Moyer

Why would you recommend the MALS program to a student interested in attending graduate school?

I think MALS is a terrific program for the student that wants to pursue a graduate degree, but may not want to focus in one program area. I found it be a terrific form of exploration, but at a graduate school level with a higher expectation of participation, delivery, and execution. It is a wonderful program for a student that is curious about different subject areas that they may have not had an opportunity to explore in undergraduate this is a great opportunity to do so. It is a wonderfully accommodating program for those that work full-time of even part-time.

Hilary Tress 

Hilary Tress

What skills did you acquire from the MALS program, and how have these skills played a role in your career?

The MALS Program had the following three objectives: That students learn to analyze and read texts critically and demonstrate their ability to express that knowledge in their oral and written work with accuracy and insight; that students learn new ways of thinking through the study of various disciplines and develop wider perspectives on the world of knowledge; that students develop the habit of critical thinking and find a sense of pleasure in learning for its own sake.

As the pursuit for completion of the Master’s program came to a close, I felt fortunate for the opportunity to have achieved an advanced academic degree, further garnered critical thinking skills and analysis from a challenging academic program. I was better prepared to pursue another graduate degree and advanced research through course offerings such as French Architecture, Landscape Design and Urbanism from the Middle Ages to the Modern Movement while on location in Paris, Modernism, Photography and a Mechanical Universe and Perspectives on Human Behavior. I believe that the diverse curricula offered through this Liberal Arts Program had produced a well-rounded student.

In summation, I chose the Master of Arts and Liberal Sciences Program because the Fine and Decorative Arts are a core component of my life. From the academic courses I selected, to the subject matter of my major, to the choices of employment and the numerous ways in which I spend my free time - all of these find a basis in the art world. They allude to an unequivocal admiration and adoration of the arts.