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Your MALS Degree

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) degree is awarded when a student completes 30 credits - 9 required and 21 elective. The last 6 credits may be in the form of a thesis or additional courses. With the guidance of the director of the program, students may design a curriculum suited to their own interests and time constraints.

Required Core Courses (9 Credits)

Core courses are offered in the spring and fall semesters. Students must take either MLS 601 or MLS 602 in their first semester of study.

  • MLS 601 Aspects of Creative and Reflective Thought
  • MLS 602 Perspectives on Human Nature
  • MLS 603 Theories of the Physical Universe

Elective Credits (21 Credits)

The remaining twenty-one credits may be selected as follows:

  • MALS Program Offerings: Semester course offerings are mailed to students 2 weeks prior to registration. Contact the office of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies if you do not receive information on courses.
  • Other University Courses: Students may enroll in approved courses in other departments within the university. Courses must be humanitites based, and 600-level or above. Outside courses must first be approved by the Program Director and students must meet an prerequisites for the courses.
  • Directed Readings Courses: A directed readings course allows you to work independently with a MALS professor, researching a topic of your choice. Students must find a professor in that field that is willing to act as their advisor. Only students with a 3.0 GPA or higher are allowed to enroll in a directed readings course. In order to register for the course you will need to submit a 2-page proposal along with a bibliography of at least 10 academic sources, in the MLA style format. The final paper must be a minimum of 15 pages, MLA Style, and be submitted to both the professor and the MALS office on the last day of final exams. Only hard copies will be accepted. Proposals must be sent to the MALS Director and the office of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies before registering. Please check the course booklet for proposal deadlines. Students are allowed two directed readings courses during their studies in the program.
  • Transfer Credits: Six credits may be transferred from an accredited graduate school with the approval of the director. The courses cannot have been used to complete another degree and the grade received must be a B or higher. In order to request the transfer you will need to submit a Petition for Transfer of credit from (obtainable from the MALS office) along with class syllabi or course descriptions to the MALS office.

Writing Workshop

A writing workshop will be offered each semester (twice during the fall and spring terms). All students are required to attend at least one session early in their academic career, but are welcome to attend multiple sessions. More information will be sent to students as the workshops are scheduled.

Final Portfolio

Prior to graduation those students who have elected course work instead of a thesis are required to submit a portfolio as their final project. The portfolio is due at the end of your last semester of study, and should be submitted to the office of Interdisciplinary and Professional Studies. Clearance for graduation cannot be given until the final portfolio has been received. The following are guidelines for your final project:

  • The portfolio must include at least three (3) of your best papers.
  • A two to three page narrative placing the papers in context of your learning experience in the program.
  • Include a cover page with your name, date and title of your project.
  • The portfolio may be presented in a binder or you may have it professionally bound.
  • Make two copies of the portfolio, one for yourself and one for the MALS program.


If desired six of the 21 elective credits may be in the fform of a thesis. Students interested in pursuing a thesis should schedule a meeting with the program director to discuss the intended topic. 

Students will need to establish a Thesis Committee consisting of three members (one of whom should be the program director). A graduate school dissertation editor must also be contacted to oversee the correct completion of the thesis.

A thesis must be defended before the Graduate School deadline, and committee members must sign the Certificate of Approval and Signature page. The thesis should then be submitted electronically using the ETD Database. Final materials should be sent to the Graduate School.

For more information on thesis requirements please visit the Electronic Theses & Dissertations website. 

MALS Project

The MALS Project is similar to the thesis, although it does not require coordination with the Graduate School. Please contact the MALS office for more information on the MALS Project guidelines.

Course Booklets

The Spring 2020 Course Booklet is now available.

The Summer 2019 and Fall 2019 Course Booklet is now available.

The Spring 2019 Course Booklet is now available.