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Master of Arts in Liberal Arts

Course Descriptions

Core Courses

The student must complete a two-course sequence that introduces them to the study and practice of the Liberal Arts:

LA 701: Introduction to Liberal Arts and Sciences, 3 cr.
A survey of the Liberal Arts and Sciences from the world of antiquity to the present day, with particular attention to historical and philosophical justifications of a Liberal Arts education. Three hours of seminar.

LA 702: Research and Writing in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, 3 cr.
A theoretical and practical introduction to research and writing in the disciplines that comprise the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Three hours of lecture and workshop. May be taken concurrently with LA 701.

Elective Courses

The student must take a minimum of five other approved graduate courses (15 credit hours) from at least two disciplines traditionally identified as Liberal Arts. With the advice of the Director of the MLA, the student elects courses that reflect coherence and movement toward a thematic goal.


A three-semester thesis or thesis-equivalent project rounds out the program. With the advice of three members of the Graduate Faculty, the student will write a thesis or produce a thesis-equivalent project based in the Liberal Arts and demonstrating capacity for research, creative thought, and the ability to integrate knowledge from several fields. An oral examination follows the completion of the thesis or equivalent project. (A "thesis-equivalent project" can be - for example - a documentary film for television, with an accompanying written component.)