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Master of Liberal Arts

Course Descriptions

Core Courses

The student must complete three of the four core courses which explore the history of ideas in the Western tradition. Because the core courses are interdisciplinary, they include history, literature, religion, the arts and architecture, rhetoric, and other areas that constitute liberal education. They divide along chronological lines: 

LA 791: Greek and Roman Culture - 3 cr.
An interdisciplinary course which examines Greek and Roman Culture. Emphasis is on the interaction between culture and ideas. Three hours of seminar.

LA 792: Late Classical and Medieval Culture - 3 cr.
An interdiscipliniary course which examines the interaction between culture and ideas of the period from early Christianity to the Renaissance. Three hours of seminar.

LA 793: Renaissance and Enlightenment Culture - 3 cr.
An interdiscipliniary course which examines Western European culture from the Renaissance through the eighteenth century. Emphasis is on the interaction between culture and ideas. Three hours of seminar.

LA 794: Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Culture - 3 cr.
An interdiscipliniary course which examines the interaction between culture and ideas of the past two hundred years of Europe and America. Three hours of seminar.

Additional Courses
The student must take a minimum of six other approved graduate courses (18 credit hours) from at least two disciplines traditionally called liberal arts. With the advice of the Director of the MLA, the student elects courses that reflect coherence and movement toward a thematic goal.  One of these six courses must be at the 700-level; students can satisfy this requirement by taking a fourth core course or by choosing a 700-level course from a different discipline.

Thesis
A 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 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.)