Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University Graduate School » Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies


Welcome to the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Wake Forest University. In accord with the University’s long commitment to liberal arts education, students in our program explore timeless human questions and study essential human experiences through the perspectives of diverse academic disciplines. Placing into dialogue the traditional branches of the liberal arts curriculum, Liberal Studies at Wake Forest is especially devoted to the interdisciplinary examination of human ideas and values. Through exposing students to rich interactions between and among various ways of interpreting the world, the Liberal Studies Program challenges students to engage in nuanced contemplation of life’s most complex problems.

The Liberal Studies Program encourages the ongoing pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake, as well as trains students for exciting scholarly futures. The Liberal Studies student body is as varied and interesting as its curriculum. Our students range in age from their mid-twenties to their late sixties, and they represent all walks of life. They share the common desire to keep learning at a sophisticated level, to pursue their personal intellectual passions, and to develop their fullest human potential. With their expansive life experiences and heterogeneous intellectual backgrounds, our students not only benefit from, but also contribute significantly to the success of the Liberal Studies Program. Along with faculty devoted to the liberal ideals represented by Wake Forest University, our students form a vital, exciting, and immensely rewarding learning community.

Our program now offers two versions of the Liberal Studies degree, accommodating the different types of scholars who seek multi-disciplinary studies.

The MA in Liberal Studies degree is built around one of two integrated themes. Students choose courses focused in American Cultural Studies or Global Studies, drawing on the expertise of four core University departments: English, History, Political Studies and Communication. Students are expected to have taken the GRE, and will complete a thesis project at the end of their coursework. This degree is designed primarily for the student who wishes to enroll full-time, and may have aspirations for further study in an interdisciplinary doctoral program.

The MALS degree, which has been the cornerstone of our program since 1987, is designed for students from the surrounding community who are compelled by their intellectual curiosity to pursue a broad, interdisciplinary course of studies on a part-time basis. This degree satisfies those who are attracted to learning for learning’s sake, who do not need the advanced degree for career promotion, and who come from diverse backgrounds. This is a course-intensive program with no final thesis requirement.

Students in either program can supplement their Liberal Studies courses with others provided across the full range of the liberal arts: courses in religion, sociology, economics, humanities, psychology, and the performing arts.

Generous scholarship assistance is available for students in either program, and you are encouraged to contact the Liberal Studies office to obtain more information.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Anthony S. Parent, Ph.D.
Professor of History and American Ethnic Studies
Program Director, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Wake Forest University

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