The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program offers both traditional and adult students opportunities unlike those they experienced when pursuing their undergraduate degree. The program makes a deliberate effort to synthesize rather than merely analyze, to shift students’ attention away from specialized fields of endeavor toward broader, more comprehensive areas of human intellectual interest.
The two trajectories offered within our program are the MA degree (30 hours, GRE required, including a thesis project, and typically pursued as full-time status), and the MALS degree (33 hours, no GRE and no thesis project, and most students in this track pursue the degree part-time).
To be eligible for admission, an applicant must receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution prior to enrollment in MALS. An undergraduate major in the arts, humanities, or social sciences may be relevant, but will not be a determining factor for admission to the program. Admission is based on the level of success in the previous degree program, the clarity and richness of the applicant’s educational and life goals, and the applicant’s general potential for successfully engaging in graduate level work within the program. Applicants will not be admitted if it is likely that they cannot fulfill any of the program requirements or lack what the admissions committee considers to be a well-rounded undergraduate course of study. Applicants must provide the materials required by the Graduate School: a personal statement, transcripts, GRE scores (for MA degree), and three letters of recommendation.
Persons who wish to sample the Liberal Studies Program may take up to two courses without being enrolled in the program. These applicants should contact the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences office, in order to submit an application as an Unclassified student. They will be asked to provide a transcript from their degree-granting college (sent in a sealed institutional envelope), and the application fee. If the student later wishes to enroll in the program, he/she will be asked to provide the essay, recommendation forms and letters of recommendation, GRE scores if necessary, and other transcripts.
There is a non-refundable application fee of $75.
2013-14 academic year tuition for full-time students in the Liberal Studies program is $17,167 per semester. Part-time students pay $1222 per credit hour, and courses are normally three credit hours. Teachers in the North Carolina public school systems may be eligible for a special tuition concession.
There are three terms each year: fall, spring, and summer. Students may begin the program in any term. Full-time students will usually complete their degree within one calendar year. Part-time students usually take one or two courses a term and can graduate in three or four years, but are allowed up to six years to complete the degree.
Registration for the fall semester begins in April, for the spring semester in October, and for the summer semester in March.