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NEW! A Flexible Master’s Program to Meet Your Lifestyle

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NEW! A Flexible Master’s Program to Meet Your Lifestyle

Are you a full-time working professional who would like to pursue a master’s degree? Check out the new Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) degree at UMD. Launched this fall, it is designed to be flexible and attractive for diverse leaders and professionals seeking an advanced education. A wide range of classes are available both online and on-campus.

Students who enroll in the MLS program are able to assemble a degree program best suited to their individual interests and career goals.

David Beard, director of graduate studies, says the program is intended to be challenging and flexible. “In designing this program, we considered the needs of working professionals who can’t leave their full-time jobs to obtain a degree.”

A Master of Liberal Studies degree allows students to designate one of four emphases to help focus their work:

1.)The History of Ideas: This emphasis focuses on artistic creations, philosophical perspectives, histories and belief systems. With a grounding in the study of the history of ideas, students critically examine artifacts that exemplify key areas of culture: literature, art, religion, philosophy, oratory, history, or film, among many more.

2.)Global Indigenous Studies: Students investigate diverse fields of American Indian Studies and other indigenous cultures around the world with an emphasis on their histories, philosophies and artistic productions. MLS students pursuing this emphasis will combine courses from UMD’s new Master of Tribal Administration and Governance with classes from other graduate programs.

3.)Media Studies: Human communication is an art, a technique; it is a professional practice as well as self-expression. This emphasis considers the evolution and variety of media technologies that have transformed our society. Then, it invites students to investigate issues and developments in the art of communication.

4.) Sustainability Studies: Students study the interplay between ecological, economic and social factors in meeting the needs of society and community — while maintaining the ability of future generations to do so. Topics include but are not limited to food systems, social-environmental systems, and cultural expression (art, literature and rhetoric). Students learn the ways that institutions (education, medicine, etc.) understand and operationalize questions of health, wellness, work, consumption, resilience, justice — and learn the tools to become change agents in their community.

Students will also work with an advisor to select and fulfill 30 credits in their area of study and complete a capstone project.


Studies include literature, philosophy, sociology, art, communication, languages, and more. “The focus is on many aspects of the diverse human experience,” explains Beard. “The MLS program facilitates powerful and lasting conversations between students, faculty, and the community.” Beyond the master’s degree, it’s anticipated that students will forge connections both on and off campus.

MLS applicants are required to represent an online application with transcripts from a completed bachelor’s degree, GRE scores (or equivalent), three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Details and registration information for Spring 2014 can be found online by visiting the College of Liberal Arts Master of Liberal Arts Studies website. The MLS program also has a blog with featured stories and articles for further explanation, and it can be found by clicking here.