About this program
"In the age of tunnel vision and specialization, graduate liberal arts education can help prepare one for the full range of human perspectives in our global community. It works to extend the individual's reach beyond the sum total of all his/her parts," Akmed Khalifa, Master of Liberal Studies program graduate.
The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is a student-centered, interdisciplinary graduate program designed for individuals who have successfully completed a bachelor's degree. Admitted students progress from an introductory seminar through a series of team-taught courses to explore advanced liberal arts themes and issues through methodologies drawn from several disciplines. Students create major research projects aligned with their personal educational goals, and support and develop their work on these projects through a series of graduate-level supporting study courses or independent studies.
For each student, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program culminates in the creation of a self-directed capstone project that draws from and builds upon the program as a whole. Metropolitan State University's student-centered Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program will enable you to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the liberal arts. Master of Liberal Studies coursework will enhance your potential for analysis, communication, multicultural understanding and research through interdisciplinary study within the liberal arts.
In an era of information explosion and rapid global development, these liberal studies skills and knowledge will be applicable in your workplace, your community and your personal sphere. MLS graduates will broaden and deepen their store of knowledge through the specific liberal arts content of their MLS seminars, MLS Exploration, and MLS supporting study course work. MLS graduates will gain enhanced, graduate-level skills, which include:
- Research: locating and organizing information
- Analysis: critical thinking, source evaluation
- Communication: writing, oral presentation, discussion
MLS graduates will have succeeded in applying skills and knowledge within structured opportunities for self-directed research, employing interdisciplinary perspectives inclusive of diverse viewpoints and anchored in the liberal arts, leading to effective presentations of research within a student-centered community of motivated adult learners similarly engaged.
The Master of Liberal Studies program will:
- Offer flexible scheduling, with all classes available on evenings or weekends.
- Offer courses for you to explore topics and issues from several liberal arts disciplines.
- Offer intensive faculty advising as you create an individualized plan of study aligned with your educational goals and interests in the liberal arts.
- Culminate in the creation of a self-directed capstone project drawing on interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Studies Program coursework, elective courses, or independent studies.
Trajectory of courses
An admitted Liberal Studies student begins by taking the "MLS 600: Introductory Seminar," which teaches methods of interdisciplinary inquiry through variable topics within which students craft individual projects. Arising from interactions with seminar team teachers and with other students, one of the seminar's outcomes is analysis and refinement of each student's educational objectives within the framework of Master of Liberal Studies program resources.
Following MLS 600, a student then selects at least three iterations of "MLS 620: Master of Liberal Studies Exploration." Topics vary, but each MLS 620 encourages interdisciplinary inquiry with opportunities to pursue individual interests as these relate to the exploration's theme.
- For example, a student interested in world politics and economics might take an Exploration on the topic of globalism.
- Students also select 12 credits of supporting study at the 500G or higher level, which can include independent studies or internships. All MLS supporting study credits must be clearly relevant to the student's MLS program.
A student may register for "MLS 690 Master of Liberal Studies Capstone" upon completion of MLS 600 and at least 24 credits in the Master of Liberal Studies program (at least 8 supporting study credits, and at least 8 credits in MLS 620's); and with an approved Capstone Project Proposal. The MLS 690 Capstone revolves around the final revisions and completion of students' self-directed capstone projects.
Since its founding, Metropolitan State University has emphasized a student-centered educational philosophy, with strong faculty involvement in advising. For MLS students, advising occurs in several ways.
- One is embedded in "MLS 600 Introductory Seminar," where students articulate their MLS educational objectives.
- Each MLS student will also be assigned a graduate faculty advisor, who can advise students towards appropriate course selection, and also help to arrange creative learning strategies, including customized independent studies and internships.
- As a student nears completion of the MLS, the advisor also helps with the appointment of a faculty reader from a discipline related to the student's evolving capstone project. The faculty reader reviews a student's capstone project, and thus in addition to the team teachers of MLS 690, can advise to reinforce cohesion and quality in the final stages of a student's MLS.
For questions or application materials contact:
Professor Lawrence Moe Director, Master of Liberal Studies program
Master of Liberal Studies Program
Metropolitan State University
700 East Seventh Street
Saint Paul, MN 55106-5000 MLS