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School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Why Pursue a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Degree at North Central College?

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program brings today’s headlines into conversation with classic statements of humanity’s most enduring questions. Students investigate how our cultural, social and natural worlds intersect in order to understand issues in our own lives in their full complexity. Together, they examine a variety of materials across a wide array of academic disciplines in order to integrate disparate insights into a view of the whole. 

All the courses in the MALS program are run as small, discussion-based, Socratic seminars. Students develop close working relationships with each other and program faculty, whose expertise represents the range of traditional arts and sciences. In addition to intensive seminars, students work individually with program faculty on either a focused capstone project of their devising or on a problem-based project in which they integrate knowledge and insights from across the liberal arts. 

Graduates of the MALS program master assured, compelling communication, developing and honing skills in critical reading, concise writing, confident speaking and careful research. Students will find new ways to work productively in diverse settings and approach challenges creatively in their personal lives, workplaces and communities.

Learn how you can save up to 20% in Graduate tuition

Graduate Aid and Costs

Graduate students are eligible for up to $20,500 in the federal direct unsubsidized loan annually. (fall, spring, and summer semesters included)

Flexible Format

  • Cohort Model
  • 100% Online
  • Synchronous sessions Monday and Wednesday
  • Enrolling for Fall 2022 Cohort

Benefits of a Cohort Model

  • Structured program that supports busy graduate students
  • Comprehensive program that can be completed in 5 semesters
  • Close connection with faculty and classmates through online discussions

Interdisciplinary Coursework Designed for Today

The MALS degree is an interdisciplinary program drawing upon coursework from many different areas such as art, humanities, and social sciences. It is designed to train you on how to think critically and contextually about your own experiences, as well as a wide range of topics. The reimagined courses focus on areas that are relevant to our culture today from healthcare, religion, and sports, to gender and sexuality, science and immigration issues.

A Short Description of Liberal Studies

To learn more about Liberal Studies, read this article written by Aron Dunlap, Visiting Assistant Professor of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program.

short read, BIG THINK:  Join Us for Our Virtual Discussion Series

Intersectionality Past and Present (date and time to be announced)

Click here for the short read

Click here for the short video

An energetic discussion with Dr. Ann Dolinko, professor of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program and others from the graduate school community. 

First, a short read of the moving speech "Ain't I a Woman" by Sojouner Truth, born into slavery in 1797 followed by a short Ted Talk "The Urgency of Intersectionality" by Kimberle Crenshaw that looks boldly at the reality of race and gender bias.

Then a lively, BIG THINK discussion to help us understand what intersectionality is and why it matters in today's world. See you there!

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree is an interdisciplinary program drawing upon coursework from many different areas such as art, humanities and social sciences. It is designed to train students how to think critically and contextually about their own experiences, as well as a wide range of topics. The reimagined courses focus on areas that are relevant to our culture today from healthcare, religion and sports, to gender and sexuality, science and immigration.

Degree Requirements

A total of 30 credit hours required: Six credit hours of core courses, three credit hours from each area requirement (to total nine credit hours) and 15 credit hours of elective courses.

Core Courses

One of the following:

Area Requirements

One course from each of the following areas:

The Cultural World

The Natural World

The Social World

Elective Courses

  • 15 elective credits from courses within the program.

Note:

*Students may apply no more than three credit hours of internship credit to meet the requirement.

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Faculty

Faculty and Staff

Shimer Great Books

Aron Dunlap

Assistant Professor in the Shimer Great Books School

Shimer Great Books

Stuart Patterson

Associate Professor in the Shimer Great Books School

Kinesiology

Kristin Hartsaw

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Kinesiology

Management & Marketing

Jeffrey Anstine

Professor of Management

School of Educ & Health Sci

Tammy Wynard

Associate Professor of Health Science; Chairperson of the Department of Health Sciences

Modern & Classical Languages

Gregory H. Wolf

Dennis and Jean Bauman Professor in the Humanities; Professor of German; Director of Undergraduate Research and Prestigious Fellowships

English

Jennifer Jackson

Associate Professor of English; Svend and Elizabeth Bramsen Professor in the Humanities

Shimer Great Books

Daniela Barberis

Assistant Professor in the Shimer Great Books School

Shimer Great Books

Ann Dolinko

Professor in the Shimer Great Books School