What is MLS?

Master of Liberal Studies

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What is MLS?

The Master of Liberal Studies Program offers advanced study in literature, philosophy, sociology, art, writing, languages and linguistics, among many other aspects of diverse human cultural experience. With the help of their advisors, students assemble a degree program that suits their individual interests and career objectives. The MLS program facilitates powerful and lasting conversations between our students, our faculty, and our community.

Admission Requirements: The program requires applicants to have completed a bachelor's degree, online application with transcripts, GRE scores (or equivalent), three letters of recommendation and personal statement.

As students assemble a degree program in discussions with their advisors, they can choose from different emphases. These emphases facilitate productive conversations between students and advisors about their degree programs.

Emphasis in 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

Emphasis in 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.

Emphasis in 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.

Emphasis in 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.