Note: All of the requirements for the graduate certificate are also requirements for the Master’s degree. Students who choose to continue would need to complete an additional MLS seminar, 9 additional elective credit hours, and 6 credit hours of work on a thesis project. In total, completing the Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies would require an additional 18 credit hours.

Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies

4 credit hours (D510)
Students are required to take LBST D510 within their first year of entering the program. It is strongly recommended that students take the course in their first semester. The course provides a comprehensive introduction to graduate liberal studies, as well as preparing students to participate successfully in all facets of the MLS program. The course will examine methods of intellectual inquiry in the three fields represented in the MLS program: Arts & Letters, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. Academic scholarship, research methodologies, writing conventions, and research ethics will be covered.

MLS Seminars

6 credit hours (D501, D502, D503)
Students are required to take a minimum of six (6) hours of graduate seminars. You must take at least one (1) seminar in two different area: arts and letters, natural sciences or social sciences. Typically this would mean that you would take a three (3) hour seminar in two areas. However, we sometimes offer mini seminars (1 credit in one area). In that case, students must take three or more hours in another area to reach a minimum total of six (6) credit hours or more. If you take more than six hours of seminar, the hours above six will count as electives.

All seminars are interdisciplinary. The numbers indicate the division of the instructor and hence the area of emphasis in the course. Instructors do not assume that all students taking their seminars have extensive backgrounds in their discipline. In an interdisciplinary program like MLS this clearly would not be realistic. Hence, readings are thought and discussion provoking but do not require prerequisites in the relevant fields.

The seminars have a discussion format. It is crucial that you do the readings prior to coming to class. In addition, term projects are required in the seminars. It is important that your project conforms to graduate level standards.

Electives

6 credit hours (D511, D512, D513)
Purpose:

  • Focus your MLS degree on an area of concentration
  • Allow you to interact with faculty in the relevant areas

Selection of electives requires long-term planning because electives are a very important component of the MLS degree program. They provide an opportunity for students to select an area of concentration.

To complete the graduate certificate, students will choose 6 credit hours of elective courses in a single field of study. You may choose from among courses offered by the Schools of Arts and Letters, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences as well as from those offered by the professional schools: Business, Education, and Nursing.

Elective Options
  • Additional MLS Seminars
  • 300/400 courses
  • Readings (D594)

Students may elect to take additional seminars beyond the six (6) hours required above. Any additional hours of seminar beyond six (6) can count as electives.

You may also elect to take a 300 or 400 undergraduate level course as a MLS graduate course if you follow these steps:

  1. You must ask permission of the instructor to take the course for graduate credit at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester.
  2. Negotiate with the instructor on what additional work you will do to earn graduate credit for the course.
  3. Submit an Application for Graduate Credit, signed by both you and the instructor.
  4. When the application has been approved by the MLS Director, the MLS office will assign a section number to the graduate liberal studies course (D511, D512, D513). If you register using the undergraduate number, it will not count toward your degree.

Do not register for the undergraduate course to save a place in class. The graduate course is listed separately.

Students may take the D594 Readings course to focus on a topic or combination of topics that is not available via MLS seminars or 300/400 level courses. Students must submit an application to take D594 to the MLS Director.

The application form details the methods to be used to meet the Graduate Competencies for Elective Courses and must be signed by both the instructor and the student.

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