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The Purpose of Liberal Studies

Liberal Studies helps us to value the world by intergrating aspects of the three schools, arts and letters, natural science, and social science. By doing this, the curriculum helps us to understand why we view ourselves and our surroundings the way that we do. It encourages us to communicate better with those around us. A liberal education gives a greater appreciation for the literature, music, and visual arts that society offers us. It helps us to comprehend the complex social and political programs of the contemporary world and facilitates our ability to make use of today's rapidly evolving technology.

An Individualized Program of Study

The Master of Liberal Studies program is designed to allow students flexibility to fashion a course of study that blends their interests, talents and experience. Students, under guidance of their faculty advisor, may choose graduate courses and seminars in a variety of disciplines within the schools of arts and letters and the sciences. The program culminates with a thesis or alternative project that will grow out of the information and methodologies acquired throughout the course work. In order to complete a thesis a student must carry out an extensive amount of research and analysis on an interdisciplinary topic with assistance of a faculty committee. Three thesis options are available: traditional, creative, and applied.

Program Mission

Students who have completed the MLS program will demonstrate:

  • understanding of the methods of intellectual inquiry in multiple disciplines
  • development of broader knowledge base with sufficient depth
  • improved ability to critically analyze information
  • ability to synthesize knowledge to examine complex issues
  • capacity to apply learning to make informed decisions
  • ability to communicate effectively

Feed Your Mind

If you're a student looking to reach beyond a bachelor's degree, a Masters in Liberal Studies could be the challenge you desire. This interdisciplinary liberal arts program offers students a greater appreciation for the humanities and the sciences. In addition, graduates of the MLS program understand the reciprocal relationship between the complex social and political structures of the contemporary world and humanity.

With a Masters in Liberal Studies students can pursue careers in a variety of fields. Alumni of this program are qualified to work in education, social services, and law. Graduates may also decide to continue their education in a Ph.D. program. The options are infinite when you pursue a Masters degree in Liberal Studies.

For regular admission, students must have completed a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale. Exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Director and the Advisory Committee.

Application deadlines

Applications are accepted anytime, but deadlines exist for starting in a particular semester.

Fall August 10
Spring January 2
Summer I & II April 15

Application Requirements

Applications to Liberal studies programs (either MLS or Graduate Certificate) are submitted via this on-line process: MLS Online Application

All of the material listed below will be submitted via this link; we list them here for your information:

1. Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

Note: other graduate admissions tests will also be accepted (e.g., GMAT, LSAT)

Note: a voucher for reduction in fees for the GRE is available. Check with the Financial Aid office for further info and qualifications.

2. Three letters of recommendation.

The on-line application process will request mail and e-mail addresses of your references and it will automatically send them an email requesting a recommendation. It is in your best interest to (a) warn your references that the e-mail will be coming and (b) ask people to write letters who can speak to your ability to succeed in a graduate program. Former professors make better references than relatives or friends.

3. You will be asked to upload a statement of personal and educational objectives:
  • Why do you wish to study in the Master in Liberal Studies program?
  • What your objectives are in so doing?
  • Indicate major and minor areas of interest for your coursework in the MLS program.
  • What strengths and weaknesses do you bring to this kind of graduate study?
4. All undergraduate transcripts--complete and official.

You will be asked to list all previous schools attended, but it is your responsibility to contact the schools for official transcripts. Note that you do not need to request any IU system transcripts; the MLS office can access IU transcripts.

5. Application fee: $35.

In order to complete the on-line submission process you will have to make electronic payment of the application fee via IU PayPlus.

6. Conversation with the MLS Director.

Once the complete application has been received, the MLS director will contact you to schedule a conversation, either in-person or by telephone, at your convenience.

7. NOTICE: CAMPUS SAFETY AND SECURITY

University Police, University Center North, Room UC 027 (812) 941-2400 In compliance with the federal Campus Security Act, IU Southeast produces a pamphlet containing information on campus safety and security that includes crime statistics information. The pamphlet is available upon request from the University Police or the University Police Website.

Two Graduate Options:

Masters Degree in Liberal Studies: 34 credit hours

Fully accredited master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies that includes foundational coursework, electives, and a graduate thesis project.

The Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies allows students to design their own course of graduate study. For those students who prefer more guidance in their selection of a course of study, concentrations within the program are available. Note that students are not required to select one of these concentrations; they are optional.

Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies: 16 credit hours

Graduate certificate that includes foundational coursework in interdisciplinary studies and relevant electives; allows students to demonstrate their capacity for graduate work or to pursue graduate coursework.

MLS COURSES FOR SPRING 2015

LBST D501: Humanities Seminar (3 cr.)
Black Fists, Black Voices: Politics & Culture in the Black Panther/Black Arts Movements - Emery
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. T

This course will examine the interplay and the tensions between two key historical movements of the 1960s and 1970s: the Black Power Movement and the Black Arts Movement. Students will grapple with the legacy of Black politics and Black Nationalism for the 21st century, as represented by each strain of the movement. With our first African American president in office, and with controversies surrounding incarceration, violence, and voting rights in our everyday conversations, the time is ideal to look back at the ground breaking successes and frustrating failures of these movements.

LBST D502: Social Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
Feminist Pedagogy for Post-Secondary Instruction - Accardi
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. M

Feminist pedagogy in an interdisciplinary approach informed by feminist theory, educational theory, women’s and gender studies, and literary and cultural studies. Central questions that will guide the course include: What is feminism? What is feminist pedagogy? What does it look like, and what are its concerns? Why does it matter?

LBST D503: Natural Sciences Seminar (3 cr.)
Social, Legal, Economic, & Ethical Perspectives on Computer Information Technology - Manwanit
6 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. R (Hybrid Course)

Leading-edge computer technology has a potential that goes far beyond one’s imagination. To apply creativity to real-world issues, essential technology tools are developed. A thoughtful consideration of social, legal, ethical, and economic issues becomes indispensible for responsive and accountable functioning and application of computer technology.Students in this seminar will not only gain knowledge of different CIT tools, but also develop an understanding of issues associated with deploying computing technology in real-world situations.

LBST D511: Grant Writing (3 cr.)
Finkel
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. M

Developing requests for funding, or simply stating your case to convince a reader/audience, is a part of life in most occupations: non-profits, businesses, academia, etc. We will explore the methods and components for pursuing funding in various arenas and writing successful funding proposals.

LBST D512: Survey Methods and Data Analysis (3 cr.)
Finkel
6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. W

The course does not assume much prior statistical knowledge; it is designed to enable students to be both users and informed consumers of basic methodological and statistical techniques used in survey research. We will focus on sample selection, survey design, and analysis of survey data. This course is especially appropriate for those MLS students who would like to collect survey data as part of their thesis project.

Thesis Project Responsibilities

The thesis work that MLS students undertake is designed to be interdisciplinary in nature. As a result, the conduct and product of their research may be unfamiliar to faculty from a "uni-disciplinary" background. This document outlines the responsibilities of all parties.

Additional Thesis Documents

Reciprocity

Indiana Residents pay the standard graduate tuition for courses they take. IU Southeast and the University of Louisville signed a reciprocity agreement allowing students from Jefferson, Oldham, and Bullitt Counties to enroll in the MLS program and pay in-state tuition rates.

Financial Assistance

Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid about the availability of loans and scholarships.

Phone : (812) 941-2246

Email: financialaid@ius.edu

Scholarships

The MLS program distributes $4000 in scholarship funding to new first-year students in the MLS program who demonstrate academic merit. The funds are typically used to fund 3 to 4 scholarships.  To be eligible, students must submit a complete application to the MLS program by July 15. Applicants will be notified within one month if they have been awarded a scholarship for graduate study.

What can I do with an MLS degree?

We like to say that the Master’s degree in Liberal Studies is good for nothing – instead, it’s good for everything. What we mean is that the MLS degree is not designed to prepare you for a specific career; it’s designed to exercise and develop your mind so you are prepared for a variety of career opportunities.

Albert Einstein said, “Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.”

The point is that many routine and even complex tasks are being outsourced to computers today, but the MLS degree is designed to foster exactly the kind of talents that people have and computers do not. Today’s successful workers need to be innovative, creative, and broad-minded thinkers who are capable of:

  • Flexibility of mind
  • Confidence in their abilities
  • Innovative methods
  • Ability to approach problems/issues from multiple perspectives with creativity

The world changes quickly and most people make many career changes during their working lives. The MLS degree allows you to enrich your personal and professional life by developing your love of learning as a survival skill in a world of constant change.

The MLS degree allows you to design your own interdisciplinary master’s degree: it gives you the opportunity to develop mastery of a self-defined discipline. In other words, instead of following lockstep in a discipline of someone else’s choosing, you get the opportunity to design your own degree and chose to develop the right knowledge base and skill set for what you want to do next.

Getting an MLS degree at IU Southeast has helped numerous students achieve advancement in their careers or develop new careers.

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