Is the Masters in Liberal Studies program right for me?
The diversity of tracks and the interdisciplinary nature of the MALS program make it an appropriate academic choice for a wide variety of students with many different goals. The program is suited to those who have a professional, intellectual, academic, or personal objective for which the pursuit of scholarly graduate study in the arts and sciences is required or beneficial. Most of our students pursue careers in research and/or teaching upon graduation; many enroll in order to hone their intellectual focus for future doctoral work; and still others make the commitment to address an area of personal intellectual curiosity. We welcome inquiries from prospective students and would be happy to schedule a pre-application informational interview to answer any questions you may have.
How would you describe the typical MALS student?
MALS students are academically oriented people who value a challenging, multidisciplinary scholarly experience and enjoy contributing to and learning from a lively intellectual community. Read what MALS student have to say about the program: http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Page-Elements/Academics-Research-Centers-Initiatives/Masters-Programs/Liberal-Studies/Prospective-Students/Student-Voices
How do I apply to the MALS program?
Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for admission:
have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or its equivalent, with a cumulative overall GPA of 3.0 (B average) or higher;
submit transcripts of all college or graduate work;
submit two letters of recommendation;
submit a personal statement (an academic writing sample is not required), the preferred length for personal statements is 1000 words.
Admission to the program must ultimately be approved by the Executive Committee.
Please consult the Graduate Center website for upcoming admissions deadlines and requirements. Prospective students may apply using these application instructions and forms.
**As of April 2013, the GRE is no longer required as part of the application for the MALS program.**
Program Structure and Requirements
Can I create my own area of specialization within the Liberal Studies Program?
Students must select one of the twenty-two tracks of study and complete the associated core course requirements for that track. Electives may be selected from any of the courses offered in the MALS program or the Graduate Center.
May I transfer credit from other graduate programs?
A maximum of 12 credits earned prior to matriculation to MALS may be accepted. In order to be eligible for transfer, the courses must be comparable to courses offered by the PhD programs at the Graduate Center and must have been completed with a grade of B or higher. Courses in creative or professional writing are not eligible for transfer credit.
Can I take courses at other CUNY schools for credit?
MALS students can take up to two graduate courses at other CUNY schools, provided they are relevant to their track and are approved in advance by the Executive Officer. Matriculated students registering for courses that are offered at another CUNY college, but that do not appear on the Graduate Center Announcement of Courses, must complete the Request for Permit Out Form, which is available from the Assistant Program Officer of MALS and in the Registrar’s Office. Once the form is completed and approved by the academic program, the student should submit the form to the Registrar’s Office in room 7201 for processing. Every attempt will be made to make arrangements with local registrars for the registration for courses offered at the campuses that are relevant and necessary for the pursuit of a Graduate Center degree.
May I take courses at other universities within the consortial system?
The consortial arrangement is open only to doctoral students.
What financial aid is available?
Federal work-study awards are available to qualified applicants. Please see the Financial Aid Office’s website for more information.
Can I enroll as a part-time student?
Yes, students can enroll for one or more courses per semester. Please visit the Tuition and Fees page for current information.
Various Program Questions
How long does it usually take to earn the degree?
Courses are offered during the fall and spring semesters. Students who take two classes per semester can expect to complete the 30-credit degree in two and a half years.
How large are the classes?
The typical class size is about 12-15 students.
What kind of jobs do graduates find after completing the degree?
The majority of our students go on to careers in teaching and research. Many pursue further graduate work in a doctoral program. The advanced critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills students learn in the MALS program are beneficial to nearly any academic or professional environment.
Does the program offer classes at night or on weekends?
A number of courses are offered on weeknights from 6:30-8:30 pm. There are no weekend classes.