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Degree Requirements

Curriculum Requirements

Required Coursework:

  • Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
  • Two track-specific core courses offered regularly (if these courses are cross-listed, you must register for the MALS course number)
  • Eighteen credits from elective courses, which may be chosen among courses offered across most of the doctoral and certificate programs in the Social Sciences and Humanities at the Graduate Center (including core courses for other Liberal Studies tracks of study)
  • Thesis/Capstone Project
Course Sequencing

Students are admitted in both fall and spring terms.
Students are expected to follow this general course sequence:

See left navigation menu for complete course listings.

The introductory course should be taken during a student’s first semester in the program. All new entering students are required to take the course by the end of their second semester in the program, though students who enter with a Master’s degree are exempted and may take an additional elective course instead.  Students are expected to take their core courses in their first year of study.  If a student's core course is cross-listed, Liberal Studies students are expected to enroll in the Liberal Studies section of the course.

Students may not enroll in the same course multiple times for credit. Students may only take one section of the Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies course for credit.

The Master’s Thesis/Capstone Project
Students finish their MA in Liberal Studies by working with an advisor to research and write a thesis OR to complete a capstone project. Students should begin thinking about a thesis/capstone project topic and choosing an adviser, when they have successfully completed approximately eighteen credits. The adviser should be a Graduate Center faculty member who is interested in the proposed thesis project. Regardless of when a student begins work on his or her thesis, the thesis course is registered for only once, in the student’s final term.
Class Location and Frequency

All coursework must come from courses offered directly by Graduate Center programs. Most classes meet once a week at the Graduate School and University Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street, in Manhattan.