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Prospective Students

Master's Program in Liberal Studies (MALS)




If you are interested in applying to the MALS program, please visit the Admissions page which outlines the application materials needed (Step #3 on Admissions page).

In addition to the application materials, MALS requires an applicant statement explaining your interest in the program and why you believe it is a good fit. Please be specific about your academic interests and what you would like to study. The preferred length for the applicant statements is 1000 words.

Another requirement for applicants for Fall 2019 or later is a writing sample (guidelines available here).

Admissions deadlines can be found on the Application Deadlines & Requirements page

If you are an international student, review the International Students page


Time to Degree

All requirements for the degree must be completed no later than four years after matriculation.

Courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students who take two classes per fall and spring semester can expect to complete the 30-credit degree in two and a half years.

Financial Aid

The Graduate Center will offer ten or more Dean’s Merit Scholarships for new students applying to start any master’s program, including the M.A. in Liberal Studies. 

Federal work-study awards are available to qualified applicants. Please see the Financial Aid Office’s website for more information.



  • Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies: MALS 70000 course must be completed in the first calendar year of enrollment, preferably in the first semester. Students can only take one MALS 70000 course for credit.
  • Concentration-Specific Core Courses: Students must take two (6 credits) core courses in their given concentration. If these courses are cross listed, then students must take the MALS course number. Students may not enroll in the same MALS course more than once for credit.
  • Elective Courses: Students must choose from several options offered by the doctoralmaster’s, and certificate programs at The Graduate Center in order to make up the rest of their coursework (18 credits).

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. In their final term, students are required to register for a 3-credit Thesis/Capstone Project course. 

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