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MALS Prospective Students

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 here.

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 do I apply to the MALS program?

Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for admission:

  1. hold 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;

  2. submit transcripts of all college or graduate work;

  3. submit two letters of recommendation;

  4. 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.**

Can I create my own area of specialization within the Liberal Studies Program?

Students must select one of the 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. Once admitted to the program, a transfer request form must be submitted to Assistant Program Officer, Kathy Koutsis ( to be reviewed by the MALS Executive Officer.

May I take courses at other CUNY institutions or at other universities within the consortial system?

No, MALS students can only take courses offered at the Graduate Center.
The consortial arrangement is open only to doctoral students.

What is the tuition fee?

You can look up the current tuition rates on the GC Tuition and Fees page. Under "Tuition Rates"  click on the corresponding academic year and scroll down to "Master's 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.

The Graduate Center will offer four Provost’s Merit Scholarships for new students applying to start the M.A. in Liberal Studies Program in Fall 2018. This merit scholarship is equivalent to the cost of six credits at the New York State rate for the student’s first four semesters of enrollment. In order to be eligible, students must register for a minimum of six credits per semester and remain in good academic standing, as outlined in the Graduate Center Bulletin. The scholarship cannot be deferred. If a student is an out-of-state or international student, the difference in tuition would be the student’s financial responsibility. The scholarship will be awarded by the admissions committee of the M.A. in Liberal Studies Program. This scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit, with the most deserving candidates being selected.

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.

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 education, publishing, media, and non-profit work. Many MALS alumni 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.

Can I take summer courses?

Yes. In response to student demand, we will be running a pilot summer session at the Graduate Center in June/July 2017.

Do you offer online courses?