Curriculum and Degree Information

Curriculum Requirements

The M.A. in Liberal Studies requires 30 credits of approved graduate course work, distributed as follows:

Students should also review the details and requirements relevant to their chosen concentration.

Course Sequencing

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

  • Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Core Courses

  • Elective Courses

The Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies 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 MALS 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 M.A. in Liberal Studies by working with an advisor to research and write a thesis OR 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.