A graduate degree is often seen as a highly specific area of study. But students interested in exploring several disciplines don’t have to limit themselves, thanks to the liberal studies masters degree. This interdisciplinary degree explores themes and issues across the arts and humanities, natural and applied sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. Programs are typically geared towards working adults seeking educational enrichment and professional development.
Why a Master’s Degree?
A bachelor’s degree in liberal studies often appeals to students who want to pursue higher education but aren’t sure in what. The same can be true of a master’s degree in liberal arts. Students of all backgrounds may enter a liberal studies master’s degree program with uncertain objectives but a desire to learn. Others may pursue the degree for the professional and educational growth that an advanced degree can provide, for teacher recertification, as a stepping stone towards doctoral work, or for the simple goal of learning.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
Application requirements will depend on the school. For an idea of what may be expected of you, here are typical credentials and application documents schools request for online liberal studies degree programs:
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Minimum GPA
- GRE score
- Transcripts from all previously attended colleges and universities
- Personal statement
- Three letters of recommendation
Inside a Liberal Studies Master’s Degree Program
Master’s degree programs in liberal studies may take anywhere from two to five years to complete, depending on whether it’s full time or part time. Given its multidisciplinary nature, students can expect to take courses in a number of different subjects within the liberal arts, including the arts and humanities, social and behavioral sciences, natural and applied sciences. Some programs may also have students choose a concentration within these disciplines for more focused study.
Liberal studies courses are research and writing intensive. Before graduating, students are typically required to complete a thesis. This would be a research paper in an area of their choosing and must demonstrate strong critical thinking and analytical skills.
What’s Next for Liberal Studies Master’s Degree Holders?
Because it is so general, graduation prospects vary. Students may pursue a master’s degree in liberal studies to advance professionally and academically. Others may be seeking teaching recertification. The degree can also be applied towards careers in research or teaching.
Graduates may also use the master’s degree as a stepping stone towards a professional school or doctoral program. This would be ideal for students considering teaching at the university or college level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Ph.D. is typically required of postsecondary teachers.