Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.)

Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.)

UNH Liberal Studies students

Why get a master’s degree in liberal studies?

The liberal studies (or M.A.L.S.) program is innovative and interdisciplinary. Design your own course of study, choosing courses from across the university that focus on a topic, issue, perspective or cultural development, culminating in a scholarly thesis or creative applied project. Students have explored topics such as the arts, American studies, the humanities, ecology and values, labor studies, religious studies and urban studies. They have developed memoirs, documentaries, musical compositions, courses, theses and more. Designed for students who seek to deepen their knowledge, follow their passions or master new fields, M.A.L.S. offers a challenging but flexible program of cross-disciplinary learning.

Why choose UNH for your liberal studies degree?

The program offers a diverse spectrum of courses and a wealth of faculty expertise. Our faculty will provide one-on-one guidance throughout your studies. Take advantage of all of the resources of the College of Liberal Arts and beyond, including seminars and lecture series by acclaimed writers, historians, artists, musicians, scientists, philosophers, professors and journalists, as well as performances and exhibits of music, dance, theater, film, poetry and art. Located within easy driving distance of Boston, central and northern New England, UNH is ideally situated to take advantage of the many vibrant cities, communities and resources in the area.

Potential career areas

  • Academia 
  • Art 
  • Business 
  • Cinema/theatre 
  • Education
  • Fundraising 
  • Journalism 
  • Law
  • Policy 
  • Politics 
  • Publishing 
  • Religion
  • Writing

Contact

Brigitte Bailey

Professor of English
Senior Faculty Fellow
Coordinator, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
PROFESSOR
Office: English, Hamilton Smith Hall Rm 349S, Durham, NH 03824
Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
110 Murkland Hall
15 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2062
Email: brigitte.bailey@unh.edu

  • Liberal Studies | Writer
    Lisa Moll represents the important work that our passionate graduate Liberal Studies students do. See this article about her paper that grew into a book. Photo courtesy of the Portsmouth Herald....
    Liberal Studies | Writer
    Lisa Moll represents the important work that our passionate graduate Liberal Studies students do. See this article about her paper that grew into a book. Photo courtesy of the Portsmouth Herald....
  • Humanities-UNHM & MALS-Durham | Professor
    Describe what you are currently doing for work and the path you took to get to this point: I am an adjunct professor at SNHU and UMASS, where I teach a variety of courses. At SNHU, I primarily teach humanities ancient cultures to Renaissance, ethics and philosophy. At UMASS Lowell, I teach College...
    Humanities-UNHM & MALS-Durham | Professor
    Describe what you are currently doing for work and the path you took to get to this point: I am an adjunct professor at SNHU and UMASS, where I teach a variety of courses. At SNHU, I primarily teach humanities ancient cultures to Renaissance, ethics and philosophy. At UMASS Lowell, I teach College...
  • English Literature Major and Master of Liberal Studies | Professor
    As an undergrad, I chose literature as my major. I chose it because I love literature. At the time, people didn't think too highly of literature majors. In the workplace today, our critical thinking skills are highly valued. The classes I had in the English Department and Women's Studies stand out...
    English Literature Major and Master of Liberal Studies | Professor
    As an undergrad, I chose literature as my major. I chose it because I love literature. At the time, people didn't think too highly of literature majors. In the workplace today, our critical thinking skills are highly valued. The classes I had in the English Department and Women's Studies stand out...

Curriculum & Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission to the master of arts in liberal studies is selective. A bachelor's degree is required for admission. Students will be asked to provide relevant transcripts of their educational experience, a resume, and letters of recommendation. They will also be asked to submit a brief essay describing why they are particularly interested in this program and indicating the sort of interdisciplinary focus or area of learning in which they might like to concentrate their study. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required but is helpful.

Degree Requirements

The program consists of 30 credits divided into three parts: a core seminar specifically designed for and required of every student, to be taken within one year of entrance to the program; a concentration made up of at least five elective courses chosen from various disciplines across the liberal arts that centers on an interdisciplinary theme or topic; and a 6 credit master's thesis LS 899 or a 6 credit project LS 898, which is intended to act as an integrating capstone experience for liberal studies students.

LS 800Core Seminar 14
Select a concentration 220
LS 898Master's Project 36
or LS 899 Master's Thesis
Total Credits30

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: CT MA VT

Accelerated Masters Eligible: No

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Applicants should submit a brief essay describing why they are particularly interested in this program and indicating the sort of interdisciplinary focus or area of learning in which they might like to concentrate their study.

Statements must be included with your submitted application.

Resume

A current resume is required with your submitted application.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

Explore Program Details

All newly-enrolled students will be required to take a designated College of Liberal Arts graduate seminar in the fall term as their core seminar.

Working with a committee of three faculty members, each student prepares a final product (6 credits) consistent with her or his concentration and interests. The product may be a scholarly thesis or equivalent creative applied project. Students are encouraged to schedule a formal defense of their work with their committees.

By the time they begin this final step, MALS students have completed 24 credits of graduate work in different disciplines. The thesis or project grows out of this body of work. However, as the questions driving these theses or projects are inherently interdisciplinary, the final products may be shaped less by a specific disciplinary perspective or methodology than by a thoughtful synthesis of perspectives drawn from different fields. This interdisciplinary approach will be reflected in the composition of the committee.

This program offers candidates the opportunity to do on the graduate level the kind of interdisciplinary work that UNH champions but that is often required only at the undergraduate level. Theses and projects are inquiry-based; MALS students pursue significant questions that lead them across disciplinary lines. Enriching their inquiry, they also bring other forms of knowledge and lived experiences with them as predominantly returning students. Faculty who work with MALS students on their theses or projects share aspects of their own disciplinary methodology with the student and simultaneously support the student’s synthesis of the methodologies of other disciplines.

To apply to the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program, you will need to submit an online application to the UNH Graduate School. Collect and submit all additional supporting materials in one packet. Send all application materials to the Graduate School, not to the M.A.L.S. Program.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the master of arts in liberal studies is selective. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission. Students will be asked to provide relevant transcripts of their educational experience, a resume, and letters of recommendation. They will also be asked to submit a brief essay describing why they are particularly interested in this program and indicating the sort of interdisciplinary focus or area of learning in which they might like to concentrate their study. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required but is helpful. 

Deadlines

February 15 for financial assistance
July 1 for fall session (April 1 recommended for fall session)
December 1 for spring session
April 1 for summer session

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