Admission to the MLS is suspended during the redesign of the program.
The College of Letters and Science offers an interdisciplinary graduate program leading to a Master of Liberal Studies. The MLS curriculum consists of small introductory seminars, special topics courses conceived exclusively for the program, electives taken in specific departments, and a final thesis or independent project. All courses are taught by graduate faculty drawn primarily from the College of Letters and Science and augmented by other interested instructors from across the University. Such faculty diversity allows students to expand their cultural and intellectual horizons through a carefully structured course of study that encourages multiple perspectives on important issues and integration of knowledge across disciplines.
The MLS program is housed in the internationally respected Center for Twenty-first Century Studies, which ensures access to leading scholars, outstanding facilities, special lectures and other events. Each fall a limited class of new students is admitted in order to maintain an intimate learning environment, and all courses are offered during evenings. Although the MLS is not a traditional graduate degree that focuses on a single academic field or set of professional skills, its emphasis on critical thinking, imaginative reflection, ethical consideration, and effective communication carries substantial value in both private and public life.
Note: Admission to the MLS is suspended during the redesign of the program.
To be considered for admission to the Master of Liberal Studies, an applicant must meet the requirements for admission to the Graduate School. For international students, demonstration of English proficiency for MLS requires a minimum internet-based TOEFL score of 79 for regular graduate admission, 68-78 for dual admission, or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5. In addition, the applicant must submit an essay (two pages) describing why s/he is interested in pursuing graduate study in an interdisciplinary program and describing the educational background and life experiences that s/he brings to the program. An interview with the director of the program also is required.
Credits and Courses
Thirty credits are required for the MLS degree, distributed as follows:
Select an introductory two-course sequence (4 credits for each course) 1
Select at least two courses from an array of special topics courses in a seminar format (3 credits each) offered under the LibrlSt curricular area number
Special topics courses offered under the MLS curricular area code
Graduate courses offered within departments
Graduate courses offered by departments or to undertake independent study 2
LIBRLST 799 Independent Work
|LIBRLST 798||Liberal Studies Master's Project||4|
Select courses that are designed to orient the individuals to the program, to establish a common base of knowledge in an interdisciplinary context, and to create a sense of intellectual community among the participants, many of whom may be re-entering the world of formal education.
Although the core and special topics courses that are designed specifically for the Master of Liberal Studies will be emphasized in all programs of study, participants may wish to take graduate courses offered by departments or to undertake independent study in order to pursue specific interests.
This project, which must be interdisciplinary in nature, can take the form of a traditional research paper or thesis, but it also may adopt an alternative creative, performative, or occupationally related practical model. The project must be approved by the student’s advisor and the program director.
Major Professor as Advisor
As specified in the regulations of the Graduate School, a major professor will be assigned to every person enrolled in the program to advise and supervise his or her work. Those admitted to the program will consult with the Director of the Master of Liberal Studies program for assistance in identifying an appropriate advisor. The responsibility of the advisor will be to assist in selecting a cohesive sequence of courses and developing a rationale for that sequence. The major advisor must approve the program of study.
Individuals with prior graduate coursework may receive permission to count up to 9 credits of that work toward the Master of Liberal Studies if the Advisory Committee accepts the courses as relevant to the program of study and if the courses meet Graduate School requirements for transfer. Liberal Studies core courses and the culminating project course must be taken at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
All degree requirements must be completed within five years of initial enrollment.