M.A. Liberal Studies Degree Program
The degree program materials to be submitted at the end of Perspectives on Interdisciplinary Study consist of a degree program cover sheet, a rationale essay. Other items may be required.
When planning your degree program, you may already have a good idea of what your final project might be. With a specific final project already in mind, degree planning will most likely begin by trying to determine, through readings, interviews and discussions with your academic advisor, what kinds of prior study you must do in order to carry out that project.
Your academic advisor and Perspectives on Interdisciplinary Study course instructor will also have suggestions, both about the possible shape of your program and about useful research activities you may want to undertake as you explore and develop your degree program plan. Fairly early on in the process, the three of you will work together to spell out the particular activities – topics to investigate at the library, people to interview, books and articles to read – that will be included in the learning contract for Perspectives on Interdisciplinary Study. By the time you are about half way through this course, you should have developed a provisional plan of study and begun considering what authors, ideas, concepts and writings you will want to study in each of the projected courses. As each course begins to take shape in your mind, it may be helpful to identify two or three major subareas and to think separately about each one in terms of objectives and readings.
In making the final selection of the courses that will comprise your degree program, you must keep in mind a number of criteria set by the School for Graduate Studies for the M.A. in Liberal Studies program. In some cases the criteria are rather broad and in other cases they are quite specific, but all are criteria upon which the degree program is ultimately judged. Thus, when you have completed a final version of your degree program, you must make sure it meets the following criteria:
- it must be interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary;
- it must be focused in the liberal arts and sciences;
- it must embody breadth and depth;
- it must be coherent;
- at least one proposed course must deal with the broad historical or theoretical background of your field of interest;
- it must contain no more than 9 credits of professional courses;
- it may include no more than 9 credits in a single discipline;
- it may include up to 9 credits of transfer coursework. (Please see the Transfer Credit Policy located elsewhere in this catalog.);
- it may contain no more than 15 credits of transfer and cross-registered credit combined. (Please see the Cross Registration Policy located elsewhere in this catalog.);
- it should show that the proposed courses together represent a planned progression toward a final project; and
- it should be capped by a 3 credit final project that is a significant piece of research in a focused topic within the liberal arts or a creative work of art. (Please see the section on the M.A. final project located elsewhere in this catalog.)
If you are considering doctoral study, you also should investigate the requirements of programs that interest you so that you can incorporate their requirements into your M.A. degree.
Note: you may not enroll for more than 21 credit hours without an approved degree program in place.