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Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) at the University of Detroit Mercy is a highly personalized course of study. It is designed for men and women who believe that learning is a lifelong endeavor, and who wish to explore and understand the social, cultural and humanistic dimensions and context of today's world and their own individual lives, and who recognize that education is the means for dealing with life's changes. Most of all, the M.A.L.S. is for people who value their freedom and independence to think, and to understand. Departments contributing courses to the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program are:

  • Communication Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Theatre

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the program is approved by the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Education upon recommendation of the program director. To be admitted, the applicant must:

  • 1. Submit evidence of a B.A. from an accredited institution, with at least a 2.75 grade point average.
  • 2. Submit a written statement setting forth a proposed plan of study, specifying the intention to pursue the degree via Track A (Individualized) or Track B (Integrative).
  • 3. Complete a personal interview with the Program Director.

Degree Requirements

The program requires 30 credits of planned study in either of two tracks; both tracks are interdisciplinary. One permits maximum flexibility and personal customization within a student-created curricular design, subject to the Program Director's endorsement. The other track provides a course of study with pre-defined limits, while still allowing adaptability to individual student interest. Both are based on a core of seminars crafted expressly for the program:

MLS 500 Introduction to Liberal Studies 3
MLS 501 Seminar in the History of Ideas 3
MLS 502 Seminar in Society and Change 3
MLS 503 Seminar in Society and Culture 3
MLS 506 Final Project 3

Other work toward the degree consists of graduate courses from various departments, directed readings and tutorials. Candidates may combine courses from several departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Education, as well as selected courses in the School of Architecture, College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering and Science. Written approval is required from each college specifying course(s) students will be granted permission to take.


The student who wishes to design an individualized course of study completes a 30-hour program based on a nine hour, three course core:
MLS 500 3
MLS 506 3
MLS 501 OR 3
MLS 502 OR 3
MLS 503 3
The remaining 21 hours are distributed across disciplinary lines in accordance with a program of study designed by the student and his or her mentor and may consist of formal courses or a combination of formal courses and individual readings or tutorials.


The student who prefers a moderately structured plan of study with a special emphasis on human values and experiences (past and present), may complete a 30 hour program consisting of a 15 hour, five-course core:
MLS 500 3
MLS 501 3
MLS 502 3
MLS 503 3
MLS 506 3
Plus one additional course from each of the three areas--history of ideas (generally a course in history, political science, philosophy, economics, sociology, or psychology), society and change (any course that speaks to this theme), and society and culture (generally a course in English, music, fine arts, theatre, or communication studies); and two remaining courses from among the various disciplines within the College.

Women's Studies

An MALS student may design a Women's Studies program, following either of the two tracks. Special mentoring is available for those who select this program.

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