Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

(MALS) (HEGIS 4901)

The MALS Admissions Committee makes its decision on the basis of a review of the items listed below:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  2. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  3. A completed Application for Graduate Enrollment including official transcripts of undergraduate study, and at least two letters of reference.
  4. ESL students must pass the TOEFL test at 550 or better, or be tested by Dowling ESL faculty. Students may be required to enroll in ESL courses as a condition of matriculation.

The MALS Admissions Committee may request additional materials for their consideration before making an admissions decision. Applicants who do not meet all of the MALS admission requirements detailed above may, with the approval of the MALS Admissions Committee or the Dean, be conditionally admitted to the program. Conditional admission may require, prior to formal acceptance into the MALS program, up to 12 credits of coursework in the MALS program while maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

Students interested in pursuing teacher certification must speak with an education advisor.

Students are welcome to take courses in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program on a non-matriculated basis. To take MALS courses on a non-matriculating basis, prospective students must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, have a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0, and must complete a non-matriculating graduate application. Non-matriculating MALS students may apply up to 12 credits earned toward the MALS degree.

The MALS program is ideal for:

  1. English or Social Studies teaching seeking a masters degree for professional certification in a content area rather than in pedagogy.
  2. English or Social Studies teachers seeking to take selected graduate classes to gain additional professional certification credits and/or professional development.
  3. Future writers in a variety of genres seeking advanced work to continue their creative endeavors.
  4. Life-long learners who desire to be intellectually challenged.

The MALS program is committed to providing a positive alternative to traditional, discipline-bound master’s degrees. We offer courses in two categories (“tracks”) of study: Social Sciences; and Literature and Creative Writing. Courses are conducted in seminar format, and taught by experienced faculty who are active scholars in the subject matter offered.

Courses within one track 12
Electives (any MALS courses) 21
MLS 6691 Master’s Thesis Research Project 3
MLS 6693 Master’s Thesis Proseminar 3
Total Credits: 39

Continuation in the program requires that students maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA, calculated on a yearly basis.

The capstone Master’s Thesis is designed to be a unifying or culminating project in which the student demonstrates mastery of a topic, of research methods, and of relevant theoretical perspectives. The thesis may be a standard research thesis, or it may be a field study, oral history, or an original creative work.

The capstone Master’s Thesis will be completed within the context of two 3-credit courses, the Research Project and the Proseminar. The Research Project will be devoted to the initial research and drafting of the capstone Master’s Thesis. The Proseminar is for students actively working on approved capstone Master’s Thesis Research Projects.

Students must conduct a successful defense of their capstone Master’s Thesis before a MALS Faculty Committee.

To graduate, the student must demonstrate a reading mastery of a foreign language, as documented by at least six (6) credits of undergraduate coursework in a language other than English or sign language, or a passing score on a written foreign language exam acceptable to the program.

This requirement must be completed before the student formally begins work on his/her capstone thesis.


Social Sciences Track
SSC 6606 Comparing Different Worlds
SSC 6607 The Politics of Revolution
SSC 6608 Alternative Conceptions of Political Community
SSC 6609 Global Migration
SSC 6610 International Development in Cross Cultural Perspective
SSC 6616 Mass Media in American History: From the Telegraph to the Internet
SSC 6617 U.S. Presidential Elections
SSC 6618 Race, Class, and American Democracy
SSC 6619 Gender & Work
SSC 6624 Contested Values: The Development of American Political Thought
SSC 6625 American Political Institutions*
SSC 6626 The Politics of Latin America
SSC 6627 Global Governance*
SSC 6628 Revolution and Modernity in China*
SSC 6629 American Foreign Policy*
SSC 6634 Global Development in Comparative Perspectives*
SSC 6681-6689 Variable Topics in Social Sciences

Literature and Creative Writing Track

LIT 6605 Shakespeare and His Interpreters
LIT 6607 Raymond Chandler
LIT 6620 The Novel: Practice and Theory
LIT 6621 The Epic Tradition
LIT 6623 Reading Marcel Proust
LIT 6632 Poetry Writing
LIT 6633 Fiction Writing*
LIT 6634 Film Writing*
LIT 6635 Playwriting
LIT 6636 Non-Fiction Writing*
LIT 6638 Translation
LIT 6681 Revolutionary Romanticism
LIT 66826689 Variable Topics in Literature
FRN 66816689 Variable Topics in French Language, Culture and Literature
SPN 66816689 Variable Topics in Spanish Language, Culture and Literature

MALS Electives

SSC 6640 Disability: Philosphical, Historical and Social Perspectives
SSC 6645 Exploring the Self

*Courses that will be offered in the future