• Students’ educational experiences are shaped by individual interests and goals
  • Classes explore timely subjects such as human trafficking
  • The program examines topics in the arts, culture, society, ideas, and reason
  • Faculty-led study abroad travel opens new learning opportunities

Liberal Arts M.A.

MTSU’s Master of Arts in Liberal Arts is an innovative program allowing students to earn a graduate degree through a course of study built around the subjects that they find most interesting and captivating. Anyone holding a bachelor’s degree can pursue long-held or new passions through a personally customized program developed around individual interests. Lifelong learners, professionals, students returning to school after a break, and recent graduates can find flexibility to fit their educational needs through this unique master’s program. Students attend engaging courses and have opportunities to participate in projects in the region or even enroll in education-abroad courses around the world. Top-quality professors bring varying research and teaching interests to the classroom through inspiring instruction. The M.A. in Liberal Arts allows students to refine skills, expand horizons, learn for the joy of it, and obtain the graduate degree they have always wanted.

Uncertainty gives way to learning enjoyment

Uncertainty gives way to learning enjoyment

After Don Enss retired, he decided to use his increased free time to explore new opportunities and interests. He describes the experience of being accepted in the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts program in August, 2015: “I was cautiously excited and optimistic. I had not attended college in over thirty years, so I was a little anxious too. My background was biology and accounting, and I was uncertain how I would relate to a liberal arts curriculum. In retrospect, this has been the most enjoyable year of my lifetime learning experience.” Enss was recognized as the 2015-16 M.A. in Liberal Arts Distinguished Student.

Explore, Engage, Enrich

Explore, Engage, Enrich

This summer, graduate students in the program are exploring the occurrence of human trafficking in our region and the development of western thought through the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA) course offerings.  Others are engaging in topics in Study Abroad programs in Europe and Asia.  In the fall, students will have opportunities to enrich their skills and knowledge in courses concerning identity, human migration, global communication, and the ancient Egyptian king Akhenaten.

Most professions need people with problem-solving and communication skills who understand global systems, can research a broad variety of topics, and can learn on the job. MALA graduates come from and/or choose career fields such as:

  • Advertising
  • Arts
  • Education
  • Human resources
  • Medicine
  • Military
  • Ministry
  • Nonprofits
  • Politics
  • Public relations
  • Urban planning/city management
  • Writing/editing

Employers of MTSU alumni

This information is still being compiled since this is a new program.

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Liberal Arts is a broadly interdisciplinary program allowing students to construct a personal plan of study from within the liberal arts departments and programs, which include Art, Communications Studies and Organizational Communication, English, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Global Studies and Cultural Geography, History, Music, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, Sociology and Anthropology, and Theatre and Dance.

Students, with the guidance of the program director, will build an individualized course of study that will enhance career opportunities, provide preparation for further graduate work, or create opportunities for lifelong learning.

Master’s candidates will complete either a thesis or a capstone project (such as a creative project, an internship portfolio, or a research presentation). Students also must complete 15 hours in core classes and 12 hours of guided electives from graduate-level courses in College of Liberal Arts disciplines.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and submit a current resume or vita along with a 500-word statement of purpose outlining academic interests and goals. Applicants also must fill out the application for admission to the College of Graduate Studies, pay the application fee, and submit official transcripts and two letters of recommendation.

Admission decisions are based upon a holistic review of all admission materials and the program faculty’s judgment of applicant’s capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study. The admission committee reserves the right to request references and/or an interview.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Apply Now!

Liberal Arts, M.A.

Dawn McCormack, Program Director
(615) 494-8603
mala@mtsu.edu

Leah Lyons, Program Associate Director                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           (615-898-5778

The College of Liberal Arts offers the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts, an interdisciplinary, 30-hour program offering a thesis and non-thesis option.

The Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA), a broadly interdisciplinary program, allows students to construct a personal plan of study from within the Liberal Arts disciplines, which include art, communication studies and organizational communication, English, foreign languages and literatures, global studies and cultural geography, history, music, philosophy, political science and international relations, sociology and anthropology, and theatre and dance. With the guidance of the program director, students build a program of study that will enhance career opportunities, provide preparation for further graduate study, or create opportunities for lifelong learning.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts, applicant must have an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college.

Admission decisions are made after a holistic review of all admission materials and are based on the program's judgment of the applicant's capacity, suitability, and preparation for graduate study. The admissions committee reserves the right to request references and/or an interview.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit a current resume or vitae;
  3. submit a 500-word statement of purpose outlining academic interests and goals;
  4. submit two letters of recommendation from professors, supervisors, or others familiar with qualifications to address applicant's potential to successfully complete the M.A. in Liberal Arts program;
  5. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Liberal Arts requires completion of 30 hours.

Candidate must

  1. complete a minimum of 30 semester hours; no more than 30 percent of the total degree hours dual-listed as undergraduate/graduate hours can be counted toward the degree;
  2. successfully complete and defend a thesis or capstone project.

Curriculum: Liberal Arts

Candidate must complete 30 hours in the following course of study:

Core (9 hours)

  • MALA 6000 - Foundations of Liberal Arts I

    3 credit hours

    A study of the traditional disciplines belonging to the liberal arts including art, communication studies, English, foreign languages and literatures, and history. Focuses on the foundations and development of these disciplines with particular emphasis on content, research methods, literature search, and analysis.

  • MALA 6010 - Foundations of Liberal Arts II

    3 credit hours

    A study of the traditional disciplines belonging to the liberal arts including music, philosophy, political science, theatre and dance, and sociology and anthropology. Focuses on the foundations and development of these disciplines with particular emphasis on content, research methods, literature search, and analysis.

 

  • MALA 6020 - Capstone Project  3 credit hours  OR  

    MALA 6020 - Capstone Project

    3 credit hours

    Selection of an interdisciplinary topic, advanced research including the review of applicable literature, and completion of a final product such as a paper; a creative, visual, or digital presentation; or some other format approved by the course instructor.

  • MALA 6640 - Thesis Research  1 to 6 credit hours  (3 credit hours)

    MALA 6640 - Thesis Research

    1 to 6 credit hours

    Selection of a research problem, review of pertinent literature, collection and analysis of data, and composition of thesis. Once enrolled, student should register for at least one credit hour of master's research each semester until completion.

Areas (9 hours)

  • MALA 6030 - Topics in Culture and Ideas

    3 credit hours

    Focuses on the traditions of the humanities as reflected in literature and languages, art and music, historical and philosophical questions, and religious thought.

  • MALA 6040 - Topics in Society and People

    3 credit hours

    Focuses on the structural and political entities in societies of the past and present. Reflects people's efforts at making connections, resolving conflict, and creating identity.

  • MALA 6050 - Topics in Science and Reason

    3 credit hours

    Focuses on the contributions of the sciences to liberal arts through interdisciplinary study and changes in ways of thinking about ourselves and the world around us.

Guided Electives (12 hours)

Choose from additional MALA topics courses and electives or courses in other College of Liberal Arts graduate programs as approved by the director. (Student may take up to 9 credit hours of guided electives at the 5000 level.)

Program Notes

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to the entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.

Dr. Mohammed Albakry
Professor
Mohammed.albakry@mtsu.edu
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Dr. Emily Baran
Assistant Professor
emily.baran@mtsu.edu
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Dr. Laura Cochrane
Assistant Professor
laura.cochrane@mtsu.edu
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Dr. Derek Frisby
Faculty Coordinator in Liberal Arts / Lecturer
derek.frisby@mtsu.edu
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Dr. Leah Tolbert Lyons
Associate Professor
leah.lyons@mtsu.edu
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Contact and Student Information

Dr. Dawn McCormack, Director
mala@mtsu.edu

615-494-8603

Dr. Dawn McCormack, Director
mala@mtsu.edu

615-494-8603

College of Liberal Arts
ATTN: Master of Arts in Liberal Arts program director
MTSU Box 97
Murfreesboro, TN 37132


College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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