May 20, 2024  
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies

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The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program offers mature students with appropriate academic qualifications (minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA) the opportunity for interdisciplinary graduate work. Students who enter the program may pursue their study on a full-time or part-time basis.

The program is based on the assumption that technical competence and specialized training are best employed in combination with knowledge traditionally fostered by the liberal arts and sciences. Through core seminars, an individualized program of study, and the completion of a master’s project, students can explore major issues and synthesize knowledge from several disciplines.

Liberal Studies programs have attracted professionals who feel they need further study to investigate complex issues connected with their work or interests. Some teachers and librarians find such a course of study an alternative to graduate work in education or in another single discipline. Others see the program as an improvement over a self-directed study of reading or participation in a series of unrelated courses beyond the baccalaureate degree. By emphasizing the integration of knowledge in different disciplines, the MALS program offers a unique alternative to traditional graduate study.

Prior to submission of an application to the MALS program, all students are required to meet with the Program’s Graduate Coordinator (207) 581-3221 at the Graduate School or schedule a telephone interview to assess their educational goals.
Application deadlines are the first Monday in November for the Spring semester and the first Monday in April for the Fall or Summer semesters.

Degree Requirements:

Students in the MALS program must complete:

  • 6 to 9 semester hours of interdisciplinary MALS core seminar (LIB 500) credit
  • 15 to 21 semester hours of additional graduate level credit approved by the student’s advisory committee to meet the individual student’s academic interests
  • 3 to 6 semester hours of Master’s Project (LIB 699) credit  developed from the student’s coursework and research.
  • LIB 500, Exploring Interdisciplinarity is a required LIB 500 seminar

Of the minimum 30 semester hours total credit required, at least 15 hours, not including the credit for the master’s project, must be in 500- and/or 600-level courses.


In addition to the self designed option, formal concentrations within the Liberal Studies program are available in Disability Studies, New Media, Women’s Studies, Maine Studies, and Peace Studies. The Maine Studies and Peace Studies concentrations may be completed via distance education with careful planning and close advising from the directors of the concentrations. For students completing the program entirely by distance education, a substitute for LIB 500 (Exploring Interdisciplinarity) may be included on the program of study if the student does not have access to a videoconferencing site.

Further information on the Liberal Studies program is available from the Graduate School.

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