Sep 30, 2023  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, M.A.L.S.

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General Program Information

Jill LeRoy-Frazier, Ph.D., Graduate Coordinator
317 Nell Dossett Hall
Box 70659
(423) 439-4223

Faculty: Julie Fox-Horton; Jill LeRoy-Frazier.

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to design an individualized program of study in the Arts, Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, and related fields. MALS students complete a common core and then select graduate elective courses from disciplinary departments. MALS students choose either a thesis or a special project to complete their programs of study.

Program Admission Requirements for Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

A student applying to the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program needs the following:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in any field from a regionally accredited institution, or international equivalent.
  2. An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (domestic applicants) or 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (international applicants) 
  3. Three letters of recommendation.
  4. A successful admissions interview.
  5. A writing sample of four to five pages in response to the prompt provided at (click on Liberal Studies - M.A.L.S, then scroll down to Additional Requirements).

Students may be admitted into the MALS degree program fall, spring, or summer.

Articulation Agreements

A student who completes the Certificate in Appalachian Studies and later wishes to pursue the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies may transfer up to 15 credits into the MALS program, with the approval of the MALS director. 

A student who completes the Certificate in Heritage Interpretation and Museum Studies and later wishes to pursue the MA in Liberal Studies may transfer up to 12 certificate credits into the master’s degree with the approval of the degree graduate coordinator and the School of Graduate Studies. All transfer credit, however, must meet GPA requirements and must be within the six-year matriculation limits.

Liberal Studies, M.A.L.S. Degree Requirements: 31-37 credits

Core Requirements 13-16 credits
Advisor Approved Electives 18-21 credits
TOTAL 31-37 credits

Thesis: The thesis option requires 31-34 credits including 18 credits of advisor approved electives.

Non-Thesis: The project option requires 34-37 credits including 21 credits of advisor approved electives.

Liberal Studies Core Requirements: 13-16 credits

Advisor Approved Electives: 18-21 credits


Beyond the MALS core, the program of study will come from offerings of various departments at East Tennessee State University, with the following limitations:

  • Elective courses must come from at least two (2) different academic departments, and except in special circumstances,
  • No more than one (1) course may be taken from colleges other than Arts and Sciences and Education.
  • Only six (6) credits of coursework may be taken from any one (1) department in Arts and Sciences and Education without the approval of the M.A.L.S. director.

Please note that a student may not take all elective courses from the College of Education. Students must meet all prerequisites for all courses. Students who do not earn a grade of B in MALS 5400  may repeat the course once. If the student does not then earn a grade of B, the student will be dismissed from the program for failure to make academic progress.

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