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Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Applying

What graduate entrance exams are required?

Does the University College Graduate Program have ongoing admissions, that is are applicants accepted for the Spring and Summer semesters?

Where do I submit the letters of recommendation?

How long does the MALS application essay have to be?

How do I setup an appointment to discuss my involvement in the MALS program?

Financial

How much does it cost to attend?

How do I apply for financial aid?

I'm interested in applying for a Graduate Assistantship.  How do I apply?

The Program

Is the degree program offered online?

How long does it take to complete the program?

Where do I find courses to create my program?

Comprehensive Examinations

Which type of comprehensive examination is required for successful completion of the master’s degree program; oral, written, or both?

Does the program allow a thesis or master’s project defense in lieu of the comprehensive examination?

When are comprehensive examinations scheduled and who schedules them?

Who evaluates the comprehensive examination?

How is the comprehensive examination evaluated? How are results communicated to the Graduate School?


Applying

What graduate entrance exams are required?
The MALS program does not require the GRE or GMAT.

Does the University College Graduate Program have ongoing admissions, that is, are applicants accepted for the Spring and Summer semesters?
Yes, the University College Graduate Office accepts applications throughout the year.  The application deadline can be found on the Graduate School website. 

Where do I submit the letters of recommendation?
After applying to the Graduate School, students interested in the MALS program should submit two, official letters of recommendation to the University College Graduate Program, preferably from previous or current instructors who can attest to the student's capacity for graduate work.

By mail:
University of Memphis
University College Graduate Programs
Graduate Coordinator
100 Brister Hall
Memphis, TN 38152-3440

A current instructor from an accredited college or university can email the letter of recommendation from the college or university email account and insert the letter into the body of the email or attach it.  Emails must be sent to malsuniv@memphis.edu

Note:  No letters can be submitted to the office by the applicant without proof that the letter was sent through the USPS and has not been opened.

How long does the MALS application essay have to be?
There is no required amount of pages or a specific word count for the MALS application essay.  Typically, a well-developed essay is doubled-spaced with a minimum of 5-to-6 pages in length.

How do I setup an appointment to discuss my involvement in the MALS program?
You may call the University College Graduate Program office at 901-678-4056.


Financial

How much does it cost to attend?
Current tuition and fee rates are available online,
Direct Link: Tuition Estimator.

Please keep in mind that costs generally increase at the beginning of a new academic year.

How do I apply for financial aid?
Visit this AskTOM question.

For further information:
Financial Aid Office
Phone: 901-678-4825
Site: http://www.memphis.edu/financialaid/

I'm interested in applying for a Graduate Assistantship.  How do I apply?
You may browse to the following:

Assistantship openings for the University College Office vary each semester.  Interested applicants should contact Dr. Richard Irwin, Associate Dean of the University College, at rirwin@memphis.edu.


The Program

Is the degree program offered online?
The MALS program can include some, all, or no online coursework.  As an interdisciplinary program that ranges across the University, a specific course’s online availability depends on the class schedule created by the department.

How long does it take to complete the program?
It can take 3 to 4 semesters for a full-time graduate student as she takes 9 to 12 credit hours each semester.  The program requires 33 hours for completion.

Where do I find courses to create my program?
All courses can be found on the Graduate Catalog website. For specific class times, use this search.


Comprehensive Examinations

Which type of comprehensive examination is required for successful completion of the master’s degree program; oral, written, or both?

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies requires an oral comprehensive exam.

Does the program allow a thesis or master’s project defense in lieu of the comprehensive examination?

The oral Comprehensive Exam is presented at the same time as the oral presentation of the culminating Special Project (UNIV7996). In the oral presentation of the project, the student is to (1) present a summary of the project, (2) explain the way the project was organized and carried out and (3) explain the relationship between the Special Project and the content of his or her program of study. 

The last item is the transition to the remainder of the oral comprehensive examination requirement. Each student is expected to be able to discuss his or her program of study as a “liberal studies” program.  Preparation for this part of the examination is made throughout the program by integrating each course to provide comprehensive answers to such questions as

  1. What is “liberal studies”?
  2. What is the main goal of studying “liberal studies”?
  3. What do scholars in “liberal studies” try to accomplish?
  4. What kinds of questions are asked in “liberal studies”?
  5. What kind of information is gathered and used by scholars in “liberal studies”?
  6. What is the most important idea in “liberal studies”?
  7. How has your study affected your view of the world?
  8. How has your program of study affected your view of yourself?

The answers you develop to these questions depend on the content of the core courses when the student took them and on the courses you have selected for your Coordinated Study. Therefore, in contrast to an examination in a “discipline,” there are no standard answers that apply to all students. The expectation is that each student, after having completed an approved program of “liberal studies,” should be able to discuss, comprehensively and coherently, his or her program of study as an example of one way of pursuing “liberal studies.”

When are comprehensive examinations scheduled and who schedules them?

At least one month before the last day of classes in the semester you plan to present your Special Project, call the MALS office to schedule your oral presentation and comprehensive exam.

Who evaluates the comprehensive examination?

The Evaluation Committee for the Special Project presentation and comprehensive exam consists of the student’s Faculty Advisor for the Special Project as well as the MALS Program Director. When the MALS Program Director is not available to serve on the Evaluation Committee, the Program Director will designate a University of Memphis faculty member to serve as the second member of the committee.

How is the comprehensive examination evaluated? How are results communicated to the Graduate School?

At the conclusion of the student’s oral presentation, the student’s Faculty Advisor for the Special Project as well as the MALS Program Director meet to evaluate the oral comprehensive exam. They communicate the results to the student. The MALS Program Director submits the Comprehensive Examination Results Form to the Graduate School, and the Faculty Advisor submits the grade for the Special Project to the registrar.

University College Graduate Programs
University of Memphis
201 Brister Hall
Memphis, Tennessee 38152
901.678.4056 | 901.678.4049 (fax)

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
malsuniv@memphis.edu

Master of Professional Studies
mpsuniv@memphis.edu

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Last Updated: 8/8/14