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Multi-focused: New Master's Program Offered at UMD

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UMD's Master of Liberal Studies


The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth announces the Master of Liberal Studies degree, designed to help individuals, professionals, and communities answer the big questions and solve the big problems.


UMD's David Beard
David Beard, director of graduate studies, says the MLS program facilitates powerful and lasting conversations

This fall, the University of Minnesota Duluth will offer a new Master of Liberal Studies degree designed for diverse learners and professionals seeking advanced education.

"The program sets out to explore aspects of life, society, and the history of ideas in ways that traditional degrees, defined by traditional disciplines and traditional professions, could not," explains David Beard, director of graduate studies. Those aspects include literature, philosophy, sociology, art, communication, languages, and more.

Enrolled students are able to assemble a degree program that best suits their individual interests and career objectives. “In designing the program, we considered the needs of working professionals who can’t leave their full time jobs to obtain a degree,” says Beard.

A Master of Liberal Studies degree allows students to designate one of four emphases to help focus their work: 

1.The history of ideas emphasis builds upon the best traditions of the MLS, exploring the intersections of literature, history, philosophy, and popular culture, among other fields.

2. The global indigenous studies emphasis pulls together course offerings in American Indian studies, women's studies, anthropology, African-American, studies and more.

UMD's MLS Program
A sustainability focus is an option for Master of Liberal Studies students

3. The media studies emphasis brings together coursework in communication, writing studies, journalism, cultural studies, and more. 

4. The sustainability studies emphasis works on the three legs of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental sustainability, with courses across the university.

Students will work with an advisor to select and fulfill their area of study and complete a capstone project. The curriculum includes opportunities for internship, civic engagement, and international experience. MLS applicants are required to present an online application with transcripts from a completed bachelor’s degree, GRE scores (or equivalent), three letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Beyond the master’s degree, it’s anticipated that students will forge connections both on and off campus. Says Beard, “The MLS program facilitates powerful and lasting conversations.”



Details and registration information can be found online.




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