Master of Liberal Studies
About the Master of Liberal Studies
The graduate Liberal Studies program (MLSt) offers a challenging interdisciplinary/integrative study for adults who work toward a master's degree while maintaining their careers. Students come from a wide range of educational backgrounds and professions and they all share an intense love of learning, an active curiosity, and a desire for continued intellectual enrichment.
How are we unique? A traditional master's program offers a program of study that focuses on a single area. Our program combines study in a number of different subjects—often within each class. Deep study of a topic can be powerful; however, we argue that subjects that are entwined with other subjects and ideas are particularly vital. Our classes might include a mix of film, cultural studies, examinations of gender, personal writing, classical literature, history and scholarly research. As a master's student in liberal studies you'll approach topics from multiple vantage points.
The Master of Liberal Studies program offers students interested in a transdisciplinary approach to human ideas and values an opportunity to expand their liberal arts backgrounds. The program is intended for students seeking a graduate degree that explores the integration of the humanities with political, religious, social and scientific questions within their cultural contexts.
The program connects students to the entire College of Integrative Sciences and Arts and integrates the disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach trains students in the skills needed for the jobs of the future: communication, research and an understanding of the diverse and changing world. The degree can be completed entirely online or on campus with a selection of icourses.
30 credit hours including the required applied project course (MLS 593)
Required Core (9 credit hours)
MLS 501 Writing About Social Issues: Culture, Gender, Society, and Well-Being in the Southwest (3)
MLS 502 Religion, Culture, and Health: Where Cultures Intersect (3)
MLS 503 Ethics, Science, and Culture (3)
MLS 504 Film Analysis (3)
Electives (18 credit hours)
Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)
MLS 593 Applied Project (3)
Additional Curriculum Information
Students choose three of the four courses listed above to fulfill the nine-credit hour core requirement. Emphasis areas available are borders (migration, health and cultural identity); gender, religion and culture; and science, nature, and creative nonfiction writing.
Master of Liberal Studies Student Handbook, 2021-2022 [PDF download]
Master of Liberal Studies Student Handbook, 2020-2021 [PDF download]
Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts.
Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.
Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.
All applicants must submit:
- graduate admission application and application fee
- official transcripts
- a letter of interest in the program
- a resume, biographical statement or curriculum vitae
- proof of English proficiency
Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.
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Meet the Faculty
Angela Giron is the program director and a clinical assistant professor in the Master of Liberal Studies program at Arizona State University. She has developed numerous humanities courses for the MLS program with a strong focus on film content. In summer 2015 Giron presented her paper "The Missing -- Geriatric Female Sexuality in Film Content and Cinematography" at the Film-Philosophy conference at St. Anne's College, Oxford University, England. Resulting from the Film-Philosophy conferences that she's attended is an introductory course on Film-Philosophy that was recently launched. Giron has worked professionally in theatre and film out of Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Toronto, Canada.
Megan Anne Todd is the assistant program director of the Master of Liberal Studies program. Todd earned her PhD in Theatre/Performance/Dance of the Americas and MS in Exercise and Wellness at ASU. She has published in the Journal of Pan African Studies, Theatre Journal, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies and in an edited book, "The Sonic World of Dance Film." Dr. Todd teaches and develops curriculum in humanities, dance/performance studies, as well as embodied movement disciplines. She is invested in performance-based research and artistic projects that constellate wellness, arts, justice and action. She is passionate about collaborating creatively and critically to develop and activate work that forges a more just, equitable and better world.
Rebecca (Becky) Byrkit, clinical assistant professor of liberal studies and creative writing, teaches courses in creative nonfiction and critical thinking as a founding faculty member of the MLS program at Arizona State University since 2008. Byrkit has developed more than a dozen core and special topics courses; she also serves as an MLS Exit Suite mentor. She taught poetry and fiction writing for the ASU Creative Writing Program, and is an affiliate faculty member with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing and Barrett, The Honors College. Byrkit served as a visiting faculty member at the American College of Greece in Athens. A prizewinning author, her poetry, reviews, and memoir pieces have appeared in numerous excellent literary journals. She is the longtime faculty editor and advisor in creative nonfiction for Superstition Review, and co-directs the Tempe Library Writing Contest.
Jada Ach, lecturer in the Faculty of Leadership and Integrative Studies, teaches courses in interdisciplinary and liberal studies. Ach earned her doctorate in American literature with an emphasis in ecocriticism and critical theory from the University of South Carolina. Her research often combines insights from literary studies, the desert humanities, infrastructure and maintenance studies, animal studies, and environmental history. Ach is the author of "Sand, Water, Salt: Managing the Elements in Literature of the American West, 1880-1925" (2021) and co-editor of "Reading Aridity in Western American Literature" (2020). Her poetry has appeared in journals and podcasts such as New South, The Dalhousie Review, ASLE EcoCast Podcast, and RHINO Poetry. Since 2005 Ach has enjoyed teaching courses in rhetoric and composition, creative writing, literature, professional writing, the environmental humanities, and liberal studies.