About the Master of Liberal Studies

Our Master of Liberal Studies program allows you to develop broad, integrative knowledge and apply it to practical contexts and problems. Whether you are interested in growing your workforce skills, becoming a more effective community contributor, preparing for a doctoral or professional degree, or simply want to pursue a love of learning, you will appreciate this degree's flexibility and customizable design.

What is a Master of Liberal Studies? 

The MLSt is an advanced degree that situates knowledge and know-how at the intersections of culture, community and profession. Its emphasis on integrative knowledge and cross-disciplinary approach cultivates students' capacity to see and understand the complex reality of societal problems and navigate challenges across cultural, professional and personal contexts. Communication, holistic analysis, perspective-taking and research are featured aspects of all core courses.

What makes the Master of Liberal Studies program unique?

By leveraging multiple perspectives, our Master of Liberal Studies cultivates the capacity to see and understand complex problems and navigate challenges across cultural, professional, and personal contexts.

A unique aspect of the degree is the customization of learning. Working closely with faculty advisors, Master of Liberal Studies students build the majority of their program by choosing from a wide-ranging list of elective courses that best meet their interests and needs. With courses from across the humanities, social sciences, arts and natural sciences, this degree prepares students to become master learners and problem-solvers. The degree culminates in an applied learning experience under the guidance of a seasoned faculty member.

At a glance

Degree requirements

30 credit hours including the required applied project course (MLS 593)

Required core (9 credit hours)

MLS 510 Communicating in Complex Cultural Environments  (3)
MLS 511 Advanced Liberal Studies and Worlds of Possibility  (3)
MLS 512 Exploring and Expressing Ideas  (3)

Electives (15 credit hours)

Chosen in conjunction with graduate advisors 

Culminating experience (3 credit hours)

MLS 593: Design for Impact (3) 
MLS 593: Engage for Impact (3) 

Application information

Admission requirements

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.

Required documents

  • Graduate admission application and application fee
  • official transcripts
  • 2 to 3 letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement (300 – 500 words)
  • CV/Resume
  • Proof of English proficiency (see below)

Additional information

An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English proficiency.

Featured alumni

Meet the faculty

Megan Anne Todd, PhD

Megan Anne Todd, program lead for the Master of Liberal Studies program, is a performance studies scholar and embodied movement practitioner, teaching across humanities, creative practice and performance, organizational leadership and project management. She earned her Ph.D. in Theatre/Performance of the Americas and M.S. in Exercise & Wellness (ASU). You can find her work published in the Journal of Pan African Studies, Theatre Journal, Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies and in the edited book, The Sonic World of Dance Film.

Areas of scholarship include creativity and/as leadership, dance/performance studies, embodied movement disciplines, learning experience design and project management, as well as arts and humanities as public practice. Her work centers collaborative, creative and critical modes of inquiry and practice. She is passionate about collaborating to develop and activate work that forges a more just, equitable and better world.

Smiling woman wearing a pink shirt and bright colored scarf


Jada Ach, smiling and wearing a brown shirt

Jada Ach

Jada Ach, Assistant Teaching Professor, 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. Dr. Ach is the recipient of the 2022-23 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, in the category of Mentor who is Instructional Faculty.



Contact the graduate course coordinator Christina Villa at sasagrad@asu.edu.