A total of 31 credits is required to complete the MALS program. This includes the required “Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies (1 credit), nine regular classes (27 credits) and a capstone research project (3 credits).   (Students who enrolled in the MALS program prior to May 2022 are not required to take “Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies.”)    

All MALS students are required to satisfy the following subject area requirements:

Required Subject Areas of MALS Courses

  • Courses in at least three different academic disciplines
  • At least two courses (6 credits) in humanities (art, history, literature, philosophy, religion, etc.)
  • At least two courses (6 credits) in social sciences (anthropology, psychology, political science, sociology, criminal justice, etc.)
  • One course on either non-western cultures or issues pertaining to gender and/or minorities 

Additional Guidelines for Students at the Camden Campus

There are three types of courses that you are able to register for as a campus student:

1. Online MALS classes.   These are the only classes that are offered specifically for MALS students.   You will meet other MALS students in these classes from around the country, and even a few international students.   

2.  Graduate classes offered by other departments on campus.  As a campus MALS student you have the opportunity to take any graduate courses offered by a program in the School of Arts and Sciences at Camden.  MALS students often enroll in classes from English, history, childhood studies, psychology, criminal justice and other graduate programs.)    In order to register for one of these classes you must first do two things:  1) check with the instructor of the course, or the chair of the department offering the course, to see if they are willing to admit you to the class.   In many cases, you will need to get a special permission number.  2) check with the MALS program director to make sure that the course will count for MALS credit.   Courses that are primarily based on teaching professional skills (e.g. teaching, accounting, etc.) are NOT eligible for MALS credit.  

3. Advanced undergraduate courses.   There are a number of campus departments that do not offer graduate courses.   These include Philosophy and Religion, Political Science, Sociology, Art and Art History, and Anthropology.   You may register for certain advanced undergraduate courses and receive graduate credit subject to these rules:

  1.  You may take no more than two (2) undergraduate classes for graduate credit as part of your MALS program.
  2.  You must contact the instructor and explain that you are a graduate MALS student.   The instructor will discuss additional work for you to complete in the course to receive graduate credit.   This additional work must be described in writing and submitted to the MALS program director for approval.
  3. You must complete the form requesting “G” (graduate) credit for the course.   Please use this form.

Additional Guidelines for Students in the Fully Online Program

If you have never taken an online course before, it is important to understand that they are run differently from face-to face classes. Online MALS classes do not meet at a specific time when everyone is online together. So you are able to be fully involved in the class no matter what your schedule is. Online MALS classes try to capture what goes on in a traditional graduate MALS seminar, in which the professor’s role focuses more on facilitating discussion among the students than giving lectures. So in online MALS classes you will not be watching videos of a professor giving a lecture.

The typical online MALS class has a similar structure each week. At the beginning of the week, let’s say Sunday, students will log on to the course website and find out the reading assignments for that week. (You can also see the schedule for the whole semester, if you want to read ahead.) They will also read the introductory material prepared by the professor about the topic for the week, possibly including additional images, videos, or powerpoint to consider. The professor will give information about issues to pay attention to as you do the readings, and the professor will make a writing assignment regarding the readings. Typically, students would be told to do the reading and complete a 500-word response by Wednesday night. In addition, they will usually be asked to read each others’ responses and to write shorter reactions to two of the student essays by Saturday. There may also be informal discussion among the students in the class and with the professor. Then the cycle begins again for the next week.  

The goal in all MALS classes is for you to develop skills in clear thinking and articulate, well-organized writing about academic topics and issues.  A term project is almost always assigned to help you practice these skills.

Online courses are not easier than regular courses and most students report that they require about the same amount of time and effort as regular classes.