A total of 30 credits is required to complete the MALS program. This includes nine classes (27 credits) and a capstone research project (three credits).   

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 Camden Campus

There are three types of courses that are listed under MALS numbers:

1. Graduate classes for MALS students and from other graduate programs.  A few courses will be offered specifically for MALS students. Other courses are offered primarily for students in other graduate programs (e.g., history, English, childhood studies, psychology, etc.), but they also permit a small number of MALS students to enroll.

2. Cross-listed advanced undergraduate courses. Certain undergraduate courses that are 300-level and above will allow a small number of MALS students to enroll for graduate credit using a MALS course number. The majority of students in these classes will be undergraduates. MALS students taking such courses for graduate credit are generally expected to complete additional readings or assignments beyond what is required of undergraduate students. You may take no more than two courses in this category. (You will usually be able to identify cross-listed undergraduate classes by checking cross-listed course numbers. A MALS class that is cross-listed with a course that starts with 50 is probably an undergrad class.

3. Online MALS classes. An important part of the MALS experience is the actual face-to-face discussions that happen in graduate seminars. Online courses offer a different kind of educational experience that you are also welcome to try.  For some students, distance from Rutgers and/or scheduling issues may make it difficult or impossible to take face-to-face MALS classes. Such students may choose to complete the degree entirely or almost entirely online. You should be aware that there is a smaller selection of on-line courses than face-to-face courses, though the number of on-line courses will be increasing in response to demand for those classes. 

Graduate and undergraduate courses that are not cross-listed with MALS numbers may be eligible for MALS credit by special written permission of the MALS director. Such courses will count under the limits listed in above.

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.