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Master of Arts in
Liberal Studies

Program of Study


Design your own MA track with help from the program director and active faculty. You will first complete requirements from humanities and social sciences survey courses, each of which offers a broad overview of its field.

Your elective selections will span at least two university departments and may examine diverse topics such as literary and cultural theory, gender, race and ethnicity, postcolonial studies, human rights, politics and law.

Complete your MA with a master’s thesis. This scholarly research project will build upon what you have studied in your coursework, affording you the opportunity to delve into an area of personal and professional interest.

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Professor Charles Shepherdson, Director of the Liberal Studies Program, at [email protected].

30 total credits required to be completed as follows:

Core Courses

Two core requirements, which include one course from Humanities, and one course from Social Sciences. (6-8 credits)

Elective Courses

Selected in consultation with the Director or a designated faculty advisor. (minimum 18 credits)

Master’s Thesis

The final research thesis represents the culmination of the degree. It provides evidence of your academic work, and will be used to represent you for any further doctoral program applications and/or employment following completion of the degree. (4 credits)

Career Outcomes

With your MA in liberal studies, you will be well-positioned for additional study in a PhD or law program, or for the pursuit of many career options.

Potential job titles with a liberal studies MA include:

  • Copywriter
  • Journalist
  • Publisher
  • Museum director
  • Public relations specialist
  • Primary or secondary education teacher
  • Government relations
  • Program coordinator


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Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

If you’re a current UAlbany undergraduate student with at least a 3.2 GPA, you can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework as early as your junior year. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you can complete your combined program in only 5 years and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately.

Contact your undergraduate advisor to see if you’re eligible and learn about your combined graduate program options.

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Admissions Requirements
  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: Rolling
  • Summer: Not Available

There is no departmental assistantship consideration for this program.

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE test score
  • Statement of goals
  • Critical writing sample

The statement of goals is generally one to two pages discussing what you have to offer the program and what you wish to get out of the program.  It should include a brief description of the applicant's field of interest, related background, desired area of study and research emphasis or career goals.