The Certificate in Liberal Studies is designed for the student who seeks to develop the critical thinking that marks a truly educated person— for the student who brings a heightened awareness of the unanswered questions that confront an inquiring mind—for the self-motivated person who never stops asking the first question: why?

Admission Requirements

The Certificate in Liberal Studies accepts rolling admissions. Interested students may apply to the program at any time. 

  • Online Application
    • Please complete the online application
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Two letters of recommendation must be provided. These letters should be from an employer, colleague, or other professional source.  *If you are currently taking classes, or if you are a recent graduate (within two years), you must submit at least one letter of recommendation from a faculty member.

  • Official Transcripts
    • You must provide official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended. Official transcripts in languages other than English must also be submitted with a certified English translation.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
    • A minimum overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Curriculum Requirements

The Certificate in Liberal Studies requires 15 credit hours of coursework. The curriculum can be designed to fit each student's academic goals. Students may select from MALS courses or other graduate level courses in the humanities and social sciences, with the approval of the MALS director.

At the completion of the certificate program, students will submit a representative portfolio for review by the MALS faculty prior to conferral of the certificate.  The portfolio must include at least three (3) written examples (two must be from the core classes) and a two to three-page narrative placing the papers in context of your learning experience in the program.  Specific guidance about the content of the portfolio will be provided by the MALS director.

MLS 601Aspects of Creative and Reflective Thought 13
MLS 602Perspectives on Human Nature3
MLS 603Theories of the Physical Universe3
Total Credit Hours15

Students who have already completed the MALS program may substitute MLS 601, MLS 602, and MLS 603, with the approval of the director.


The Certificate in Liberal Studies gives students the opportunity to customize their program through five classes (15 credits), 9 of which must be taken within the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program, and the rest through MALS or any department within the College of Arts & Sciences. Certificate students should design their plan of study to develop an understanding of global systems and cultural diversity and explore new areas they were not able to experience while earning their undergraduate degree.


The purpose of the Certificate in Liberal Studies is to provide students from any undergraduate background the opportunity to expand their intellectual and personal growth.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Student will demonstrate the ability to use deep knowledge of the historic and contemporary role and differential effects of human organizations and actions on global systems.
  • Students will demonstrate a deeper understanding of multiple world views, experiences, and power structures when addressing global problems.
  • Student will demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge and skills when addressing complex global problems using interdisciplinary perspectives.