Program Director: Jan Furman, Ph.D.
Program Manager: Linda Blakey
Program Faculty: Dr. Lauren Friesen (Theatre), Dr. Jan Furman (English), Mr. Robert Houbeck (Library), Dr. Frederic J. Svoboda (English), Ms. Christine Waters (Visual Art/Communication)
The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) invites students to examine their lived experience through an intellectual lens that highlights the key ideas, institutions, behaviors, and preoccupations that have helped to shape the American character. David A. Hollinger and Charles Capper observe in their preface to The American Intellectual Tradition: “If a tradition is a family of disagreements, the American intellectual tradition is a very extended family.” The MALS Program provides students with a sustained opportunity to understand and contribute to that “family” of disagreements-and agreements-we call American culture by drawing on concepts from the humanities, the social sciences, and the arts. The defining MALS experience is an academic core with a recurring emphasis on interdisciplinary study and research.
The MALS Program is distinguished by several special, if not unique, features. Students are drawn from a wide diversity of academic backgrounds and even wider array of professional and personal aspirations. Some students use the MALS as preparation for doctoral study. Many of our students already hold the professional positions they seek and are looking to strengthen their expertise as teachers, policy makers, or artists. Others, near or anticipating retirement, are drawn to the MALS Program because it offers an opportunity for personal enrichment and lifelong learning, a second chance at liberal education. To accommodate the working professional, all MALS core seminars and many elective courses are offered in the evening, and a systematic planning schedule is designed for the part-time student. Concentrations are available in American Culture and American Theatre. Students may elect either the Thesis or Research/Creative track. See “Program Requirements” for more information about the tracks.
Limited financial aid and scholarship support is available for students in the MALS program. Contact the Office of Graduate Programs for information at (810) 762-3171.
Program Mission and Assessment
The mission of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) Program is to engage students in a critical, multidisciplinary examination of contemporary American culture; to encourage students to explore and critique issues important to American thought and culture, such as race, gender, equality, politics, religion, popular culture; to help students learn research methods and techniques and apply them to critically examine issues beyond the scope of individual courses; and to set students’ experiences in a meaningful context. The Program participates in the University-wide effort to assess its academic programs. Information on assessment plans, including goals, methods and outcomes is available at http://www.umflint.edu/assessment/.
Up to six (6) credit hours of graduate credit completed at an accredited institution may be accepted for transfer. Transfers of credit are subject to the approval of the program director and are made in accordance with the policies of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. Information on requesting transfer of credit is available at https://www.umflint.edu/graduateprograms/requesting-transfer-credit.