Graduate Catalog 2019-2020

Liberal Studies (MA)

Program Coordinator: 

Professor Don Selby

Building (4S), Room 211

Telephone: 718.982.3633


The program is designed to provide students who have attained the bachelor’s degree the opportunity to study modern Western society, culture, and thought through an intensive interdisciplinary examination of their origins and through comparison with other societies and cultures. The curriculum provides students with an integrated, sequential exploration of central works and topics in the liberal arts. The major focus is on the social sciences and humanities with attention paid to the development and impact of scientific thought and technological developments. There are seven required courses, two electives, and a master’s essay.

All of the courses in the program focus on the study and analysis of key theoretical and artistic works created during the periods under study. Those works are studied in their own right as major intellectual statements, in their historic context as representative of major intellectual movements, and as potential sources of insight to an understanding of contemporary problems and issues.

The program is structured to facilitate the completion of all coursework in two years. Students are required to take two courses in the Liberal Studies sequence during each of four semesters. In addition they are encouraged to enroll in one elective course during a summer term and one during their fourth semester in the program.

The program holds full membership in and is accredited by the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs.

Liberal Studies Admission Requirements

A bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 is required for admission. Students with other bachelor’s degrees and/or with cumulative averages of less than 3.0 may be considered following an interview with the program coordinator of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies.

Applicants are accepted for fall semester admission.

Liberal Studies Degree Requirements

To receive the Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies students must complete the following requirements:

  1. Thirty credits including LBS 710, LBS 720, LBS 730, LBS 740, LBS 750, LBS 760, LBS 770, LBS 780, and two elective courses.
  2. All courses must be completed with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (B). 
  3. Students must complete a master’s essay that will be an extended reflection on a problem of contemporary social and/or cultural interest drawing on the intellectual tradition of the liberal arts and on the student’s own values and analysis. The completed essay must be judged acceptable by the student’s master’s essay advisor and by the coordinator of the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program.