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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Liberal Arts

Majors Overview November 15, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in liberal arts and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in Liberal Arts

Adult students who have full-time careers and seek career advancement would benefit from enrolling in master’s degree programs in liberal arts. Enrollees in Master of Liberal Arts and Science (M.L.A.S.) and Master of Liberal Arts (M.L.A.) programs are often allowed to customize a significant part of their coursework. Coursework usually covers subjects in literature, the fine arts, the social sciences, and film. Students build critical thinking and communication skills even as they learn about appreciating works of art from around the world. A capstone project or thesis is typically required to be completed by students.

Education Requirements

Adults who aspire to earn an advanced degree while employed in a full-time job would benefit from enrolling in MLA and MLAS programs. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, and meeting a GPA standard of at least 3.0. Admission criteria also require the submission by applicants of a current resume, letters of academic reference, and a statement of purpose explaining their interest in the program and career goals. Interviews also form part of the application process in some programs.


Program coursework typically covers courses on critical thinking and cultural appreciation. Enrollees in many programs are allowed to choose an area of specialization, such as social sciences, the humanities, or fine arts. Interdisciplinary courses are still a requirement. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Shakespeare’s histories
•World economic studies
•Modern British Literature
•Renaissance art
•French film history and theory

Career Choices

Program graduates can apply the skills learned to various career fields. A few may seek careers in entrepreneurship or business while some may prefer to work in entertainment or academia. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•High school teacher
•Cultural researcher and critic
•Art historian

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of six percent has been predicted for high school teachers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $55,050 (BLS). Graduates pursuing historian careers are expected to see a job growth of six percent between 2012 and 2020; their median wages in 2012 stood at $52,480 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek jobs as educators must obtain state certification by meeting some requirements, such as supervised teaching internships, teacher education coursework, and PRAXIS exams before they can begin working with students. Program graduates from a master’s degree program in liberal arts may seek continuing education by enrolling in a doctorate in a discipline studied by them during their master’s degree program. They can choose from popular options such as film theory, art history, and world history.

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