Liberal Studies at Valparaiso University
Student talking on campus

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) programs have grown rapidly in the United States within the last two decades. The degree enjoys strong appeal-

  • with professional persons whose undergraduate education was focused in technical areas and who now wish to broaden their knowledge of the liberal arts
  • with persons who wish to obtain a master's degree for career advancement but who do not need to pursue a specific professional degree
  • with individuals who want to enhance their professional credentials by developing a background in a cognate area
  • with adults who enjoy the discipline and excitement of structured learning
  • and finally, with elementary and secondary educators who wish to work toward advanced certificates by strengthening their knowledge both in subject matter areas and in areas related to professional education.

The Liberal Studies program at Valparaiso University is designed to enable students to establish a broad understanding of the liberal arts through a core of integrative courses, and also to focus on a particular subject area through a minimum 15-credit concentration.

The core seminars as well as most MALS courses take an interdisciplinary approach. This approach is based on the conviction that most major problems and issues require multiple perspectives for truer understanding to occur. At the same time. the program acknowledges the need for concentrated, focused learning within a particular discipline.

Courses used to complete the concentration are typically drawn from the corresponding department and from approved Liberal Studies (LS) courses. Courses used to complete the Gerontology and the Human Behavior and Society concentrations include Seminars in the Social Sciences (LS 620), Liberal Studies topics courses (LS 690) and designated offerings in Nursing and social science departments (e.g., Psychology, Sociology, Geography, and Political Science). Students who elect the concentration in Human Behavior and Society are encouraged to explore the range of human behavior and should not expect to take all of their courses in a single discipline.