How to Get a Master of Arts (M.L.a.) in Liberal Studies

Even if you are planning to get a doctorate degree in your chosen career field, earning a M.L.A degree is a good career move. Master of Liberal Arts degrees offer an interdisciplinary study of science, humanities and the arts; a M.L.A degree will help you think critically, write clearly and expose you to a wide range of cultures and perspectives. A master’s degree in liberal arts is intended to give you a broad base of knowledge and a well-rounded education that will enhance your chosen career field.


  1. Image titled Get a Master of Arts (M.L.a.) in Liberal Studies Step 1
    Research universities offering master of liberal arts degrees. According the National Center for Education Statistics,[1]there are more than 2,000 colleges and universities in the United States. Not all of them offer master’s degrees, so while you are still earning your bachelor’s degree, start investigating colleges that offer M.L A. degrees. You can get a broad view and ranking of colleges and their degree programs from multiple sources. Two of the most popular are Peterson’s Guide to Colleges[2] and The U.S. News and Report[3]
  2. Image titled Get a Master of Arts (M.L.a.) in Liberal Studies Step 2
    Compare the course programs. Once you have narrowed your search of colleges offering M.L.A. degrees, examine the courses each institution offers. Look at the faculty biographies to learn the credentials of the professors who will be teaching the courses. Contact the admissions department of each college if you have any questions about the course offerings or the faculty.
  3. Image titled Get a Master of Arts (M.L.a.) in Liberal Studies Step 3
    Understand what is required of you. The majority of M.L.A degree programs take at least 2 years to complete. You will probably be required to complete a research project and a dissertation before you graduate, which may take as long as 6 months to complete. Think about your work schedule and/or family obligations before you enroll in a master’s degree program.


  • If you are planning a career in a profession that requires proficiency in a foreign language, be sure to choose a master’s program that includes languages (not all degree programs include foreign language instruction.)
  • Each university decides what to call their programs, which means that a Master of Arts degree in Liberal studies has many names, including: M.L.A, M.A, A.L.M, M.L.S and M.A.L.S. All of these acronyms denote a degree in the liberal arts. The best way to be sure you are applying to a program that suits you is to examine the courses listed under the degree offered by each institution.


  • Because there is such a strong emphasis and completion in the marketplace for solid, employable skills, some experts discourage getting a degree in liberal arts. However, you should keep in mind that a vast number of employers look for job-seekers that have a broad educational background. The expertise and knowledge you gain in a liberal arts program will prepare you for a variety of professions, including medicine, law, education, criminal justice, journalism, marketing and sales and law enforcement.

Article Info

Categories: College University and Postgraduate