News Release

News Release Library
July 31, 2000

St. Edward's University launches progressive Master of Liberal Arts program

The Master of Liberal Arts is a flexible and creative approach to graduate education in the humanities, arts, sciences, and social sciences. Going beyond the boundaries of the traditional disciplines, the MLA program boasts an individualized, interdisciplinary approach that provides students with the breadth of the knowledge, academic confidence, and research skills of the generalist.

Through the new program, students will be encouraged to develop a broad-based knowledge of critical issues in contemporary culture, including a curriculum centered on change, identity and leadership. Students will enhance their understanding of individual identity in relation to society through exploring topics such as "Community and Identity," "Spirituality and Self," and "Interpreting the World."

The program is expected to appeal to a broad range of individuals in the central Texas area. "As we set out to create this program, we found that many people are looking for an academic experience that transcends disciplines and enriches them personally and intellectually," said Paula Marks, an associate professor of American Studies who directs the program." The program will be ideal for those who are looking for more than just a degree, but for an opportunity to broaden their understanding of the world and their place as thinkers and leaders in it."

Developers of the program expect that students will come from a variety of professions.

"We predict that there will never really be a 'typical' MLA student," said Marks. "MLA candidates may be managers, physicians, attorneys, public administrators, social workers, consultants, business owners, librarians, homemakers, or retirees that have one thing in common: the desire to become more deeply involved in issues of significance to our time."

The structure of the curriculum is also far from "typical."

The 33-hour degree program was created to be taken part time during the evening. Students will begin graduate work with a gateway course that explores liberal arts traditions and perspectives. Following this course, students enroll in Thematic Studies courses/seminars that engage vital cultural issues. They may also enroll in special graduate/undergraduate courses that are taught through the university's undergraduate programs or enroll individually in Directed Studies courses. To complete their programs, students will enroll in a Special Project course.

Other graduate degrees offered at St. Edward's University include Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Human Services and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Ethics.

For more information on these and other graduate programs, contact St. Edward's University's Center for Academic Progress at 512-448-8600 or visit

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