Master’s in Liberal Studies Programs Guide

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Sharpen career skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication through one of the best master’s in Liberal Studies.

A master’s degree in Liberal Studies is not your typical graduate degree. While most graduate degrees are highly specialized, master’s programs in Liberal Studies emphasize the importance of developing a broad range of skills and knowledge.

These programs focus on vital skills like critical and analytical thinking, communication, problem-solving, and creativity. Not only are these in-demand skills, but these are also skills that can’t be replaced by technology. Plus, the vital skills developed in liberal arts programs may be neglected in more specialized degree programs.

With a master’s degree in Liberal Studies, you can go into business, education, government, or further study through a doctoral program. Expand your horizons and set yourself up for a successful career with a Liberal Studies degree from any of the programs below.

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What kind of master’s degree in Liberal Studies should you get?

Liberal Studies programs are highly customizable. In many cases, you’ll create your own degree plan based on your interests and career goals. You may choose to focus on literature, religion, democracy, public policy, or a specific period of history.

At the start, you may not know exactly what direction you’d like to take, and that’s fine. The interdisciplinary course offerings help many students unlock new skills and discover new passions.

Master’s programs in Liberal Studies are available on campus or online. The best route for you depends on your personal learning style and preferences. Of course, taking online classes allows you to work around your schedule, learning and studying at your convenience. If you’re interested in online study, check out our list of the Best Online Colleges.

How much money do people make with a master’s degree in Liberal Studies?

This is a difficult question to answer because every customizable Liberal Studies degree is different. Depending on the courses you take, the degree can be applied to a vast range of careers. Below, we’ll look at just a few possibilities and their median salary (per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Project manager- $67,280
  • Advertising/marketing manager- $132,620
  • Advertising sales agent- $51,740
  • Secondary teacher- $60,320
  • Human resources specialist- $60,880
  • Copywriter- $62,260

As you can see, your potential salary range is as diverse as your career options. In addition, demand in most of these careers is growing as fast or faster than average.

What can you do with a master’s degree in Liberal Studies?

Almost anything! With the exception of careers that require highly specialized degrees, a master’s in Liberal Studies provides the foundational skills needed to succeed in just about any line of work.

You can teach, manage a business, work in sales or advertising, or pursue a career in human resources. You’ll be suited for any career that requires critical and analytical thinking, creativity, communication, and problem-solving (the same skills that many graduates lack). You may also be interested in earning your doctorate degree!

What are the best master’s in Liberal Studies degrees?

To jumpstart your program search, we’ve put together a list of the five best master’s in Liberal Studies. These programs were selected based on school reputation, tuition costs, the overall return on investment, and accreditation.

To ensure we’re suggesting the best of the best, we’ve pulled data from trusted sources like:

    • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • PayScale
    • Official college and university websites
    • U.S. News and World Report
    • Princeton Review

You can trust that by earning a master’s in Liberal Studies from any of these programs, you’ll build a solid foundation of in-demand career skills. After that, the possibilities are nearly endless.

  1. Georgetown University

    Washington, DC




    Located in Washington D.C., Georgetown University is proud to be known as one of the world’s best academic research institutions. The private university was founded in 1789, making it the country’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit college. Building upon these traditions, Georgetown provides students with an unmatchable experience focused on teaching the student as a whole. The university enrolls nearly 4,000 students and offers a wide variety of rigorous programs including an MA in Liberal Studies.

    Program Features

    Georgetown’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies fosters inquiry, intellect, and curiosity via an interdisciplinary curriculum that emphasizes the exchange of perspectives and ideas. Students analyze and interpret texts that cover a range of political, social, scientific, religious, historical, and cultural issues. They develop research as well as analytical, interpretive, and communication skills through focus areas including:

    • American Democracy
    • Classical Civilizations
    • Social and Public Policy
    • Literature
    • Medieval Studies


    This program can be completed either part-time or full-time in two to five years, although up to seven years are allowed. Students choose between highly customizable 36-credit or 30-credit degree options. Coursework includes foundation courses, academic writing workshops, and elective courses. The 36-credit option requires completion of a thesis.

  2. Kent State University

    Ashtabula, OH




    Kent State University is a public research university based in Kent, Ohio. Founded in 1910, the university has established a reputation for award-winning teaching, learning, and personal growth. The school is ranked as a top tier university nationally by U.S. News and World Report. Over 38,000 students are enrolled in Kent State’s eight-campus system, with academic sites across the region and around the world. The school offers an innovative MLS degree.

    Program Features

    The unique Master of Liberal Studies degree at Kent State allows students to take courses from several different colleges or schools within the university. Under the guidance of the program director, students select courses from across KSU to form an integrated, individualized plan of study that meets their interests and goals. Program requirements include:

    • Methods and Approaches to Multidisciplinary Studies
    • Liberal Studies Essay
    • 27 elective credits
    • Minimum 12 credit hours within the College of Arts and Sciences
    • Minimum 15 credit hours at the 6000-level


    KSU’s Master of Liberal Studies degree requires a minimum total of 33 credit hours. Students submit a program of study document in which they select a theme and choose coursework in the major and minor areas. In addition to standard courses, a maximum six credit hours of practicum/internship and six credit hours of research may be selected.

  3. University of Toledo

    Toledo, OH




    Established in 1872, the University of Toledo is a student-centered public research university in Toledo, Ohio. The university enrolls over 20,000 students and offers more than 300 academic programs. Several of these programs are nationally ranked, and UT is also recognized for affordability, flexibility, quality student services, and innovative research. Among UT’s diverse, intellectually stimulating degree programs is an MA in Liberal Studies.

    Program Features

    Enroll in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at the University of Toledo, and you’ll gain holistic preparation for a variety of successful careers. Although some students are initially uncertain about their long-term objectives, they quickly become inspired by a particular course or line of inquiry. Students develop a personalized plan of study with the program director. The program requires a minimum of 33 semester hours, with required seminars focused on areas like:

    • Humanities
    • Social sciences
    • Natural sciences
    • Visual and performing arts


    Students develop essential career skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, research, and communication. Graduates often pursue doctoral level work or find careers in advertising, education, human resources, writing, editing, ministry, and more.

  4. Clayton State University

    Morrow, GA




    Clayton State University, located in Morrow, Georgia, is a public university. Established in 1969, CSU serves close to 7,000 students and offers over 50 degree programs. The university’s mission is to empower students through rich experiences like internships, practical classes, and a variety of real-life experiences. Students choose CSU for its small class sizes, personalized attention, affordable career preparation, and vibrant campus life. The university also offers outstanding faculty who lead engaging programs, including an MA in Liberal Studies.

    Program Features

    CSU’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is designed for students who find traditional graduate curricula too restrictive and specialized. The flexible, rigorous program requires 36 credit hours which includes six credits toward a thesis or non-thesis option. Students have access to a broad range of course offerings in a variety of disciplines. Degree requirements include:

    • Introduction to Graduate Studies (3 credits)
    • Interdisciplinary foundational seminars (9 credits)
    • Concentration area (18 credits)
    • Final thesis or non-thesis option (6 credits)


    Students may select a concentration in English, History, Math, or Philosophy. Those who select the non-thesis option will take two additional courses and either present a paper at a conference or submit an article accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. They must also pass a comprehensive exam of major coursework.

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