Design Your Degree: Pursue Your Passions

NC State’s unique, highly respected Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program is designed to empower you to create your own path of graduate study. Follow your interests and build on your skills as you pursue your interdisciplinary master’s degree.

As a MALS student, you will:                     

  • Design your own six-course concentration from at least three disciplines (see sample concentrations here)
  • Take at least two MALS seminars specially designed to engage graduate students, and featuring wide-ranging topics
  • Get to know students and faculty from across disciplines and around campus

Taking an interdisciplinary approach to graduate education has become more widespread in recent years: more than 100 universities around the nation now offer a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree.

NC State’s MALS program, first offered in 1988, was an early leader in the field. Our program is a member of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, a consortium of universities throughout North America who offer this degree. Our director serves as treasurer of its board of officers.  

In contrast to traditional disciplinary or professional studies, the MALS program allows you  to explore and connect your diverse interests in a personalized way, one that complements your life and career goals.

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Who are MALS Students?

MALS students seek personal enrichment and want to learn more about themselves and their world as they study and learn alongside NC State’s outstanding faculty.

Our students have varied educational backgrounds and objectives. The MALS program is designed to be flexible for part-time adult students, many of whom work while they are in the program or who are returning to school after an extended break in their formal education.

Our unique MALS seminars are offered in the evening to accommodate working students' schedules.

Who are MALS students? Here are a few profiles:

  • an executive seeking a better understanding of community and organizational dynamics
  • a teacher wanting to explore the relationship between environmental science and environmental policy
  • a retiree who finally has time to explore her interests in the literary and historical foundations of the American experience
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