"Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago. To tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this planet. Let us dedicate ourselves to that."
~Robert F. Kennedy

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Admissions and Degree Requirements

Note: See the "Post-Master's Certificate" page for that program's admission requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • An application for graduate admission

    • MALS applicants must use the UNCW Graduate Online Application to apply. Read and carefully follow the directions therein and where required, submit required documents to the UNCW Graduate School. Ensure that the application is for the semester/summer session in which attendance is planned. On the application, applicants will be asked to specify whether they wish to be a main campus student, an extension student, or a non-degree student at either location. Guidance regarding this choice is offered below:

      • Main Campus -
        • Students who find that the College Road campus in Wilmington is the optimum choice for travel from their home location and whose degree plan includes both classroom and online courses should choose this campus location. See "Extension" for degree plans with only online courses.
      • Onslow Extension Campus -
        • Students who find that either Camp Lejeune, NC, or Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, NC are the optimum choices for travel from their home location and whose degree plan includes both classroom and online course should choose this campus location. Students, whatever their geographic location, whose degree plan uses ONLY online courses, should also choose this campus location.
      • Non-Degree -
        • The following is excerpted from the UNCW graduate catalogue.

        Graduate courses taken at UNCW as a non–degree student, before formal admission to Graduate School, will meet course requirements for a graduate degree only if approved by the departmental coordinator and the dean of the Graduate School. A maximum of 10 hours may be applied toward the degree.

      • Please note: All applications, whatever their reason, e.g., the original application, changing to another degree program, reenrolling, or a second application after a denial, will require the student to pay an application fee.
      • Application deadlines -

        In order to attend classes in the indicated semester, students must apply to the UNCW Graduate School by the dates indicated.

        • Summer II 2014 -- Thursday, April 24, 2014
        • Summer I 2014 -- Friday, March 14, 2014
        • Fall 2014 -- Friday, June 13, 2014
        • Spring 2014 -- Tuesday, November 5, 2013
        • Summer I 2013 -- Thursday, March 14, 2013 (applications now closed)
        • Summer II 2013 -- Wednesday, April 24, 2013 (applications now closed)
        • Fall 2013 -- Thursday, June 13, 2013 (applications now closed)

          Note: Applications are done online--you must apply on or before the dates above. The system will not allow you to apply after the date shown. An example: The Spring 2014 application deadline is on November 5, 2013. The system will not allow you to apply for Spring 2014 on November 6. Please get your applications in on time.

        Official transcripts of all college work (undergraduate and graduate) -
        • These transcripts must be forwarded to the UNCW Graduate School by the institution. Electronic transcripts (password protected) can be emailed directly by the institution to Gradtranscripts AT uncw DOT edu.
        Three recommendations that address the student's chance of success in a graduate liberal studies program -
        • Requests for these recommendations are sent by the Graduate School based on the information provided by the student in the online application.
        A writing sample in the form of an essay -
        • The subject of this essay will be an explanation of how the MALS degree can assist the candidate in meeting her or his personal goals. Essays shall be from one to five pages (single-spaced). The essay is submitted as part of the online application.
        A bachelor's degree, from an accredited college or university, with a minimum of a "B" average (GPA = or > 3.00) in undergraduate work -
        • Students seeking admission to the GLS Program in order to complete the MALS degree must hold a bachelor's degree with an academic record of a "B" average or better from an accredited university or college in this country or its equivalent in a foreign institution based on a four-year program.

        At the discretion of the GLS Program Director, an interview with the director of the program and/or representative(s) from the advisory committee may be required -

        • Applicants will be contacted by the GLS Program to arrange interview details. When appropriate and requested, interview by telephone or other electronic means may be permitted.

        GRE/MAT -

        • No tests such as the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or the MAT (Miller Analogy Test) are required.
        •  

        Degree Requirements

        Minimum hours of study: The program requires a minimum of 30 semester
        hours of graduate study.

        Grade average: Students must maintain a "B" average in all graduate courses taken.

        Crosslisted courses for credit: No more than six hours may be taken from cross-listed 400/500 courses.

        Non-GLS courses for credit: With the exception of the Gerontology, Hispanic Studies, and CMR concentrations, no more than nine hours may be taken outside the MALS degree (GLS 5xx) curriculum.

        DIS courses for credit: Only one GLS 591 Directed Independent Study course may be taken. Note: Forms requesting this course must be submitted to the GLS office at least two days prior to the relevant semester/session drop/add deadline.

        Transfer hours for credit: No more than six semester hours of credit may be transferred from another accredited institution. Grades earned on that transfer work must be equivalent to "B" or better. A minimum of 24 hours of graduate study must be completed in residence at UNCW. Note: These six transfer hours will count against the nine allowed hours of non-GLS courses.

        Capstone experience: A final project (GLS 598-Final Project Liberal Studies) of three credit hours is required of all students who have successfully completed 27 hours of course work. (For details about the final project, see the GLS 598 description below.)

        Time limit: Students are expected to complete all course work within five years after their initial enrollment.

        The MALS Advising Sheet

        Withdrawals and Incompletes in the GLS Program:

        • Withdrawals: Should a student withdraw from more than three courses, whether graduate liberal studies courses or graduate courses in other graduate departments/programs, he or she will be dropped from the MALS program or the post-Masters certificate program. In the event that a student withdraws from a course, he or she will be responsible for notifying both the program director and his or her graduate advisor. At the discretion of the Graduate Liberal Studies program director, exceptions may be made in the event of extenuating circumstances.
        • "Incomplete" Grades:
          • In accordance with university policy, a graduate student has at most 12 months from the end of the course to resolve an Incomplete. However, the instructor of the course (in consultation with the student) can set an earlier deadline for work to be completed. If the student fails to complete the work by the assigned deadline or within 12 months (whichever comes first), the Incomplete grade will automatically be converted to an F. If a student has two or more concurrent "Incomplete" grades in graduate courses, whether in graduate liberal studies courses or graduate courses in another program/department, he or she will need to remove the Incompletes before being permitted to register for courses in the following or any future semester. Each student will be responsible for both making her or his program director and advisor aware of the grade and then notifying these same individuals once the Incomplete is removed. At the discretion of the graduate liberal studies program director, exceptions may be made in the event of extenuating circumstances.
          • All students are again reminded that "Incomplete" grades are valid for a maximum of one year. Upon expiry, an "Incomplete" grade is converted to an F and the student will be dismissed from the Graduate School. Students with a grade of F in any graduate course are no longer eligible to continue as graduate students at UNCW.
          • Two core courses: GLS 502 - Contemporary Issues in Liberal Studies and GLS 598 - Final Project in Liberal Studies are required.
            • GLS 502: Contemporary Issues in Liberal Studies.
              Beyond familiarizing students with cross-disciplinary reseach methods and standard conventions of academic discourse, GLS 502 explores major agendas that inform the MALS degree, most notably, interdisciplinarity, cultural diversity, and globalism.
            • GLS 598: Final Project in Liberal Studies
              • The final project may take the form of scholarly research or a creative work (e.g., a personal memoir; a collection of short fiction, poetry, or personal essays; a family history; a documentary film; or an exhibition of original paintings or photographs), though in either case a written analysis is required to meet degree requirements. During the final project process, the student will work under the close supervision of a graduate faculty member of the student’s choice (project director) as well as one additional final project committee member (reader). Once the final project is approved by the committee, the student will present an oral defense of the project to a
                forum of faculty and students. Note: If you are planning to commence, or have already started, work on your MALS final project, please click on the title of this paragraph to obtain details and deadlines regarding this process.
              • Those interested in the scope and types of final projects should review the listing of past MALS projects.
              • GLS 598 is graded with either an "S" (satisfactory progress) or a "U" (unsatisfactory). An "S" grade indicates "satisfactory progress" and is required for the course but is not sufficient in and of itself for graduation. The Program Director must review the student's final project, both the written project and the oral defense, and "qualify" the student for graduation by notifying the Graduate School thereof. Any student assigned a "U" grade for GLS 598 will be dismissed from the GLS Program and from the UNCW Graduate School.
                • It is expected, but not required, that the work on the MALS final project represented by GLS 598 will be completed in the semester in which the student enrolls in this course. However, it is not unusual for students, especially those who have medical, financial, or other life problems, to take an additional semester or, in rare cases, two semesters to complete work on the final project. If it becomes necessary for a student to extend work beyond the original enrollment, she or he will be assigned a grade of "S" (satisfactory progress) for GLS 598 and be permitted to continue work on the final project until the Program Director assigns a grade of "U" (unsatisfactory), the project is finished, or time/course limits (5 year degree limit, GRC 600 usage limits, etc.) apply. Continuing said work requires enrollment in either the GRC 600 Continuation course or a valid graduate level class in the semester(s) in which university resources will be used and/or graduation will occur. Submission of additional forms may be necessary . It is strongly recommended that students who plan to work on the final project beyond the original enrollment semester promptly contact their academic advisor and/or the Program Assistant for guidance.

        Choices

        Aside from GLS 502 and GLS 598, GLS MALS courses fall into six broad thematic areas: l) social concerns and cultural systems; 2) environment, science, and society; 3) arts, literature, and society; 4) gerontology; 5) Hispanic Studies; and 6) Conflict Management and Resolution (CMR). Three of these areas, gerontology, Hispanic Studies, and CMR, are set up in cooperation with those departments and work on the MALS degree, with the knowledge and cooperation of graduate coordinators in those departments, can result in both the MALS degree and the appropriate post-baccalaureate certificate. The four resulting "options" are described below.

        General

        In addition to GLS 502 and GLS 598, students pursuing a general option in graduate liberal studies must complete 24 elective hours of their choice. Up to 9 of these 24 elective hours may be taken outside the GLS curriculum (non-GLS 5xx courses) on condition that the desired courses are graduate-level courses; that they are consistent with the general philosophy of graduate liberal studies; that the student receives the permission of the instructor(s) in question in regard to possible background and methodological expectations; and that the student receives permission from his or her academic advisor.

        Special Concentration in Gerontology

        In addition to GLS 502 and GLS 598, students pursuing a special concentration in gerontology must take GRN 501: Aging in Society (3), GRN 523: Biology of Aging (3), and PSY 524: Psychology of Aging (3) as well as 15 elective hours, at least 6 of which must be in gerontology. Click on the title of this paragraph for more details.

        Special Concentration in Hispanic Studies

        In addition to GLS 502 and GLS 598, students pursuing a special concentration in Hispanic Studies must take 9 hours of core classes in Hispanic Studies and 15 elective hours, at least 9 of which must be in Hispanic Studies. Click on the title of this paragraph for more details.

        Special Concentration in Conflict Management and Resolution (CMR)

        In addition to GLS 502 and GLS 598, students pursuing a special concentration in Conflict Management and Resolution must take 9 hours of core classes in CMR and 15 elective hours, at least 9 of which must be in CMR. Click on the title of this paragraph for more details.

        Last Update: September 6, 2013


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