The premise behind interdisciplinary studies is that just as no person is an island, no subject exists in isolation from all others; that a complex examination of of a subject is rewarding; that several disciplines provide the milieu for that complexity; and that each discipline is enriched and made more powerful by interaction with other disciplines.
~David Madden

Graduate Liberal Studies at UNCW

Mission Statement

Consonant with the mission of the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) "to stimulate in its students intellectual curiosity, ethics, imagination, rational thinking, thoughtful expression, and a love of learning," the Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS) program at UNCW provides a highly integrated exploration of the liberal arts, which not only adheres to the traditional values of a broad liberal arts education, but is specifically designed for highly motivated learners who wish to deepen their understanding of the social, scientific, and humanistic dimensions of today's world. Fundamental to UNCW's GLS program is its mission to prepare its students to meet the many complex challenges facing our society, the world and regional communities, most of which do not fall within the strict confines of a single discipline or professional degree program, but rather require a broader interdisciplinary perspective.

Student Learning Outcomes

In keeping with our mission statement, the learning outcomes for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree are:

  1. the ability to apply critical theories;
  2. the ability to make connections between various theories and ideas;
  3. the ability to apply creative solutions to problems;
  4. the ability to express oneself articulately in writing;
  5. the ability to express oneself articulately orally; and
  6. a) the ability to conduct complex research, synthesize it, and argue persuasively in support of a claim based on evidence; or
    b) the ability to analyze the value and significance of one’s own creative work, and to situate it within the context of similar creative works.

Similarly, in keeping with our mission statement, the learning outcomes for the Post-Masters Certificate in Liberal Studies are:

  1. the ability to integrate material from completed Master’s and post-Masters courses;
  2. the ability to employ several disciplines;
  3. the ability to integrate independent reading material;
  4. the ability to demonstrate a sophisticated awareness of cultural diversity; and
  5. the ability to express oneself articulately.

Unique Features

No other GLS program can offer exactly what UNCW has to offer. The Cape Fear region suggests many rich themes for advanced interdisciplinary study, many of which are currently under investigation by university researchers. For example, the area's pre-colonial, Civil War, World War II, and civil rights eras have been extensively studied by university and non-university historians. UNCW's nationally prominent marine biology program offers interested students various approaches to the problems of coastal development and management. Programs in health, physical education, and anthropology have addressed aspects of tourism. Clearly, university faculty can direct liberal studies students into many interesting areas of study in this region.

Graduate Liberal Studies Organizational Chart

Graduate Liberal Studies Policy Manual

Student Academic Honor Code

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For further details about Graduate Liberal Studies at UNCW, please start with our "Director's Welcome" and "Programs" web pages.

Last Update: June 14, 2013


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