Learn about a Master's in Liberal Studies from The Graduate Center

Create your own path with the interdisciplinary MASTER OF ARTS IN LIBERAL STUDIES from The Graduate Center, CUNY

  • Interdisciplinary Study
  • Nearly 20 Academic Concentrations
  • Courses from Ph.D. & M.A. Programs
  • Flexible Programming
  • Affordable Tuition
  • Merit Scholarships Available
  • In the Heart of Manhattan

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Discover Mastery. Master Discovery. Your Master of Arts in Liberal Studies.

Create your own path with the interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) from The Graduate Center, CUNY.

MALS is where master’s students stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers in the doctoral programs to explore cutting-edge disciplines that cross traditional subject lines and develop new understandings of our societies, cultures, arts, and sciences.

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Individualized Studies for the Intellectually Curious

As a MALS student, you have access to a flexible network of coursework in emerging and ever-evolving fields of study. If your interests lie at the intersection of big data and social justice or migration and memoir, MALS is ready for you to create your new and innovative program of study.

Nearly 20 Academic Concentrations

MALS offers nearly 20 academic concentrations and the opportunity to create your own individualized Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. Explore cutting-edge research and learning.

  • Africana Studies
  • American Studies
  • Approaches to Modernity
  • Archaeology of the Classical, Late Antique, and Islamic Worlds
  • Childhood and Youth Studies
  • Fashion Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Global Early Modern Studies
  • Individualized Studies
  • International Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Law and Society
  • New York Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Social and Environmental Justice Studies
  • Urban Education
  • Western Intellectual Traditions
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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Alumni & Faculty Spotlight

I am deeply grateful to The GC and MALS for setting me on this path. The intellectual community here is deeply astute, warm and welcoming, and distinct in its willingness to take risks and engage with experimental practice. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from my professors and colleagues here. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”

Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield

Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis

Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis - Director for the study of the Middle East

Associate Professor of Liberal Studies Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis is Executive Officer of Liberal Studies and the director of Manar al-Athar. She guides students with interests in archaeology and material culture. Her recent publications include Classical New York: Discovering Greece and Rome in Gotham, Bayt Farhi and the Sephardic Palaces of Ottoman Damascus in the Late 18th and 19th Centuries, and Housing the New Romans: Architectural Reception and Classical Style in the Modern World.

Alexia Raynal

Alexia Raynal - MALS Alumna

Alexia Raynal is now a Learning Researcher at Center for Children and Technology at Education Development Center and attributes her success to what she learned in the MALS program. “I moved to New York City knowing exactly what I wanted to do for a living. The problem was I had no idea how to get there, and I worried about starting a Ph.D. program without knowing if it was the right fit for me. With its characteristic flexibility and interdisciplinary nature, The Graduate Center’s M.A. in Liberal Studies offered just what I needed.”

Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield

Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield - Student in the MALS Digital Humanities program

Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield has joined the Ph.D. program in English Language and Literature at The University of Chicago. She graduated from MALS with a thesis entitled Sonifying Hamlet.

Charles Rowe

Charles Rowe - Ph.D. student in the English program

Charles Rowe is now a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the GC’s English program. He began his master’s work in the MALS program as part of the Western Intellectual Traditions track while working a full-time job in the film industry. Now Rowe is a full-time Ph.D. student in the midst of writing his dissertation and teaching first-year writing courses at Hunter College and Baruch College.

Eugenia Paulicelli

Eugenia Paulicelli - MALS Professor

Eugenia Paulicelli, Professor of Italian, Comparative Literature, and Women’s Studies, founded and directs the MALS concentration in Fashion Studies and the Ph.D. Concentration in Fashion Studies. Her course on the Fabric of Cultures explores the how local and global fashion functions as both human and aesthetic expressions as well as barometers of economic, social, and technological transformation.

Molly Vollman Makris

Molly Vollman Makris headshot

Molly Vollman Makris is associate professor and program coordinator for the urban studies program at Guttman Community College, CUNY. Molly knew she wanted to go to graduate school to research what she had experienced working in education in NYC, and the MALS urban education track was an excellent fit. She then went on to get her Ph.D. in Urban Systems from a joint program at Rutgers-Newark and New Jersey Institute of Technology. Her book Public Housing and School Choice in a Gentrified City: Youth Experiences of Uneven Opportunity won the American Educational Studies Critics Choice Book Award and the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance Book Award in 2016. She is now co-authoring a book about gentrification in Asbury Park. She is excited to have the opportunity to teach in the MALS program starting in Spring 2020.

Admissions Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Completed online application
  • Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Writing Sample

Tuition & Fees

Complete your master’s degree for under $18,000 total.

The Graduate Center provides remarkable affordability. For the 2021-2022 school year in-state tuition is $470 per credit. Merit scholarships are available.

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