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
  • Over 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.

Over 20 Areas of Study

MALS offers over 20 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
  • Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
  • Childhood and Youth Studies
  • Data Visualization
  • Digital Humanities
  • Fashion Studies
  • Film Studies
  • Individualized Studies
  • International Studies
  • Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
  • Law and Society
  • Migration and Global Cities
  • New York Studies
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • Social and Environmental Justice Studies
  • Sustainability Science and Education
  • 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 - Director for the study of the Middle East

Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis is the director of an open-access digital humanities resource for the study of the Middle East and guides students with interests in archaeology and material culture. Macaulay-Lewis truly uses the city as her classroom, believing that the best way to study the evolution of a city and its buildings is to experience it for yourself.

Alexia Raynal - MALS Alumna

Alexia Raynal is now a Research Manager to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop 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 - Student in the MALS Digital Humanities program

Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield is an aspiring future doctoral candidate currently pursuing her master’s degree in the MALS Digital Humanities program. Her work focuses on blending artistic, digitally-inflected practice with critical theory.

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 - MALS Professor

Eugenia Paulicelli, Professor of Italian, Comparative Literature, and Women’s Studies, founded and directs the MALS track 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.

Admissions Criteria

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

Tuition & Fees

Complete your master’s degree for under $17,000 total.

The Graduate Center provides remarkable affordability. For the 2018-2019 school year in-state tuition is $455 per credit. Merit scholarships are available.

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