Mission & Learning Goals

Building on the mission statements of Georgetown University and on the School of Continuing Studies, the Graduate Liberal Studies Degree (GLS) programs (DLS and MALS degrees) at Georgetown University rest on the belief that human life and human action have meaning and that human beings, throughout their lives, must seek it out and live by its implications. Liberal Studies courses—which engage students in reading, reflection, writing, and discussion—are meant to bring students the range of knowledge and vision to lead wise and rewarding lives.

Methodological Goals

Upon completing the Doctor of Liberal Studies program, you will:

  • Be led to determining specific research interests in the humanities and/or social sciences that will contribute to your personal and, perhaps, professional development
  • Learn rigorous interdisciplinary inquiry, i.e., how to engage various disciplines in the humanities and/or social sciences and integrate them in addressing topics related to your individual research interests
  • Gain knowledge of the methodologies, traditions, theoretical frameworks, and styles of argument of various disciplines in the humanities and/or social sciences sufficient to be able to engage those disciplines for your particular research interests
  • Master “research best practices” by becoming familiar with library resources and research technology
  • Master skills for analytical and critical inquiry appropriate to graduate-level research
  • Engage in intensive writing assignments of varied character and length in order to develop proficiency appropriate to graduate-level research
  • Develop oral communication and argumentation skills commensurate with postgraduate education and standards of professional discourse
  • Develop the competence to consciously reflect on and assess your own scholarly development and that of your classmates with the aid of both faculty and peer review
  • Develop the ability to integrate your graduate-level skills of research, analysis, argumentation, and effective communication through the writing of a thesis in your area of interest in the humanities and/or social sciences

Content Goals

As a student in the Doctor of Liberal Studies program, you will:

  • Focus on human values and ethical issues in all coursework, research, and especially thesis writing
  • Gain awareness of human values as encompassing first of all what constitutes human life and meaning, what it means to be a rational and free person, and what contributes to human flourishing and well-being
  • Gain awareness of human values and ethics as expressing the social dimensions of human life and what constitutes communal well-being and the common good
  • Gain insight into principles of social justice
  • Recognize pluralistic views of human life and values and the need for dialogue across a broad spectrum of thought and action
  • Learn the human values and ethics emphasized in one or more areas of study available to liberal studies, namely, in American and international studies; the classical, medieval, and modern worlds; religious studies, literature, philosophy, visual culture, social and public policy, science and society, and/or professional ethics
  • Be able to integrate classroom knowledge with practical skills in your personal and, perhaps, professional life
  • Achieve the goals of Jesuit education, i.e., education of the whole person and education of men and women for others in leadership and service to the community