Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

27 Jun 11:30am-1pm ET
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22 Aug 12-1:30pm ET
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To earn the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, you must successfully complete 30 credits (24 credits from coursework and 6 credits from a master's thesis project), including:

4 foundation courses (12 credits total; all courses are required):

  • Science and Society—Learn the foundational elements and principles of the scientific method, as well as its relation to social and material impacts and policy.
  • Norms and Ethics—Examine basic methods and issues around moral and ethical concerns and enduring challenges of the human pursuit of the good life across cultures.
  • Social Sciences—Study key issues in areas including government, economics, sociology, history, American studies, anthropology, psychology, and political science.
  • Humanities—Explore basic methods and issues across various humanities disciplines (including theology, literature, performing arts, and more).

The goal of the core courses is to develop research methods that you can later apply to your master's thesis or portfolio project. We recommend that you take one core course each semester for the first four semesters of the program. The above sequence of courses is suggested but not required.

4 elective courses (12 credits total):

Choose from a number of diverse electives offered each semester. Most electives that you take should support your master's thesis project. For a current list of electives, visit the Course Schedule page.

Master’s Thesis

Master's Thesis or Portfolio Project (6 credits total):

The final master's thesis or portfolio project will include two parts, which you will complete over two semesters: During the first semester, you will take a dedicated research/writing seminar (3 credits), and during the following semester, you’ll enroll in a 3-credit tutorial with a faculty mentor.

​Past master's thesis titles include:

  • “Humanizing Fiscal Costs: Creating the Incentives for Criminal Justice Reform and Reducing Recidivism” by Leah McCullough (G’21)
  • “Forgotten and Neglected: The Effects of Natural Disasters in New Orleans and Haiti” by Maryangel Rodriguez Inciarte (G’21)
  • “Transracial Adoption: Navigating the Racial Divide in Child Welfare” by Ryan Rooks (G’21)
  • “Weaponized Memory: The Use and Abuse of the Histories of the Confederacy, the Gulag, and the Holocaust for Political Advantage” by Philip Elliot (G’21)
  • “The Eastern Question, Great Game, and Modern Hot Wars: Policy Lessons and Statecraft Implications for US Relations with Russia, Turkey, and Iran in the 21st Century” by Paula Ann Doyle (G’20)

You’ll have the flexibility to earn your degree at a pace that suits your schedule:

  • Full-time students typically take 9 credits (3 courses) during the fall and spring semesters. 
  • Part-time students typically take 3 to 6 credits (1 to 2 courses) during the fall and spring semesters.
  • Although students are not required to take credits during the summer semester, they have the option of registering for one or more courses in order to continue their degree progress year-round.

Our classes are held on Georgetown University’s main campus, located at 37th and O Streets NW, Washington, D.C.


All programs offered by Georgetown University are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.