Master of Liberal Arts Degree

Employers want to hire liberal arts graduates because they tend to be innovative and independent thinkers with strong communication and reasoning skills. As a graduate student in the liberal arts, you’ll build a valuable base of knowledge and experience to enhance your professional career and personal life.

Graduate study in the liberal arts requires an interdisciplinary focus. With each required and elective course, students apply principles from history, social sciences, literature, and other discipline-specific coursework toward solving a central focus question, developed in coordination with the program coordinator. Sample areas of inquiry include sustainable design, historical and cultural studies of gardening, and comic book design studies — areas related, directly or indirectly, to the professional experiences and aspirations of the students.

As an MLA student and graduate, you’ll be well-rounded, knowledgeable in many subjects and able to draw from that knowledge and experience to answer questions, take sides in a debate or solve a problem. And you’ll acquire an appreciation for global perspectives, traditions, lifestyles and philosophies.

The MLA requires 30 semester hours of coursework, including 12 required hours (4 classes) and 18 elective hours (6 classes), selected in consultation with the program coordinator.

Program Details

  • Requirements

    MLA Program of Study

    Total: 30 semester hours

    Required Core

    12 semester hours. All candidates must complete the following courses.

    • MLA 500U Research Methods
    • MLA 506U Humanities Seminar
    • MLA 507U Social Sciences Seminar
    • MLA 599U Seminar in Liberal Arts

    Required Focus

    18 semester hours. All candidates must select 6 additional graduate courses in consultation with the program coordinator.

  • Graduate Admissions

    Admission to Graduate Programs

    Transfer of Graduate Credits

    Up to six semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred toward a graduate program in the School. Transfer credits may be accepted only from another regionally accredited institution of higher education. In order for graduate academic credits completed prior to admission into a graduate program to be considered, credits: (1) must have been completed within the past five years with a grade of 'B' or better; (2) must not have been used to satisfy requirements for another degree or certificate at the University of Richmond or another institution of higher education; and (3) must be approved by the Program Chair. Possible transfer credits completed while in the program must receive prior approval by the Program Chair. Except by waiver, no more than six hours may be transferred into a graduate program.

    Graduate Admission Process

    Students seeking admission to a graduate certificate or a master's degree program must complete the following:

    • File a Graduate Application with the School and submit the non-refundable $50 graduate application fee
    • Have official transcripts from all colleges and/or universities where college work was attempted forwarded directly to the School
    • Have three (3) letters of recommendation sent directly to the School (requirement differs for Graduate Certificate in Teacher Licensure Preparation and Master of Teaching)
    • Have official TOEFL scores sent (when applicable)

    Official documents verifying college and university work and test scores must be sent from the institution or agency responsible for the information directly to the School.

    Letters of recommendation should be substantive regarding the applicant’s potential to be successful as a graduate student and professional in their field. Letters from past or current supervisors and professors are preferred, and those from professional peers and coworkers who can offer meaningful input about the applicant’s abilities and potential may be appropriate as well. Letters from friends, family members, and subordinates are discouraged.

    Additional requirements vary by graduate degree programs. See the section that follows for the graduate program to which you are applying.

  • MLA Admissions

    Admission to the Master of Liberal Arts

    Students seeking admission to the Master of Liberal Arts must have the following (in addition to the admission requirements for all graduate programs):

    • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university (or international equivalent)
    • A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on all college or university academic work attempted
    • A one-page statement of purpose which clarifies the student’s goals and gives a broad indication of the type of focus the student wishes to pursue.