MLA - Intro​The Master in Liberal Arts at UST is a multidisciplinary  Master’s degree, a flexible alternative to a traditional Master’s degree, with courses and electives from among several concentration areas.  Students enjoy small classes and personal attention, with many evening options, along with study abroad and internship opportunities.

The Master in Liberal Arts degree is a great option for:

  • Educators looking to advance practical and subject matter expertise
  • Professionals looking to advance their careers or to expand job horizons
  • Everyone looking to go deeper into the Great Books and Great Ideas in the pursuit of life-long learning.

Additionally, UST offers an Executive MLA program that is designed for working professionals who want to engage with the greatest books of world civilization. The program is offered both in-person and online.

The Executive Master in Liberal Arts is a new MLA track based on study of the Great Books. Designed as a continuing education in the liberal arts, this program is ideal for working professionals who want a deeper understanding of themselves and the world. The program is offered both in-person and online.


Interdisciplinary MLA Seminar (3 credit hours)

MLMLA 5338 “Pursuit of Happiness”

The Pursuit of Happiness is a seminar course for all MLA students.  It is a Great Books course for Masters level analytical and syntopical reading skills, and for habits of reasoned discourse and discussion. “Syntopical” because we are reading a range of authors on a particular topic: man’s search for meaning and fulfillment. Understanding the range of thoughts across the ages on this topic has been, and no doubt still is, a hallmark of the liberally educated person. The course has a double objective, thus, aimed at cultivating both intellectual and practical virtues required for advanced and life-long learning.


Seminar: 2 courses (6 credit hours)

Seminars are interdisciplinary graduate courses specifically designed for the MLA Program. Each Executive MLA student must complete 2 seminars (6 credit hours) of his or her choosing. MLA seminars are courses structured to provide a graduate community centered on interdisciplinary discussion.


Electives: 7 courses (21 credit hours)

A student selects 7 electives (21 credit hours), which may be:

  • Any MLA Seminar course or any MLA course electives.
  • Optional thesis paper (6 credit hours), advised by faculty.

The Master in Liberal Arts with Interdisciplinary Studies offers students the freedom to customize their degree plan to their interests, and appeals to a diverse range of students who seek professional advancement or personal enrichment.


Interdisciplinary MLA Seminar (3 credit hours)

MLMLA 5338 “Pursuit of Happiness”

The Pursuit of Happiness is a seminar course for all MLA students.  It is a Great Books course for Masters level analytical and syntopical reading skills, and for habits of reasoned discourse and discussion. “Syntopical” because we are reading a range of authors on a particular topic: man’s search for meaning and fulfillment. Understanding the range of thoughts across the ages on this topic has been, and no doubt still is, a hallmark of the liberally educated person. The course has a double objective, thus, aimed at cultivating both intellectual and practical virtues required for advanced and life-long learning.


Seminar: 1 course (3 credit hours)

Seminars are interdisciplinary graduate courses specifically designed for the MLA Program. Each MLA student must complete 1 seminar (3 credit hours) of his or her choosing. MLA seminars are courses structured to provide a graduate community centered on interdisciplinary discussion.


Interdisciplinary Concentration: 8 courses (24 credit hours)

Students may select any combination of MLA electives or MLMLA seminars.

The Master in Liberal Arts with Concentration allows students to expand their liberal arts education, while focusing on a specific academic concentration within the humanities and social sciences.


Interdisciplinary MLA Seminar (3 credit hours)

MLMLA 5338 “Pursuit of Happiness”

The Pursuit of Happiness is a seminar course for all MLA students.  It is a Great Books course for Masters level analytical and syntopical reading skills, and for habits of reasoned discourse and discussion. “Syntopical” because we are reading a range of authors on a particular topic: man’s search for meaning and fulfillment. Understanding the range of thoughts across the ages on this topic has been, and no doubt still is, a hallmark of the liberally educated person. The course has a double objective, thus, aimed at cultivating both intellectual and practical virtues required for advanced and life-long learning.


Seminar: 1 course (3 credit hours)

Seminars are interdisciplinary graduate courses specifically designed for the MLA Program. Each MLA student must complete 1 seminar (3 credit hours) of his or her choosing. MLA seminars are courses structured to provide a graduate community centered on interdisciplinary discussion.


Concentration: 6 courses (18 credit hours)

Each student selects a discipline or area of study in which to concentrate his or her studies. A concentration equals 6 courses (18 credit hours, maximum of 21) in the declared discipline or area of study.

Typical Concentrations: Applied Music, Communication, Drama, Education, English, Entrepreneurship, History, International Studies, Irish Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Spanish, Theology


Electives: 2 courses (6 credit hours)

A student selects 2 electives (6 credit hours), which may be:

  • Any MLA course outside of his or her concentration course.
  • A seventh concentration course and one non-concentration course.
  • Optional thesis or project (6 credit hours) under the direction of a faculty member in the student’s concentration area. Completion of thesis or project is not a degree requirement.

*Specific concentrations may have particular required courses. Consult with your MLA advisor for details.

The Master in Liberal Arts with Dual Concentration allows students to expand their liberal arts education, while focusing on two specific academic concentrations within the humanities and social sciences.


Interdisciplinary MLA Seminar (3 credit hours)

MLMLA 5338 “Pursuit of Happiness”

The Pursuit of Happiness is a seminar course for all MLA students.  It is a Great Books course for Masters level analytical and syntopical reading skills, and for habits of reasoned discourse and discussion. “Syntopical,” because we are reading a range of authors on a particular topic: man’s search for meaning and fulfillment. Understanding the range of thoughts across the ages on this topic has been, and no doubt still is, a hallmark of the liberally educated person. The course has a double objective, thus, aimed at cultivating both intellectual and practical virtues required for advanced and life-long learning.


Seminar: 1 course (3 credit hours)

Seminars are interdisciplinary graduate courses specifically designed for the MLA Program. Each MLA student must complete 1 seminar (3 credit hours) of his or her choosing. MLA seminars are courses structured to provide a graduate community centered on interdisciplinary discussion.


Concentrations: 12 courses (36 credit hours)

Each student selects two disciplines or areas of study in which to concentrate his or her studies. Each concentration equals 6 courses (18 credit hours) in the declared discipline or area of study.

Typical Concentrations: Applied Music, Communication, Drama, Education, English, Entrepreneurship, History, International Studies, Irish Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Spanish, Theology

*Specific concentrations may have particular required courses. Consult with your MLA advisor for details.

Executive MLA

500X330 – MLA student.jpg The Executive Master in Liberal Arts is a unique path for the MLA degree.  As an alternative to a traditional MLA with a concentration on a particular discipline, the Executive MLA examines a wide range of the Western canon, based on the study of the Great Books.  Students will participate in Socratic seminar discussions on topics of personal and public interest with a new understanding from the greatest works of all time.

This program is attractive to those wishing to continue their education in the humanities, and expanding their learning and understanding of themselves and the world through such great works.  Students will broaden and deepen their cultural foundation, and gain invaluable liberal arts skills highly desired by employers.

Ideal for working professionals, students in the Executive MLA track will have access to evening classes both in-person and Socratic online video conferencing.

Learn more about the new Executive Master in Liberal Arts in this interview with Dr. Thomas Behr, Director of UST’s MLA program.

Exceptional Opportunity

MLA_ExceptionalThe Master in Liberal Arts is an exceptional opportunity for those who would like to obtain a master’s degree and add to their knowledge, especially in areas not covered in their undergraduate education. The MLA program is designed to supplement and enrich a student’s previous education in the liberal arts. Unlike conventional graduate programs with their narrower specializations, the MLA program encourages, in fact by its very nature, requires students to expand their knowledge in various disciplines. The program aims not only at a deeper understanding of each subject studied, but also at an integration of the various aspects of knowledge, art, and life.

In an environment infused by the tradition of Catholic higher education, the MLA program at UST gives students the opportunity to stretch their minds to full capacity, and to ponder issues that give full meaning to life.

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