Online Master of Liberal Studies Degree (M.L.S.)

The Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) provides graduate instruction in three areas: arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Students in the program obtain advanced skills and knowledge in these areas and an ability to approach problems with an interdisciplinary perspective.

The program is open to students who have completed an undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Of Special Interest for Dual-Credit and Community College Instructors Needing to Meet HLC Standards 

The MLS may hold special appeal for community college, dual-credit, or other post-secondary instructors who have completed specialized coursework via an IU Online graduate certificate in biologycommunication studiescomposition studieschemistryhistorylanguage and literatureliteraturemathematics, or political science. As many as 18 to 20 credits from these certificates will apply to MLS degree requirements. 

The combination of discipline-specific certificate courses, plus the unique interdisciplinary core and capstone experience of the MLS, will help these instructors integrate new concepts and approaches into their teaching, thereby improving the quality of instruction and learning outcomes for their students.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) requires all high school teachers who teach dual-credit or other college-level courses to hold a master's degree in the field, or to have a master's degree in another area, plus at least 18 credit hours of graduate coursework in the discipline. Because this program enables students to complete a master's degree and discipline-specific coursework, it fulfills this requirement.

Additionally, the program allows students to transfer up to 20 previously earned credits from IU graduate certificate programs. Students who have earned credits from a different accredited college or university may transfer up to 6 credits.

This 100 percent online, consortial program is taught by IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, IU South Bend, and IU Southeast. This consortial model allows you to take coursework from several campuses and learn from a wide range of faculty. 

Degree Requirements

To earn a Master of Liberal Studies, you must complete 34 to 36 credit hours.

Requirements are broken down as follows:

  • Core courses (13 credit hours)
  • Electives/certificates (12-20 credit hours)
  • Capstone experience (3-9 credit hours)

Capstone Experience Options

Traditional Thesis. Original research or analysis encompassing literature from at least two different disciplinary perspectives. The thesis must be written in scholarly format, with the appropriate citation format and extensive references. The literature review developed for the thesis proposal should serve as the initial component of the thesis. Typical thesis length: 50 or more pages.

Creative Project. Students who focus their MLS program on a creative field may complete a creative project for their MLS capstone. Creative work may include writing, art, and performance. The creative work must be accompanied by an explanatory essay encompassing material from at least two different disciplinary perspectives. The essay must be written in scholarly format, with appropriate citation format and appropriate references. The literature review developed for the capstone proposal may serve as the basis of the explanatory essay. Typical length of the explanatory essay: 20 to 35 pages.

Peer-Reviewed Publication. Students may focus their capstone work on a peer-reviewed publication in a professional forum. Examples include articles in professional journals, investigative journalism published in a major newspaper, or a book published by a reputable press. The publication must be accompanied by an explanatory essay encompassing material from at least two different disciplinary perspectives. The essay must be written in scholarly format, with appropriate citation format and appropriate references. The literature review developed for the capstone proposal may serve as the basis of the explanatory essay. Typical length of the explanatory essay: 20 to 35 pages.

Applied Project. Students may focus their capstone project on their current place of employment, internship, or practicum. The applied project should be designed to benefit both the student and the employer and can be focused narrowly on a specific issue or problem relevant to the employer. A complete literature review and an effectively designed methodology will support the value of the project. Typical length: 50 or more pages.

Public Intellectual Capstone Course. The public intellectual option offers students the opportunity to work within a learning community made up of other students and led by a faculty facilitator to explore the variety of media through which public intellectuals communicate. Students create their own portfolio of public intellectual work to be submitted for completion of MLS degree requirements. This option is fulfilled during the course, LBST-D 600, Public Intellectual Practicum.

Support Services

Many online support services are available to students as they progress through the program.

See courses that are being offered this semester. 

Admissions

To be accepted to this program, you must have:
  1. A bachelor's degree
  2. 3.0 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states
To apply to this program:

Complete an online application that includes: 

  • Official transcripts 
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Interview 

Student Services

IU Online provides quick and easy access to tools, tips, and IU resources to help you succeed, including: 

  • Admissions: Personalized application support for the program that is right for you
  • Onboarding: An interactive orientation to online learning and all things IU
  • Student Financial Services: Tailored resources for financial aid and money management
  • Success Coaching: One-on-one support to reach your academic and personal goals
  • Math and Writing Support: Direct access to IU-trained math mentors and writing consultants
  • Career Services: Interactive tools and coaching to accelerate your career
  • Libraries and Research: Online access to IU library resources and research librarians
  • Technology: A full suite of software, collaboration tools, cloud storage, and training
  • 24/7 Contact Center: Real-time chat, email, and phone support direct from IU

Core Courses

Course Credit Hours
LBST-D 510 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies (3 cr.) + Information Literacy (1 cr.) -OR-
LBST-D 510 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies (4 cr.)
4 Credits
LBST-D 501 Humanities Seminar 3 Credits
LBST-D 502 Social Sciences Seminar 3 Credits
LBST-D 503 Science Seminar 3 Credits

Tuition

  • In-state: $250 per credit hour
  • Out of State: $350 per credit hour

Contact Information

Indiana University East
Office of Admissions
Whitewater Hall 116
2325 Chester Boulevard
Richmond, IN 47374-1289

Email: applynow@iue.edu
Phone: 765-973-8208 or toll free 800-959-EAST
Fax: 765-973-8209
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Request Information

Thank you so much for your interest in IU East! Please feel free to contact us with any questions at applynow@iue.edu or (765) 973-8208.
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