May 19, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Historical Inquiry Concentration (MALS)

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33 Credit hours

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree is an interdisciplinary program in the liberal arts and sciences that emphasizes information literacy, cultural and data literacy and effective communication skills to enable students to apply analytical skills and content knowledge effectively in diverse situations.

Graduate Studies Admission Criteria and Application Process

Refer to the Admission  section of the bulletin for information about Graduate Studies admission criteria and the online application process.

MALS Program Admission Requirements

As part of the Graduate Studies application process, applicants to the MALS program also must submit the following:

  • A current resume that includes the names and contact information (including emails) of three references (former professors, employers, or others who know the applicant well)
  • A well-written letter of intent describing how the applicant’s career goals are related to or enhanced by the MALS program (500 word maximum)

Admission Deadline

Two weeks prior to the start of the semester.

MALS Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree requires 33 credit hours of graduate-level work. Students must maintain a grade average of B (3.0) or better in the program. No course with a grade lower than C (2.0) will be counted toward the degree.

In addition to the required core courses, students will either complete an individual program of study or select a concentration that best aligns with their personal/career goals.

All students must complete a capstone experience. The program director will work with the student in developing a coherent course of study, including helping the student decide on the appropriate capstone experience.

MALS Core Courses (12 hours)

The core courses are required of all students. At least three of the four core courses must be completed with a grade of B or better. Each core course focuses on a graduate-level introduction to that way of thinking. The rigor of the course will be in keeping with a graduate-level seminar, while also remaining accessible to students whose past academic work is from a different area.

Historical Inquiry Concentration

The Historical Inquiry concentration is designed to provide students with training and knowledge in historical studies at the graduate level in preparation for careers in teaching, museums, historic sites, historical organizations, and historical authorship. It provides high school history teachers in Indiana the requisite number of graduate hours in history (18 hours) and the Master’s degree required for certification to teach dual credit or AP courses.

Electives + Capstone Experience (select one option)

    Electives (12 hours) + Capstone Portfolio (3 hours)

  • Complete 12 credit hours of 500/600-level electives, with a minimum of 9 credit hours in history (HIST prefix)
  • Complete HIST 695 - Capstone: Portfolio  

    Electives (9 hours) + Capstone Thesis/Project (6 hours)

MALS Capstone Experience

Capstone Portfolio (3 hours)

Students choosing this capstone experience will enroll in a Capstone Portfolio course once they have completed a minimum of 27 hours in the program. Students will create a portfolio that will be reviewed by the program director and a minimum of two graduate faculty. The student will select artifacts from courses taken in the MALS program that best demonstrate their competency in the areas of the core curriculum: 1) Information literacy and research; 2) data literacy; 3) cultural literacy; and 4) effective communication. No more than two of these artifacts may come from core curriculum courses. The portfolio will include a cover letter, resume, extended reflective essay synthesizing their work in the program, plan for continuing career or personal development or community engagement, and the selected artifacts. A committee composed of the program director and two graduate faculty members will review the portfolio and interview the candidate.

Capstone Project or Thesis (6 hours)

About midway through the program, students selecting this capstone experience will propose a project/thesis topic and have that topic approved by the program director. Students who have completed a minimum of 24 graduate hours may enroll in the first capstone project/thesis course, where they will focus on project planning and design of a substantial independent project/thesis that is of graduate quality and sophistication. Students will create a formal project or thesis proposal, bibliography (if appropriate), and timeline for completion; they will also provide evidence that they have access to required collections, venues, or organizations, and, if necessary, will show that they meet IRB requirements. Upon successful completion of the first capstone project/thesis course, students may enroll in the second capstone project/thesis course, where they will complete the proposed project or thesis under the direction of a graduate advisor. A completed capstone project must contain a tangible final project (summary report, recording, museum installation, script, computer program, etc.), while a completed thesis must meet standards of scholarship commensurate with a sustained, original investigation at the graduate level. Final projects and theses will be reviewed by the faculty advisor and a minimum of two other graduate faculty members chosen by the student and the faculty advisor with the approval of the program director.

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