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Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies


Clayton State University Master of Arts in Liberal Studies College of Arts & Sciences 2000 Clayton State Boulevard Morrow, GA 30260-0285 (678) 466-4730 (678) 466-4899 (fax)

Inquiries: Dr. Patricia Smith, Professor of English, 205-K Arts and Sciences Bldg (678) 466-4730


Each student will complete 36 semester hours of MALS coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. At least 30 of these credits must be taken at Clayton State University. In their first semester, it is recommended that students take the required MALS 5000 Introduction to Graduate Studies course (3 hrs.). Also, in this and subsequent semesters, additional courses (9 hrs.) will provide all students with a selected background in Art, Literature, Math, Music, and Philosophy. Each student will also select an academic area of focus or concentration (18 hrs.). Students may select from one of five (5) areas currently available in this degree program: English, History, Liberal Arts, Math, or Philosophy. Students have two options (6 hrs.) in completing the program: The Capstone Thesis or Non-Thesis Option.


Summary Degree Requirements:

  • 36 graduate credits, including:
    • 3 credits in Introduction to Graduate Studies
    • 9 credits in interdisciplinary foundational seminars
    • 18 credits in an area of concentration
    • 6 credits in final thesis or non-thesis option

Plan of Study

MALS 5000 Introduction to Graduate Studies (3 hrs.) and

Choose 3 of the following courses (9 hrs.)

ART 5000 Great Works in Art History (3-0-3)

ENGL 5000 Great Books (3-0-3) MATH 5000 History of Mathematics (3-0-3) MUSC 5000 Great Works in Musical History (3-0-3) PHIL 5000 Classics of Philosophy (3-0-3)  
Choose 1 Academic Concentration* (18 hrs.)
*If you want a mixture of courses, then your concentration will be Liberal Arts. If you want to specialize in one subject area, then choose 6 courses (18 credit hours) from 1 of these disciplines. The MALS program allows students to create their own plan of study.
English History Math Philosophy Liberal Arts


The Capstone Experience

Candidates for the MA in Liberal Studies have two options in order to satisfy the final requirement for the degree:

Non-Thesis (6 hrs.)

The “Non-Thesis” option is available to candidates in all concentrations. Candidates who choose this option must take two additional courses from any of the areas of concentration (or MALS 6890 and MALS 6899) and must also either: a) present a paper at a local, state, regional, national or international conference or b) must submit or have an article accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. Students selecting this option must also pass a comprehensive exam of major coursework prepared by a committee comprised of four MALS faculty.

Thesis (6 hrs.)

Candidates in any one of the areas of concentration may choose to write a thesis. The thesis is a scholarly work that is central in the graduate tradition.