A Customizable Master’s Degree Opens Doors for Students Passions and Interests

Master's degreeA customizable master’s degree program at Excelsior College is one tailored to fit the academic and personal needs of adult students. A Master of Arts in Liberal Studies opens up doors to students following their own passions and interests. Thesis topics are developed using two or more liberal studies disciplines. For example, a student might like to study a specific historical or military event from the perspectives of how it affected social structures and psychology in various countries. Eight week classes are offered six times a year to fit nicely with the work schedule of adults.

Dr. Tracy M. Caldwell, program director and faculty advisor for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies said, “I had a student who focused on Yiddish literature and the history of the figure of the Golem.” Caldwell continues, “Students can also write a creative thesis which would include original writing in the form of a novella, short stories, an original screen play, music or artwork accompanied by a research paper to explain how they developed their topic.”

Two examples of thesis papers include, “Child Abuse Victims and Combat Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Commonalities in Symptoms, Treatment, Effectiveness, and the Role of New Technologies” and “ Social Networking and the News: Many Eyeballs and the Wisdom of the Crowds Fuel a New Communications Revolution”.

“We have many classes that can support various thesis topics. The degree is so customizable that students can also transfer in classes or create their own classes,” Caldwell said. Students can also work directly with a PhD subject matter expert as an independent study.

To explain how a customizable master’s degree works, students are required to complete core classes. Afterwards, students choose a thesis topic and write a degree completion plan. The next four classes are customized to their topic. Students can also transfer in previously earned credits from a regionally accredited college or university.

The disciplines that fit in Liberal Arts include literature, psychology, sociology, women’s studies, economics, history, philosophy, gender studies and many more. Some recent projects include a creative thesis based in postmodern existentialist screen writing, the first of a series of science fiction fantasy young adult novels detailing a future affected deeply by climate changes as well as a novella exploring the effect of the aging process on relationships, economic status and life choices.

It is important to note, graduate level classes require a fair amount of writing and critical thinking skills. Excelsior College helps foster these skills throughout the program starting with the first class called graduate research and writing. In each class, students work with professors to hone their writing skills, so they are well prepared when they enter the thesis stage.

Keep in mind, there some courses everyone has to take to earn a customized master’s degree. However, a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, can help students further a passion for learning by exploring topics important to them. With this degree, students improve personally and professionally in writing, communication and critical thinking skills.  Completing a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies can provide a better understanding of both the world and people around you.

Additional information:

Please join Dr. Caldwell, this Thursday, September 19th at 5:30 pm for a Live Chat as she explains how a  customizable master’s degree program  can be tailored to fit the academic and personal needs of adult students. To register, visit link.

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