Two Exciting New Concentrations for the Master’s in Liberal Studies

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program is excited to announce two new optional concentrations.  In addition to the highly customizable general MALS degree, students may now select the concentrations Liberal Studies in Leadership or Contemporary World History and Politics.  Each of these concentrations consists of 3 classes (9 credits) taken during Tier II of the program combined with MALS core courses and relevant electives.


Why Study Leadership from a Liberal Arts Perspective?

As any organizational leader can tell you, leadership is an all-encompassing field of study.  Leaders need to understand the organizations that they work for and the businesses they are in. But more than anything else they must understand people—how to communicate with them, organize them, relate to them, motivate them, inspire them, persuade them, mentor them, empower them … the list goes on and on.  Understanding people is at the heart of the liberal arts and sciences, and studying the liberal arts provides a solid foundation for all of these essential leadership functions.

Students in the Liberal Studies in Leadership concentration will gain high-level research and writing skills, they will learn about cultural diversity and develop the ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds.  They will examine some of the “Big Ideas” that have shaped the contemporary world, while developing their own philosophy of leadership.  And they will immerse themselves in the latest social science research on topics such as organizational culture, community, education, and employee empowerment.  They will round out their degrees with specialized business or public administration courses tailored to their own personal and professional needs.

Research by the job market analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies shows that today’s employers are looking for leaders with exactly this blend of broad liberal arts education—with its focus on “baseline skills”—and applied training tailored to specific job functions (Burning Glass Technologies, 2015). Liberal Studies in Leadership students get the best of both worlds.


Why Study Contemporary World History and Politics?

As globalization has made the world smaller, it has become more important than ever to understand what is going on outside our nation’s borders. The global economy is more interconnected than at any previous point in world history.  Multinational corporations operate on nearly every continent, and even small businesses work with vendors and clients overseas.  Today’s workers need a global perspective to do their jobs. 

America is becoming a multicultural nation populated with people from all around the globe—the world has literally come to us in our neighborhoods, cities, school, and businesses. If we want to understand these changes and the people around us, we must broaden our horizons to encompass the whole world.

The United States has become deeply immersed in global conflicts, including the war on terror. Plotting effective strategies to address these conflicts requires knowledge of what is going on in the wider world.  And these strategies can only succeed if we are capable of understanding and cooperating with global partners.

In our schools and universities, world history and global studies have become essential parts of the curriculum. Teachers today need to know about more than just Europe and its colonies, especially if they are going to prepare their students for the new realities of a globalized world.

Students in the Contemporary World History and Politics concentration will sharpen their research and writing skills, they will learn to understand and appreciate perspectives from other cultures, and they will gain an in-depth understanding of the historical and political forces that shape the world in which we live.  They can customize their study with elective courses on topics ranging from business leadership to education to area studies.  Contemporary World History and Politics graduates will be well positioned for PhD programs in related fields, for teaching related courses at the PreK-12 level, and for work in the military, security and diplomacy, and global business sectors.  In short, they will be prepared for the new realities of the twenty-first century.


For more information about the M.A. in Liberal Studies, including these concentrations, contact the MALS advisor at or Graduate Admissions at




Burning Glass Technologies. (2015) The human factor. Retrieved from


Image Credits:


Ffaalumni. (Nov. 26, 2011). Business man shows success abstract flow chart [Illustration].  Retrieved from Flickr. License: CC BY-ND 2.0


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