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  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

    Ohio Dominican's commitment "to contemplate the Truth and to share the fruits of that contemplation" is realized in all the University‘s programs, but especially in the foundation of these programs, the liberal arts, which historically have prized the study of knowledge for its own sake. The critical thinking and communication skills developed by a graduate liberal arts education will serve students well in their careers, but a liberal arts education at ODU provides more than professional training: the MALS program envisions the formation of the whole person as a thinking and self-aware individual, with a dignity and value not based on economic utility but on the individual‘s capacity to wonder, to reason, and to analyze. As the late Pope John Paul II has written, students at a Catholic university "are challenged to pursue an education that combines excellence in humanistic and cultural development with specialized professional training."


    Admission policies and procedures for all graduate academic programs of Ohio Dominican University are the responsibility of the Graduate Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee (GCAP). Admission to the program is the decision of the Program Director and the Master of Education Graduate Admissions Committee who review and evaluate all applications. In the case of applicants who do not satisfy the general requirements for admission to the program, the program faculty will decide on the merit of such cases.

    For admission to the M. A. in Liberal Studies Program, students must:

    • Have an earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. 
    • Have earned an undergraduate grade point average of 3.000 or higher. 
    • Complete an Application for Admission. 
    • Submit official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended. 
    • Submit three letters of recommendation. 
    • Submit an autobiographical essay (3 to 5 pages), which address the characteristics of a liberally educated person - specifically, how those characteristics are manifested in the applicant's own life and pursuits.

    Students seeking admission to the Master of Art in Liberal Studies, who do not have an approved liberal arts major, may be admitted on the recommendation of the director of the program. 

    Graduation Requirements

    • Students must complete all courses with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
    • Students must complete their program within seven (7) years of acceptance. 
    • Students must sucessfully complete at least thirty-two hours of graduate credit.

    Curriculum for the M. A. in Liberal Studies

    The graduate program in liberal studies is designed to make connections between the study of the liberal arts and the lifelong journey toward becoming fully human. This is accomplished through the rigorous study of past and present attempts to understand the human spirit. Students are encouraged to craft and pursue their own intellectual goals within the program framework. Our small, interdisciplinary seminars involve the rigorous study of primary sources and theory, both historical and contemporary. As such they include significant research that demonstrates independent critical thinking, critical reading, clear and concise writing, and the mastering of the historical overview of their subjects.

    The Program Framework

    The MALS degree at Ohio Dominican provides graduate students with a distinctly Dominican education. The program of study is grouped into interdisciplinary categories that suggest the university‘s Dominican legacy: the contemplative life, the commitment to community and social justice, and the pursuit of truth.

    Students complete their degree requirements in two phases: first, through a sequence of core courses, and then, by choosing a thesis or non-thesis track. The following chart outlines the way in which MALS courses are grouped*.


    Group  Description Courses that Fulfull this Pilar

    Required: 3 credits 
    This course should be taken as soon as possible once the student is admitted to the program.

    LST 514 Graduate Writing and Research 
    The Self    

    Elective: 3 credits

    The unexamined life  is not worth living .                             
    LST 525 Art in Contemporary Culture
    LST 568 The Novel
    LST 580 Poetry
    LST 592 Music and Culture
    Community Elective: 3 credits

    We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand
    fibers connect us with our fellow man.                   
    -Herman Melville
    LST 521 Art and Our World
    LST 530 Love and Society
    LST 531 History, Ideas, Values
    LST 542 Magnificent Manifestos
    LST 605 Studies in World Literature
    Justice Elective: 3 credits

    How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before waiting to improve the world.                         
    -Anne Frank
    LST 532 Human Rights
    LST 538 Socio-Cultural Theory
    LST 565 Cinema
    LST 570 Democracy

    Elective: 3 credits

    Truth is the beginning of every good to the gods, and of every good to  man.                                   

    LST 501 Philosophical Found of Theology
    LST 512 Exploring the Liberal Arts
    LST 520 The Book of Art
    LST 541 The Search for Happiness
    LST 590 Drama
    Thesis and
    Independent Study 
    These courses are meant to be taken after a student has completed 15 credits. LST 586 Independent Study
    LST 625 Graduate Thesis

    *Courses in each grouping will rotate, and occasionally special topics courses will be offered. Some courses will share lecture time with upper-level undergraduate courses while retaining their own graduate learning outcomes. Every effort is made to publicize two-year course rotations. Consult the program director or your advisor.


    Declaring a Track

    Once a student has completed the degree's core courses (15 credits distributed among the required and elective courses above), the student must declare an intention to complete the degree along one of two tracks: 
    Thesis Track 
    The Thesis Track requires the completion of an additional 12-15 credits from elective courses in the core, plus 3-6 credits that constitute the student‘s thesis.

    •  A student who wishes to spread the thesis work over the course of two semesters should plan to take an additional 12 elective credits, plus LST 586 (Independent Study) and 625 (Graduate Thesis). In LST 586, the student will work closely with a thesis adviser to lay the foundation, research, and planning for the thesis. LST 625 will constitute the actual writing of the thesis. (LST 586 and LST 625 cannot be taken in the same semester.)
    • A student who wishes to complete the thesis in one semester should plan to take an additional 15 elective credits, plus LST 625. 

    Seminar Track
    The Seminar Track requires the completion of an additional 18 credits or elective courses. Upon declaring this track, the student must also choose a faculty advisor. The student and faculty advisor work together to determine an appropriately cohesive sequence of electives.