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A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited school, or its foreign equivalent, is required for entry into the program, as is an admissions essay that demonstrates your understanding of the program and how you will personally benefit from it. Instructions for writing the essay are included on the application form.
Your application will be evaluated by the MA in Liberal Studies Admissions Committee, which is chaired by the Program Director. The admissions essay is the primary means by which your preparedness for graduate-level study will be evaluated. The following considerations will guide the admissions committee in its assessment of your essay:
The cost of the program varies, depending on how many eligible graduate credits you have earned prior to enrollment. If you use credit from other institutions to meet requirements, you will pay those institutions for the credit, not Excelsior College. You should budget for tuition, fees, and books for tier I courses and, where necessary, for tier II courses as well. You may also incur research expenses for tier III. Detailed information is available on the Graduate Fee Schedule (PDF).
Several financial aid and financing opportunities are available to assist you with the cost of earning the masters in liberal studies degree. The staff of our financial aid office encourages you to take advantage of these benefits and will help you understand the various requirements and eligibility standards for financial aid. Please contact them by phone at 855-323-9235 (toll free). Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you are accepted into the program and make your first tuition payment, you may begin taking courses. However, you are not considered enrolled and cannot receive academic advising until you pay the graduate student fee.
The Degree Completion Plan is a document that you will prepare at the conclusion of the Tier I core courses. In it you will explain how you plan to earn credit for Tier II of the program. Also, in the reflective essay which is part of the plan, you will examine the interdisciplinary relationships among the components of your proposed program of study. You must show how your Tier I and II coursework relates to your area of focus and lays the groundwork for your thesis (Tier III). In addition to the DCP Guidelines, samples are available for guidance. It is important to note that it is at the time that you submit the DCP that your proposed transfer credit, if any, is approved, not at the time of admission.
An Independent Learning Contract (ILC) is a written agreement between you and Excelsior College regarding an independent study project you wish to undertake to earn credit to satisfy Tier II requirements. You are not required to complete an ILC; it is an option that is available to you. Your Independent Learning Contract must be related to your area of focus. A faculty member will be assigned to you and will serve as your mentor on the project.
Up to 15 graduate-level credits from regionally accredited institutions, with grades of B- or better, may apply toward the program, pending advisor approval at the time of the Degree Completion Plan (DCP). A maximum of 3 credits can apply to Tier I , while Tier II can accept a maximum of 12 credits in transfer. Please review the degree requirement chart (PDF) . It is important for you to submit official transcripts for all courses to be considered for transfer. Certain conditions apply. Consult your advisor for guidance.
How long it will take you to complete the program depends on the credits you may have earned previously which may apply to the program. It also depends on your level of discipline and ability to focus on your studies. Because most MA in Liberal Studies students are working adults, we estimate that most students will complete the program in less than three years, but you will have six years from the date you enroll to complete the program.
No. Only graduate-level credits apply toward the program.
Not for admission to the program, but a minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for graduation. Also only courses with a grade of B or better will be accepted for transfer. "Plus" and "minus" grades are not used at Excelsior College, so grades of B+ and B- are both computed as a B.
Does the MA in Liberal Studies degree meet state licensing or certification requirements in my field?
The MA in Liberal Studies program may support your career objectives if you are seeking licensing or certification, depending on the requirements in your state. However, depending on your state’s regulations, it may not. Please consult licensing/certifying bodies in your state for confirmation of whether or not the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree will serve your purposes.
The goal of the MA in Liberal Studies program is to promote the values of liberal learning rather than to provide vocational or professional training or specific preparation for Ph.D. programs. Of course, completion of this or any other program does not guarantee acceptance into another graduate degree program, but graduates of MA in Liberal Studies programs are accepted into Ph.D. programs regularly.