Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) Degree

Program Learning Outcomes for the MLS Degree 

Upon completing the MLS degree, students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate major perspectives and methods of the liberal arts by demonstrating a broadened understanding of some basic concepts in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.
  2. Appreciate the connection of the liberal arts to their lives and the larger world.
  3. Demonstrate a capacity for analytical thinking.
  4. Demonstrate good writing skills.
  5. Practice critical listening and good discussion and oral communication skills.
  6. Demonstrate academic research methods.

Requirements for the MLS Degree

The MLS degree is a non-thesis master's degree. For general university requirements, see Non-Thesis Master's Degrees. For additional requirements, regulations, and procedures for all graduate programs, please see All Graduate Students. Students pursuing the MLS degree must complete:

  • A minimum of 11-12 courses (33-36 credit hours) to satisfy degree requirements.
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate-level study (coursework at the 500-level or above).
  • A minimum of 24 credit hours must be taken at Rice University.
  • A minimum residency enrollment of one fall or spring semester of part-time graduate study at Rice University.
  • A minimum overall GPA of 2.67 or higher in all Rice coursework.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00 or higher in all Rice coursework that satisfies requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree.

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this degree program. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the program's academic advisor, or where applicable, the department or program's Director of Graduate Studies. Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the department or program's Official Certifier. Additionally, these must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the MLS Degree33-36

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements
MLSC 600INTRODUCTION TO GRADUATE RESEARCH, ANALYSIS AND EXPOSITION 13
Select 1 course from each of the following fields (see course lists below): 29
Humanities
Social Sciences
Natural Science
Elective Requirements
Select 6 elective courses from MLSC course offerings at the 500-level or 600-level 318
Capstone
Select 1 from the following: 43-6
CAPSTONE I
and CAPSTONE II
CAPSTONE II
Total Credit Hours33-36

Footnotes and Additional Information

Course Lists to Satisfy Requirements

Core Requirements

Humanities
Select 1 course from the following:3
THE SHAPING OF WESTERN THOUGHT
SHAKESPEARE AND FILM
MUSIC AND OTHER ARTS: COLLABORATION AND FUSION
MODERN DRAMA ON FILM AND IN PERFORMANCE
CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES
SELF-DETERMINATION IN ARAB WORLD
"PLEASE SIR, I WANT SOME MORE": DICKENS, OLIVER TWIST, POVERTY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
TRADITIONAL CHINESE CULTURE AND ITS MODERN LEGACY
PROFILES FROM THE PAST: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY
IMMIGRATION AND THE STATE: EUROPE AND THE US IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
HUMAN RIGHTS, GENDER EQUALITY AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
THE EPIC JOURNEY
THE CITY IN LITERATURE
WRITING LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN
WINDOW TO THE SOUL: EXPLORING RELIGION AND ETHNICITY THROUGH MUSIC
PROFILES FROM THE PAST II: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY SET IN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONTEXT
COMPARATIVE IMPERIAL PLEASURE GARDENS: POWER AND LANDSCAPE
PROFILES FROM THE PAST III: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY
MY FAVORITE NOVELS - AND GREAT FILMS MADE FROM THEM
THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
HEAVEN AND HELL: FROM DANTE TO MILTON AND BEYOND
EARLY MODERN ISLAMIC WORLD: ART AND EMPIRE
ENVIRONMENTAL LITERATURE
WOMEN IN SOUTHERN LITERATURE
HISTORY OF SOUTH ASIA: THE ORIGINS OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN
MUSIC AND MEDIEVALISM
Social Sciences
Select 1 course from the following:3
STEREOTYPES, PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION
PSYCHOLOGY OF BELIEFS
THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PUNISHMENT
CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES
SELF-DETERMINATION IN ARAB WORLD
HUMAN RIGHTS IN WORLD AFFAIRS
"PLEASE SIR, I WANT SOME MORE": DICKENS, OLIVER TWIST, POVERTY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
TRADITIONAL CHINESE CULTURE AND ITS MODERN LEGACY
IMMIGRATION AND THE STATE: EUROPE AND THE US IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
HUMAN RIGHTS, GENDER EQUALITY AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
COMPARATIVE IMPERIAL PLEASURE GARDENS: POWER AND LANDSCAPE
THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
EARLY MODERN ISLAMIC WORLD: ART AND EMPIRE
HISTORY OF SOUTH ASIA: THE ORIGINS OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN
Natural Science
Select 1 course from the following:3
OUR ENVIRONMENT: SCIENCE AND CULTURE
THE SOLAR SYSTEM, THE SUN AND THE MIND OF MAN
EARTH SYSTEMS DYNAMICS
DNA: HUMAN IDENTITY AND ORIGINS
SCIENCE IN THE FIRST PERSON
PLAGUES AND POPULATIONS
THE GRAND DESIGN
OUR CHANGING PLANET
IS ANYBODY OUT THERE: THE SEARCH FOR LIFE BEYOND EARTH
THE ROLE OF CHEMISTRY IN HISTORY
MODERN ASTRONOMY AND OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE
CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY
SOLVING THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE
EVOLUTION AND SOCIETY
EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY IN ANTARCTICA

Policies for the MLS Degree

Department of Liberal Studies Graduate Handbook

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. As an additional resource for students, Liberal Studies publishes a graduate program handbook, which can be found here: https://gradhandbooks.rice.edu/2019_20/Liberal_Studies_Graduate_Handbook.pdf

Admission

Admission to graduate study is open to qualified students holding a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college. A minimum GPA of 3.00 from the applicant’s undergraduate work is expected. Additionally, a statement of purpose, resume, writing samples, letters of recommendation, and work experience will be evaluated as part of the admissions decision. 

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Liberal Studies website: https://glasscock.rice.edu/departments/graduate-liberal-studies/

Opportunities for the MLS Degree

Association of Graduate Liberal Studies National Honor Society 

MLS graduates who earn a 3.75 GPA or higher and have demonstrated leadership in the classroom and in the greater community are eligible for nomination to the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies National Honor Society. 

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Liberal Studies website: https://glasscock.rice.edu/departments/graduate-liberal-studies/