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.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00 in required coursework.

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.) 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

Core Requirements

Humanities
Select 1 course from the following:
MLSC 501THE SHAPING OF WESTERN THOUGHT3
MLSC 505SHAKESPEARE AND FILM3
MLSC 510MUSIC AND OTHER ARTS: COLLABORATION AND FUSION3
MLSC 517MODERN DRAMA ON FILM AND IN PERFORMANCE3
MLSC 526CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES3
MLSC 533SELF-DETERMINATION IN ARAB WORLD3
MLSC 535"PLEASE SIR, I WANT SOME MORE": DICKENS, OLIVER TWIST, POVERTY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE3
MLSC 536TRADITIONAL CHINESE CULTURE AND ITS MODERN LEGACY3
MLSC 537PROFILES FROM THE PAST: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY3
MLSC 539IMMIGRATION AND THE STATE: EUROPE AND THE US IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE3
MLSC 541HUMAN RIGHTS, GENDER EQUALITY AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS3
MLSC 542THE EPIC JOURNEY3
MLSC 543THE CITY IN LITERATURE3
MLSC 544WRITING LITERATURE FOR CHILDREN3
MLSC 545WINDOW TO THE SOUL: EXPLORING RELIGION AND ETHNICITY THROUGH MUSIC3
MLSC 547PROFILES FROM THE PAST II: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY3
MLSC 548HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY SET IN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONTEXT3
MLSC 549COMPARATIVE IMPERIAL PLEASURE GARDENS: POWER AND LANDSCAPE3
MLSC 551PROFILES FROM THE PAST III: FAMOUS FIGURES IN WESTERN HISTORY3
MLSC 554MY FAVORITE NOVELS - AND GREAT FILMS MADE FROM THEM3
MLSC 555THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION3
MLSC 556HEAVEN AND HELL: FROM DANTE TO MILTON AND BEYOND3
MLSC 557EARLY MODERN ISLAMIC WORLD: ART AND EMPIRE3
MLSC 559ENVIRONMENTAL LITERATURE3
Social Sciences
Select 1 course from the following:
MLSC 509STEREOTYPES, PREJUDICE AND DISCRIMINATION3
MLSC 519PSYCHOLOGY OF BELIEFS3
MLSC 523THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PUNISHMENT3
MLSC 526CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES3
MLSC 533SELF-DETERMINATION IN ARAB WORLD3
MLSC 534HUMAN RIGHTS IN WORLD AFFAIRS3
MLSC 535"PLEASE SIR, I WANT SOME MORE": DICKENS, OLIVER TWIST, POVERTY, AND SOCIAL JUSTICE3
MLSC 536TRADITIONAL CHINESE CULTURE AND ITS MODERN LEGACY3
MLSC 539IMMIGRATION AND THE STATE: EUROPE AND THE US IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE3
MLSC 541HUMAN RIGHTS, GENDER EQUALITY AND RELIGIOUS BELIEFS3
MLSC 549COMPARATIVE IMPERIAL PLEASURE GARDENS: POWER AND LANDSCAPE3
MLSC 555THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION3
MLSC 557EARLY MODERN ISLAMIC WORLD: ART AND EMPIRE3
Natural Science
Select 1 course from the following:3
MLSC 502OUR ENVIRONMENT: SCIENCE AND CULTURE3
MLSC 506THE SOLAR SYSTEM, THE SUN AND THE MIND OF MAN3
MLSC 508EARTH SYSTEMS DYNAMICS3
MLSC 513DNA: HUMAN IDENTITY AND ORIGINS3
MLSC 515SCIENCE IN THE FIRST PERSON3
MLSC 525PLAGUES AND POPULATIONS3
MLSC 532THE GRAND DESIGN3
MLSC 538OUR CHANGING PLANET3
MLSC 540IS ANYBODY OUT THERE: THE SEARCH FOR LIFE BEYOND EARTH3
MLSC 546THE ROLE OF CHEMISTRY IN HISTORY3
MLSC 550MODERN ASTRONOMY AND OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE3
MLSC 552CONSERVING BIODIVERSITY3
MLSC 553SOLVING THE CLIMATE CHALLENGE3
MLSC 558EVOLUTION AND SOCIETY3
MLSC 604EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY IN ANTARCTICA3

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/2018_19/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, though the admissions committee also gives consideration to applicants’ postgraduate experience and recent accomplishments.

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/