2019-2020 Graduate Academic Catalogue 
    May 18, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Academic Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Liberal Studies, MA

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Office: Maryland Hall, Room 351d
Telephone: 410‑617‑2299
Email: liberalstudies@loyola.edu
Website: www.loyola.edu/academic/liberalstudies

Director: Randall P. Donaldson, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures (German)
Director of Program Operations: Louis Hinkle, Affiliate in English

Core Faculty

Professors: Neil Alperstein; Richard P. Boothby; Drew Leader; Graham McAleer; Brian Murray; Thomas Ward
Associate Professors: Randall P. Donaldson; Dale E. Snow; Timothy J. Stapleton

Faculty from a variety of academic departments and specializations, particularly in the humanities, also teach courses in the program.

The graduate program in liberal studies is designed to satisfy a wide variety of student interests. It exists for those whose professional lives demand a greater expertise or a broader knowledge base: teachers who want a graduate degree in a content area and government workers or librarians whose advancement requires further academic work. It also exists for those whose professions demand a greater breadth: business persons, lawyers, physicians, anyone whose education has been so specialized that it did not provide the diversity necessary to an understanding of the complex social and intellectual currents of the time. The program exists for those who are intellectually curious: people from all walks of life who feel the need to examine unexpected aspects of the modern experience just to see what is there and to refine their perspectives. It exists for all who believe that the mind constantly needs to be enriched, to be challenged to see new things, or to see old things in new ways.

Because of its convictions, the program blends the traditional with the innovative. It is traditional in that it is a graduate program which emphasizes the academic rigor long associated with a graduate school and with the Jesuit traditions of Loyola University Maryland. It is innovative in that the traditional graduate emphasis upon depth of focus and research has been replaced by an emphasis upon breadth of reading and study.

The graduate program in liberal studies challenges students to continue their journey as citizens who: interact energetically and creatively with a changing world; grow in their awareness of cultural tendencies; cultivate their analytical and communication skills to reach their full potential; develop and expand a commitment to others; attain a broader perspective on contemporary problems and opportunities; and become, in the Jesuit ideal central to Loyola's educational mission, men and women for others.

Grounded in a core commitment to the liberal arts and sciences central to the University's mission, the graduate program in liberal studies aims to liberate in the classic sense of that term. It reaches out to those who want a rich and satisfying intellectual experience, as well as enhancement of their analytical and communication skills. Its subject matter is the whole spectrum of the modern American experience, as well as the roots of that experience as we discover them in other times and cultures. Areas of study include, but are not limited to, literature, business, economics, the arts, politics, philosophy, science, sociology, intellectual and social history. Although the program is not practitioner-oriented and does not inevitably lead to a doctorate, liberal studies graduates often discover career benefits-in the development of the Jesuit ideal eloquentia perfecta-as well as personal satisfaction and enrichment.

Classes are held on the Baltimore, Columbia, and Timonium Campuses. Inquiries and questions can be sent to liberalstudies@loyola.edu.

Learning Aims

The graduate program in liberal studies operates within the framework of the University's larger educational mission which seeks intellectual excellence by educating the whole person-the hallmark of Jesuit education. The program seeks to liberate in the classic sense of that term. Its primary aim is to deliver a rich and satisfying intellectual experience in an environment that respects a broad spectrum of cultural traditions and nurtures the development of strong analytical and communication skills. Although the learning aims of individual courses will likely differ in their specifics, each will address the overarching educational aims, namely to foster and develop: eloquentia perfecta, i.e., precision in oral and written communication; critical acumen in thinking, reading, and analyzing; appreciation for and understanding of the diversity of the human experience; and the promotion of justice.

Admission Criteria

This program is no longer accepting applications.

Loyola welcomes graduates from accredited undergraduate or graduate institutions of higher learning who demonstrate the ability to contribute to the intellectual atmosphere of a seminar-based degree program. In view of the broad nature of the program, no specific undergraduate major is required or preferred.

At the discretion of the department, applications will continue to be reviewed after the deadline on a space available basis. The Admission Committee considers most favorably those graduates who maintained at least a B (3.000) average during the final two years of college. Students who have been accepted will be notified in writing and assigned an advisor to help them work out a program of study. While students may be accepted after an application deadline has passed, course availability cannot be guaranteed.

Detailed admission information (application procedures, required documents, deadlines, etc.) can be found under Admission .

Credits Required

Two curricular options exist for students in liberal studies. Under the first option, students take all 12 courses in the liberal studies program. The remaining option permits students to "import" as many as six credits, or two classes toward the degree. The director's prior written approval is required for all courses outside the liberal studies program.

The option of taking courses outside the liberal studies program may be exercised in any one, or any combination, of the following ways:

  • graduate-level courses completed prior to admission to Loyola
  • graduate-level courses in Loyola College programs other than liberal studies
  • graduate-level courses in Loyola's School of Education

All students must complete at least 10 courses or 30 credits within Loyola's liberal studies program. No more than six credit hours in total from courses outside the program or outside the University will count toward the Loyola Master of Arts (MA) in Liberal Studies. Students must have completed nine credits in liberal studies courses before they are eligible to request the transfer of prior graduate credits or to register for a course outside of liberal studies.

Special topics courses are permitted only very late in the student's program of studies when the student has a well-developed research plan in mind and has discussed it with a faculty member, who has agreed to monitor it. The capstone project option encourages students to engage in extended, cross-disciplinary research and present a sustained composition and a public presentation as the final course in the program.

Degree Requirements

A limited number of courses will be offered to currently enrolled students through Spring 2020. The program will terminate at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

The program is centered around three themes. At least one course from each of the segments is required for graduation.

Historical Approaches

Courses numbered 600-639 and 700-729. The courses in this segment are essentially historical in nature. They emphasize the origin, evolution, and development of ideas and movements crucial to the modern American experience.

Themes in the Modern Experience

Courses numbered 640-669 and 730-759. The courses in this segment are organized around the structure of an institution or an idea. They concentrate on central characteristics of the idea or institution and ways in which these elements contribute to the uniqueness and relevance of the idea or institution.

Creative Process

Courses numbered 670-699 and 760-789. The courses of this segment stress the importance of students discovering their own forms of expression. Emphasis is on the communication of ideas. Traditional research is encouraged, but students are also given the opportunity to employ film, paint, and other media.

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