Liberal Arts, M.L.A.

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS

About the Program

The Master of Liberal Arts is an interdisciplinary degree that allows students to take courses from a variety of graduate programs in the College of Liberal Arts and elsewhere in the University. Students are encouraged to develop an individual program of study, based on their own interests and objectives and at the direction of the M.L.A. Program Director. Our students are generally working adults who want to grow intellectually by extending their liberal arts education. Some may be seeking to move toward a doctorate and want to prepare themselves for graduate work; others may be interested in changing careers and wish to gain post-baccalaureate experience. The M.L.A. degree might be relevant, for example, for those who want to move into educational administration, library work, public policy, the law, or teaching.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Location: Main, Center City

Students take required and elective courses at the Main and Center City campuses.

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes offered after 4:30 p.m. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Continuous Enrollment: Students must maintain continuous enrollment. When a student knows that s/he will not register for the Fall or Spring term, s/he must submit a "Leave of Absence Request" form, found at http://www.temple.edu/grad/forms/, along with the $25 fee to the M.L.A. administrative office. If a student fails to register for two consecutive terms without submitting Leave of Absence forms, then s/he may be dismissed from the program for non-continuous enrollment.

Interdisciplinary Study: Students are introduced to interdisciplinary thinking through a range of "Topics" courses and encouraged to develop individual programs of study along interdisciplinary lines.

Areas of Specialization: The M.L.A. program draws on faculty from across the range of disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts, with an emphasis on applied humanities, engaging such areas as arts and culture, media studies, public history, and social theory. Students may also choose to concentrate their course of study by taking courses outside of the M.L.A. curriculum.

Job Prospects: While not a professional degree, the M.L.A. degree may be applicable to a wide range of future graduate training and/or employment: from teaching and educational administration to library work; from public policy to arts management; and from government, the law, and public service to private sector work.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may take up to 9 credits of graduate work at Temple University before applying to the program. Coursework may be credited to the M.L.A. degree with approval of the M.L.A. Advisory Committee.

Financing Opportunities: Funding opportunities are not available.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but all application materials must be received by the deadline to be considered for that term. Late applications may be considered for admission.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be requested from individuals who are well positioned to evaluate the applicant's academic abilities and accomplishments as well as potential for graduate study.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: All applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for admission.

Statement of Goals: Approximately 500-1,000 words include your academic and research achievements, your current research interests, and your future career goals.

Standardized Test Scores:
GRE: Not required.

TOEFL: 79 iBT or 550 PBT minimum

Resume: Current academic CV or professional resume required.

Transcripts: An official transcript from each post-secondary institution attended is required.

Transfer Credit: Graduate credits from an accredited institution may be transferred into the M.L.A. program upon approval. The credits must be equivalent to coursework offered at Temple and not older than five years. The grade(s) earned must be a "B" or better in order to transfer. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

MLA 5011Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies3
Three MLA "Topics" courses9
Electives18
Total Credit Hours30

Culminating Events:
Qualifying Paper:
All candidates for the M.L.A. degree are required to write a Qualifying Paper, which is typically 40 to 50 pages in length. It should demonstrate the student's ability to:

  • write analytically on a topic of her/his choice;
  • read, absorb, and evaluate scholarly thought and research; and
  • develop and establish her/his own perspective on the problem being examined.

The Qualifying Paper is submitted for approval to the M.L.A. Advisory Committee or other graduate faculty chosen by the M.L.A. program. Revisions may be requested.

Courses

MLA 5011. Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

This course introduces students to interdisciplinary graduate studies and to cultural analysis by looking at the kinds of questions that can best be answered through an interdisciplinary approach and with various available methodologies. Taking American culture as its primary focus, students read texts in areas such as Visual Culture, American Studies, Women's Studies, and the Arts and Society. Topics include, for example: cultural representations of gender and sexualities, and of race and "whiteness"; the social construction of space and place; technology and its construction of identity; boundaries of culture and consumption (high, low, middlebrow); museums and cultural memory.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

MLA 5082. Independent Study. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

Students who wish to enroll for Independent Study must submit a proposal written under the direction of a faculty member who will supervise the student's work. This proposal must be submitted the semester before the Independent Study is to take place. The proposal should describe the project, indicate a) works to be read, b) frequency of student-instructor meetings, c) student writing to be produced, and d) means of student evaluation.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5110. Topics in the Arts and American Culture. 3 Credit Hours.

This course explores the relationship between the arts and American culture, with an emphasis on how music, literature, and visual arts have reflected social, political, and intellectual concerns. The levels of art, from high to middlebrow to popular, will also be considered, with attention to the cross influences from one to the other, and the question of audience.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5120. Topics in Cultural Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines topics relating to popular culture, media, and advertising, with an emphasis on how cultural representations reflect social and political interests. The approach embraces various competing disciplines (e.g., literature, anthropology, philosophy) at the intersection of aesthetics and politics.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5130. Topics in Visual Culture. 3 Credit Hours.

An exploration of photography, film, television, and other visual media, in terms of the ways they interpret the world. Some of the issues considered will be: What are the elements of the visual? How are race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality represented in the media? How do visual media interact with one another?

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5140. Topics in Performance Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

Performance Studies encompasses dance, theater, and mixed media theatrical presentations, from street theater to happenings to public ritual. The course targets specific topics ranging from historical studies to the contemporary.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5150. Topics in Gender Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

The changing constructions of gender are the subject of this course which will explore such topics as representations of masculinity; feminist theory and the academy; the sexual revolution; society and homosexuality.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5160. Topics in Environmental Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

This course explores a wide range of environmental issues and the various factors that define those issues, encompassing physical, economic, political, demographic, and ethical considerations. Possible topics include groundwater contamination, suburban sprawl, river basin management, environmental justice, and the greening of abandoned urban spaces. It may also include an examination of the cultural meaning of the environment and its representation in art and literature.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5171. Intellectual Heritage, MLA. 3 Credit Hours.

This course may focus on a number of diverse topics depending on the instructor: e.g., the Greek foundations of modern thought; the religious texts that provide an important underpinning for Western Civilization; the Enlightenment commitment to reason, science, and the essential goodness and individuality of man; Romanticism and its emphasis on feelings and the imagination; great thinkers of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty first centuries.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

MLA 5180. Ways of Seeing. 3 Credit Hours.

Our educational system tends to neglect the visual world, despite our growing dependence on pictorial and visual information. Using methods from anthropology, psychology, communications theory, and art history, this course will explore nonverbal communication, the built environment, photography, film, and television as culturally conditioned symbolic systems.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5190. Topics in Modernism. 3 Credit Hours.

Modernism was not a single movement but a multiplicity of cultural changes involving issues of perception, identity, memory, culture, and the nature of modernity itself. This course explores the terrain of culture and the arts (e.g., film, art, literature, Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism) within the context of historical and technological change.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5210. Topics in Political Culture. 3 Credit Hours.

Public policy has often emerged out of a combination of legal struggle, political negotiation, private wealth, and public interest groups. This course focuses on American political culture, including such topics as civil rights, the conservative right vs. the left, government by plutocracy, national health care, the rights of the poor, and the fate of the middle class.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5220. Topics in Urban Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

This course explores the way cities have been formed and continue to be formed in relation to parks and neighborhoods, suburbs, and regions. The emphasis is on the way urban culture is shaped through the design of space, architectural form, and through urban planning.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5230. Topics in International Studies. 3 Credit Hours.

After World War II, with the independence of formerly colonial nations, a new world of independent nation states evolved, torn between the pressures of ethnic culture, global communications, and international economies. This course explores issues of cultural identity and cultural conflict, as they surface in literature and film, in global tourism, in efforts at global cooperation and global competition.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 5250. Topics in Science, Technology, and Culture. 3 Credit Hours.

The impact of science and technology on culture has been pervasive and can be measured in terms of social life and habits, the environment, the arts, and politics. Emphasizing the last hundred years, this course examines some of the more significant changes in science and technology, from the automobile to computers, and explores the ways the individual and society have been redefined.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 8021. Foundations of Modern Thought I. 3 Credit Hours.

This course explores the foundations of modern thought by examining the essential elements of the intellectual and literary traditions of world cultures, from ancient times to the Enlightenment. Representative readings will be drawn from literature, philosophy, and psychology, from Western traditions (e.g., Greeks, Hebrews, and Romans) as well as non-Western. Sample topics include: The Old Testament world view; the classical ideal of the hero; the Platonic ideal; the medieval religious synthesis; the Renaissance and statecraft; Cartesian method; the morality of the Enlightenment; the beginnings of alienation.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

MLA 8031. Foundations of Modern Thought II. 3 Credit Hours.

This course examines the foundations of contemporary thought, moving from the Romantic and Victorian world views to Modernism and Postmodernism. Students explore the new paradigms which have come about from breakthroughs in science and social thought, and from the traumatic events of the twentieth century. Readings are drawn from literature, history, science, and philosophy.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

MLA 8041. Foundations of American Culture. 3 Credit Hours.

This course looks at the foundations and traditions of American thought and culture, from the Protestant foundation to America's place in global culture and cyberculture. An effort is made to connect intellectual traditions with historical events, including the American Revolution, the rise of feminism and abolitionism in the nineteenth century, and the emerging industrial and technological world of the twentieth century. American traditions are placed in the contexts of European thought and the broader model of globalization.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may not be repeated for additional credits.

MLA 8300. Special Topics - MLA. 3 Credit Hours.

Content varies by semester.  May be repeated for credit.

Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

MLA 9995. Master's Project. 1 to 3 Credit Hour.

This course is to be used for MLA qualifying paper research.

Field of Study Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Fields of study: Liberal Arts.
Level Registration Restrictions: Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels: Graduate.

Repeatability: This course may be repeated for additional credit.

Pre-requisites:
(MLA 8011|May not be taken concurrently)
AND (MLA 8021 to 9082| Required Courses:3|May not be taken concurrently)

Contacts

Program Web Address:

http://www.cla.temple.edu/mla/

Department Information:

Master of Liberal Arts Program

811 Anderson Hall

1114 Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090

morawski@temple.edu

215-204-8516

Mailing Address for Application Materials:

Master of Liberal Arts Program

811 Anderson Hall (022-36)

1114 Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090

Department Contacts:

Admissions:

Stephanie Morawski

Administrator

morawski@temple.edu

215-204-8516

Program Director:

Michael Szekely

mszekely@temple.edu

215-204-6479