Learn more about the Master 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 in consultation with the MLA 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 more advanced graduate coursework. Others may be interested in changing careers and wish to gain post-baccalaureate experience. The MLA 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 and Center City, where both required and elective courses can be taken

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes offered after 4:30 p.m. However, the program allows for flexibility and students are able to take courses at other times. 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 they will not register for the Fall or Spring term, they must submit a "Leave of Absence Request" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within "University Forms," along with the $25 fee to the MLA administrative office. If a student fails to register for two consecutive terms without submitting Leave of Absence forms, they may be dismissed from the program for non-continuous enrollment.

Interdisciplinary Study: Students are introduced to interdisciplinary thinking through MLA 5011 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies, a graduate writing and research methods course that entails peer review and collaborative learning and culminates in a final project based on the course theme. Students also select from a range of MLA "Topics" courses while continuing to develop individual programs of study along interdisciplinary lines. Specific themes for all MLA courses may change for any given academic term depending on the instructor. In addition to completing the required MLA course, students may choose to concentrate their course of study by undertaking coursework outside of the MLA curriculum.

Areas of Specialization: The MLA 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.

Job Prospects: While not a professional degree, the MLA 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 MLA degree with approval of the MLA 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: In approximately 500 to 1,000 words, describe your academic and research achievements, current research interests, and why Temple’s MLA program and interdisciplinary graduate study in the liberal arts are the right match to attain your academic and professional goals.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current academic CV or professional resume required.

Transcripts: An official transcript from each postsecondary institution attended is required.

Transfer Credit: Graduate credits from an accredited institution may be transferred into the MLA 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
Total Credit Hours30

Culminating Event:
Qualifying Paper:
All candidates for the MLA 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 their choice;
  • read, absorb and evaluate scholarly thought and research; and
  • develop and establish their own perspective on the problem being examined.

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


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Master of Liberal Arts Program

818 Mazur Hall

1114 W. Polett Walk

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


LaTasha Goodman



Program Director:

Michael Szekely