Master of Liberal Arts



McDaniel’s Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) program is an interdisciplinary graduate program for adults interested in crossing the boundaries of a traditional, career-oriented approach. Interested participants include those who seek to explore new disciplines in the liberal arts, those who hope to supplement their professional education by continued intellectual growth, or those who wish to satisfy their continuing intellectual curiosity and creativity. McDaniel College is an active member of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs.


Many educators seeking an alternative to traditional graduate programs have found that the MLA better meets their needs.  Elementary and secondary teachers have broadened their scope of knowledge in the MLA program while accumulating professional development credits required by their local school systems.  Budding authors have used the program as a springboard toward completing their first novel.  And our community members have explored a variety of topics to satisfy their curiosity, pursue hobbies, and enhance job skills. 

Key Features of the MLA program include:

• Offers convenient meeting times, including online courses, to fit your busy schedule.

• Balances full-time faculty with adjunct instructors who draw course content from best practices in the field.

• Provides small class size and individual attention for our students.

• Offers highly competitive tuition.

Why McDaniel

• Offers convenient schedules to fit your busy schedule.

• Balances full-time faculty with adjunct instructors who draw course content from best practices in the field.

• Small class size and individual attention that the professors provide students.

• Highly competitive tuition.

Admissions Requirements

• Completed application for graduate study

• Submit the non-refundable application fee

• Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0

Three letters of recommendation

Note: It is imperative that accepted students contact the MLA Coordinator at the beginning of their program for an advising appointment to ensure a successful academic experience.  The MLA Coordinator, Jill Krebs, can be reached at

Degree Requirements

• 36 semester hours

• Minimum 3.0 GPA, limit of one course at or below "C"

• Completion of a six-credit Final Project, equivalent in scope to a master’s thesis


Core Courses (21 Credits)

The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) program consists of ten, three-credit courses and a six-credit final project for a total of 36 credit hours. Although there are required courses, the program’s primary feature is that graduate students are expected to design their own program of study. This flexibility allows students to pursue courses that best reflect their personal and professional interests.

Required Courses (21 Credits)

Any two courses of the Program of Study may come from outside the MLA curriculum (transferred from another McDaniel graduate program or from another accredited graduate institution). A maximum of one independent study course is permitted within the Program of Study (though a second independent study may be arranged with coordinator permission).

  • MLA 506 - Introducing Modern World Philosophies
  • MLA 502 - Our Historic Heritage
  • MLA 504 - Critical Theory
  • MLA 503 - Creativity: The Aesthetic Journey
  • RSM 550 - Introduction to Research Methodology
  • MLA 511 - Final Project I
  • MLA 512 - Final Project II


Students may specialize their course of study in the MLA program. Completion of a specialization will be noted on the final transcript. The fields of specialization are: Environmental Literacy (EL), Fine Arts (FA), Language and Literature (LL), and Social Studies (SS).

For students who wish to complete one of the specialization tracks in the MLA program, four of the elective courses (12 credits) within the Program of Study must come from that specialization and the final project must be completed in that area of specialization.


 Jill Krebs, Program Coordinator, MLA

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Due to the highly individualized approach to this program, Graduates fill various positions in a variety of sectors.  Some examples include:

• Teaching at the college level.

• Staff and administrator positions in higher education.

• K-12 teachers already holding certification use the program to enhance their knowledge-base and apply the credits toward professional development, master’s, master’s plus 30 and master’s plus 60 requirements.

• Writers and editors (especially for those pursuing the Romance Writing and Writing for Children and Young Adults tracks).

Important Dates

Applications are accepted and processed throughout the year but the College recommends that students submit their applications and supporting materials well in advance of the start of the semester in which they plan to enroll.

Recommended Application Filing Dates:
Fall Semester – by or before August 1
Spring Semester - by or before December 15
Summer Session - by or before May 1

These filing dates are after the opening of registration for those semesters so students wishing to have the greatest choice of courses should submit their applications earlier.


1. When are MLA courses conducted during the year?
During the Fall and Spring, courses meet once a week on either Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday: 4:50pm – 7:20pm or 7:30pm – 10:00pm. During the Summer, times and days vary. Online courses run in 8-week blocks during the semesters.

2. How and when do I register for classes?
Complete registration information is available in the Graduate Admissions area of this site. Please contact the MLA Coordinator for advising.

3. I work in the education field. Is the MLA program for me?
Many educators seeking an alternative to traditional education graduate programs have found that the MLA program better fulfilled their needs. Among others, educators from elementary and secondary levels have broadened their field of knowledge in the MLA program while accumulating continuing professional education credits required by school systems.