Jun 30, 2022  
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2023 Graduate Catalog

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degree Programs and Graduate Certificates

Liberal Studies Program
217 Varner Hall  (map)
(248) 370-2154 • Fax (248) 370-4280


Interim Director:
Amy Banes-Berceli, associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences
217 Varner Hall


Executive Committee:
Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo, associate professor, Spanish
Jon Carroll, assistant professor, Anthropology
Alta Dantzler, associate professor, Music
Rebekah Farrugia, associate professor, Communication
Fay Hansen, associate professor, Biology
Li Li, associate professor, Mathematics
George Milne, associate professor, History
Alexander Rusakov, associate professor, Chemistry

Apply Online

► Class Schedule Search

Graduate Catalog Addendum  

Program description

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies is an innovative and rigorous interdisciplinary approach to graduate education designed for adult post-baccalaureate students wishing to explore new subjects, develop their intellectual resources, and extend their range of knowledge. The objectives of this program are in harmony with the goals of a liberal education: that is, to cultivate the individual’s ability to integrate diverse fields of human knowledge and activity.

The program is not specifically vocational or professional but is valued by employers in a wide range of professions because it fosters intellectual development, hones and expands critical thinking skills, encourages personal creativity and intellectual flexibility, and provides broad-based knowledge across traditional academic disciplines.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • February 15 (early), April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
  • October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
  • March 1 (regular) for summer semester

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Personal goal statement summarizing academic and/or professional background as well as objectives for entering the program.
  • A minimum of a 3.0 grade-point on a 4.0 scale in undergraduate study. Students who do not meet the grade-point minimum and/or other requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis with the approval of the director and the executive committee. All conditions placed on such an admission must be met before full admission to the program will be granted.
  • Requirements for recommendations:
    At least two strong letters of recommendation that directly address the applicant’s intellectual interests as well as academic background and potential for success in a graduate program. Students applying within two years of university graduation must have letters from two of their professors assessing the quality of their undergraduate record and their potential as students at the graduate level.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Transfer credit

Up to 8 graduate credits completed in residence at another institution may be applied toward the 36-credit minimum degree requirement. Transfer credits must be approved by the program’s executive committee and are subject to the conditions indicated in Oakland University’s “Transfer Credit Policy” in the graduate catalog. Up to 8 graduate credits may be applied from another Oakland University school, subject to the approval of the program’s executive committee.

Related links

Degree requirements

Candidates for the degree of Master of Arts in Liberal Studies will complete 36 credits of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree. All students must complete a core of three courses which include an introductory colloquium and two core seminars. Students will then choose five liberal studies electives which are cross-listed with the College of Arts and Sciences’ graduate course offerings (or, in the case of departments with no graduate program, 300-400 level courses in which additional graduate-level work will be required). The student must take a minimum of 4 credits in each of the four designated areas: languages and literatures, humanities, social sciences, and science. The final requirement is the 4-credit final project. No more than 8 credits may be taken as independent study (LBS 5970 ).

Course requirements

a. Core requirements (12 credits)

b. Electives (20 credits)

Five electives including 4 credits in each of the following categories:

c. Exit (4 credits)

All students complete a final master’s project (LBS 6996), which will integrate theory and methods from two or more academic disciplines. The three core courses (the colloquium and two core seminars), plus five electives must be completed before beginning the final project. A project committee, consisting of a chair and two faculty members, will guide the student in preparing their final project proposal which must be approved by the program’s executive committee prior to registering for LBS 6996.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.
  • Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University. 

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Degree Programs and Graduate Certificates