Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Liberal Arts and Sciences
Chairperson: Althea K. Alton
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Amy P. Mossman
Office: Tillman Hall 301G
Telephone: (309) 298-3025 Fax: (309) 298-2669
Location of Program Offering: Macomb and Quad Cities
Faculty teaching in the Master’s of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) are full or associate members of the graduate faculty from departments in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and, subject to LAS Director approval, full or associate members of the graduate faculty from other colleges at WIU.
Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Program
Go to wiu.edu/graduate_studies/catalog/integrated_programs for information about this program.
The Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences (MLAS) is for students who need or desire advanced education but do not require a specific specialized content area. This interdisciplinary degree stresses critical thinking, comparative analysis, and highly flexible content rather than a more traditional advanced specialization in a fairly small content area. MLAS is designed especially for students seeking a master’s degree as an occupational qualification and for those who wish more in-depth inquiry into the liberal arts and sciences as a step toward greater personal fulfillment. MLAS promotes an advanced level of critique, analysis, and comparison; students explore the broad questions faced by human beings, as well as the specific means by which individual disciplines in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Mathematics have addressed these questions. The degree requires 33 semester hours, including core courses and a capstone experience, and incorporates post-baccalaureate certificates currently available in the CAS. Students who do not hold one of these post-baccalaureate certificates can construct their own individualized LAS program. These students will design a course of study from the CAS’s general list of courses offered, in consultation with the Director of LAS. They must then explain their program in a written statement, which will be reviewed by the Director of LAS and the MLAS committee.
All students who have completed an undergraduate degree by an accredited institution and who qualify for graduate study according to the admission standards of the Graduate School may be admitted to the program. To apply, students are to submit the following documents:
- a School of Graduate Studies application form (available at wiu.edu/grad)
- official transcripts from each college or university previously attended
- a 1-2 page personal statement which explains their larger personal career goals and how the MLAS degree will further those objectives
- 3 letters of recommendation
I. Core Courses: 12 s.h.
Area One: LAS 501 Tradition and Change: Focus on the History and Philosophy of the Sciences (3)
Area Two: LAS 502 Tradition and Change: Focus on the Social Sciences (3)
Area Three: LAS 503 Tradition and Change: Focus on the Humanities (3)
LAS 504 Integration Independent Study (3)
II. Any College of Arts and Sciences Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and/or directed electives approved by the Director of LAS master’s degree program: 15 s.h.
III. Select one of the following exit options: 6 s.h.
LAS 665 Directed Readings (3)
LAS 667 Thesis (3)
LAS 665 Directed Readings (3)
LAS 696 Internship (3)
C. Applied Project
LAS 665 Directed Readings (3)
LAS 699 Applied Project (3)
TOTAL PROGRAM: 33 s.h.
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs
The College of Arts and Sciences offers post-baccalaureate certificate programs in African and African Diaspora World Studies, Applied Mathematics, Community Development, English, Environmental GIS, Women’s Studies, and Zoo and Aquarium Studies. For program details, go to the post-baccalaureate certificates page.
Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS)
495G/B Liberal Arts and Sciences Senior Capstone. (3) Capstone course for the Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree. Students will study examples of scholarship from a multidisciplinary perspective, research and present an interdisciplinary solution to a significant problem, and prepare a self-reflective academic personal narrative. This course is offered only to students accepted in the integrated bachelor’s/master’s program in LAS. Prerequisites: A&S 195, ENG 280, senior standing, and permission of the Director of LAS.
501 Tradition and Change: Focus on the History and Philosophy of the Sciences. (3) This course covers the development of the physical and natural sciences since the scientific revolution. The use of the scientific method in the development of foundation paradigms and the links between math, the physical sciences and biological sciences will be covered.
502 Tradition and Change: Focus on the Social Sciences. (3) This course covers the divergent approaches used in the social sciences to study human behavior. The historical development of disciplines in the social sciences, the field of inquiry in each of the branches of the social sciences, as well as the methods used to study human behavior will be covered.
503 Tradition and Change: Focus on the Humanities. (3) This course is a comparative introduction to the language, methodologies, and scholarship of the Humanities. The course prepares students to engage in and complete the research and writing necessary to complete the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree, centered on the study of self and identity.
504 Integration Independent Study. (3) Investigation of a specific topic based on the student’s major interests or area of study and in relation to at least one of the LAS core courses (501, 502, or 503). This is a required course in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree, preparing students for further work and must be completed to register for the thesis, applied project, or internship. Prerequisite/Corequisite: Completion of at least two of the following: LAS 501, 502 or 503 with a corequisite of the third.
665 Directed Readings. (3, repeatable to 6) Investigation of a specific topic related to the student’s major interests or area of study. This is a required course in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree, preparing students to formalize and complete their thesis, applied project, or internship option. No more than 6 s.h. may count toward the degree. Prerequisite: Completion of LAS 504, approval of proposal, and permission of LAS director.
667 Thesis. (3) Prepared under direction of a faculty member with full graduate faculty status from within the College of Arts and Sciences. Defended before a committee composed of the faculty director and two graduate faculty. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Completion of LAS 504, approval of thesis proposal, and permission of LAS director.
696 Internship. (3, repeatable to 6) Directed by a faculty member in coordination with an on-site supervisor. When taken to satisfy the MLAS exit option, a final report must be presented and approved by a committee of the faculty director and two graduate faculty. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Completion of LAS 504, approval of internship proposal, and permission of LAS director.
699 Applied Project. (3, repeatable to 6) Conducted under direction of a faculty member with full graduate faculty status from within the College of Arts and Sciences. Defended before a committee composed of the faculty director and two graduate faculty. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Completion of LAS 504, approval of applied project proposal, and permission of LAS director.