Liberal Arts and Sciences
Director: Aimee D. Shouse
Graduate Committee Chairperson: Lori Baker-Sperry
Office: Simpkins Hall 226E
Telephone: (309) 298-2214 Fax: (309) 298-2974
Location of Program Offering: Macomb
Faculty teaching in the Masters of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) program 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
We offer integrated programs with the following six bachelor’s degrees: African American Studies, Foreign Languages and Cultures, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Women’s Studies. Go to wiu.edu/graduate_studies/catalog/integrated_programs for more information.
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 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 across disciplines; 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 6-credit exit option, and incorporates post-baccalaureate certificates currently available in the CAS. Students who do not pursue one of these post-baccalaureate certificates can construct their own individualized LAS program. These students will design a plan of study from the CAS’s general list of graduate 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 LAS program committee.
In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies, applicants for admission to the graduate program in Liberal Arts and Sciences must have a grade point average of at least 2.75 (based on all hours attempted) and successful completion of at least 18 credits of upper-division coursework in the Arts and Sciences, or a grade point average of at least 3.0 (based on all hours attempted).
International students should demonstrate evidence of an overall TOEFL score of at least 580 paper-based, 92 internet-based, or satisfactory completion of the WESL program.
To apply, students are to submit the following documents to the School of Graduate Studies:
- 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
- an academic paper of at least 5–10 pages that demonstrates an ability to develop a thesis and make a sustained, well-researched argument
- 3 confidential letters of recommendation
Applications will not be reviewed until all materials have been received.
Course Revalidation Requirements
Per Graduate School policy, the work required for a master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive calendar years, including transfer courses. Students may petition the Graduate Council for an extension of time for outdated courses. Evidence must show that such courses have been revalidated by examination or some other means as determined by the LAS program. The LAS program will not revalidate outdated courses older than ten years. For the Graduate School’s complete policy, please see “Time to Complete Degree/Revalidation of Courses” in the current graduate catalog.
I. Core Courses: 9 s.h.
LAS 501 Tradition and Change: Focus on the History and Philosophy of the Sciences (3)
LAS 502 Tradition and Change: Focus on the Social Sciences (3)
LAS 503 Tradition and Change: Focus on the Humanities (3)
II. Electives: 18 s.h.
Any College of Arts and Sciences Post-Baccalaureate Certificate and/or directed electives approved by the Director of Liberal Arts and Sciences. No more than 3 credits of electives may be independent work.
III. Select one of the following exit options: 6 s.h.
LAS 667 Thesis (6)
LAS 695 Internship Preparation (3)
LAS 696 Internship (3)
C. Applied Project
LAS 699 Applied Project (6)
TOTAL PROGRAM: 33 s.h.
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs
The College of Arts and Sciences offers post-baccalaureate certificate programs in Community Development and Planning, GIS Analysis, 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 scientific approach for explaining natural phenomena. Philosophical issues and technical and theoretical advances, from different historical periods, 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) Through engagement with scholarship and the arts from a variety of humanities disciplinary perspectives, this course explores questions humans have asked throughout time, especially concerning self and identity, and the theories and methodologies by which the humanities address these questions.
504 Integration Independent Study. (3) Investigation of an interdisciplinary topic based on the student’s major interests or area of study. Students must identify a graduate faculty member willing to work with them and oversee the independent study. Prerequisite/Corequisite: Completion of at least two of the following: LAS 501, 502 or 503 with a corequisite of the third, approval of proposal, and permission of LAS director.
505 Research Methods. (3) This course provides an understanding of a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods (data collection and analysis) to use across many arts and sciences disciplines. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
667 Thesis. (1–6, repeatable to 6) 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 501, 502, and 503, approval of thesis proposal, and permission of LAS Director.
695 Internship Preparation. (3) A course intended to prepare the student for LAS 696: Internship when taken to satisfy the MLAS internship exit option. Directed by a faculty member with full graduate faculty status from within the College of Arts and Sciences. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Completion of LAS 501, 502, and 503, approval of internship proposal, and permission of LAS director.
696 Internship. (1–6, 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 to and approved by a committee of the faculty director and two graduate faculty. Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Completion of LAS 501, 502, and 503, approval of internship proposal, and permission of LAS director.
699 Applied Project. (1–6, 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 501, 502, and 503, approval of applied project proposal, and permission of LAS director.