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Master of Liberal Arts

Dr. Deborah Wilson, Director Witherspoon Hall, Room 145 (479) 968-0482

The MLA degree is suited to the student who is interested in graduate study in the liberal arts, but is not interested in a research degree in a specific arts discipline or in a graduate degree in a technical area. The MLA is useful for middle school and high school English, speech, theatre, journalism, and social studies teachers who want to deepen their knowledge of the areas they teach. Other professionals who have specialized educational backgrounds, but who have an interest in the liberal arts, will also find the MLA attractive.

The MLA degree has three areas of concentration: Communications for those interested in English, journalism, language, linguistics, literature, and speech; The Fine Arts for those interested in music, theatre, art and music appreciation; Social Sciences for those interested in American studies, geography, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology. The goals of the Liberal Arts program include the ability to:

1.Generate writing that demonstrates an advanced ability to analyze and synthesize.
2. Conduct original research.
3. Demonstrate familiarity with interdisciplinary study.

Unconditional Admission

Students are eligible to apply for unconditional admission to the Master of Liberal Arts degree program if they meet the admission requirements for Graduate College.

Conditional Admission

Applicants who fail to meet the grade point requirement specified for unconditional admission may be admitted conditionally to enroll for a maximum of twelve semester hours. If a student was admitted conditionally based on grade point average, the condition will be met if upon completion of twelve semester hours a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better is achieved.

Academic Advisors

The MLA Director will serve as faculty advisor to each student admitted conditionally or unconditionally to the MLA degree program. The advisor will assist the student in the design of a curriculum of study that leads to the fulfillment of degree requirements. Subsequently, the academic advisor and the Graduate College monitor the student’s progress through the program. It remains, however, the student’s responsibility to understand and to satisfy all degree requirements.

Admission to Candidacy

Students who have been granted conditional admission are eligible for admission to candidacy for the degree upon the completion of twelve hours with a 3.00 grade point average or better and completion of all deficiencies. Students who have been granted unconditional admission are eligible for admission to candidacy upon completion of twelve hours with a 3.00 grade point average or better. Students who do not submit an “Application for Admission to Candidacy” prior to the end of the semester in which the student becomes eligible will not be allowed to register for subsequent graduate classes.

Degree Requirements
1. The completion of at least 30 semester hours of graduate course work, at least 15 of which must be at the 6000 level, including the following courses:
Core Requirements
LA 6013 Introduction to the Liberal Arts1 3 hours
LA 6711-3 Liberal Arts Project 3 hours
Major Concentration2 12 - 18 hours
Courses in Related Area3 6 - 12 hours
2. The satisfactory completion of LA 6013, Introduction to the Liberal Arts, and LA 6711-3, Liberal Arts Project, as part of the 30-semester-hour requirement.
3. The public presentation of the project paper prepared for LA 6711-3.
4. The completion of a 12- to 18-semester hour major concentration of course work in one of three areas:
A.) Communications (including English and linguistics)
B.) The Fine Arts
C.) Social Sciences
The completion of 6 to 12 hours in a related area of study.
5. A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00 in all graduate course work attempted at Arkansas Tech University with a maximum of six semester hours of “C” grades.
6. A minimum of 24 semester hours of graduate course work completed in residence at Arkansas Tech University. (Full time residence is not required.)
7. Completion of all degree requirements within six years of admission to the program.

1LA 6013 must be taken before the completion of twelve semester hours of graduate course work.
2The major concentration areas are communications, the fine arts, and the social sciences. The advisor will approve the courses that apply to the student’s MLA major.
3Courses in the related area of study will usually not belong to the major, but will be related to a dominant theme in the courses in the major and/or to the capstone project dealt with in LA 6711-3.

Special Conditions of Graduate Credit
Graduate Credit Taken Prior to Admission to Arkansas Tech University

A maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit with a grade point average of “B” or better may be transferred from an accredited graduate school if deemed appropriate to the graduate program by the director of the MLA program and the Dean of Graduate College. Students must send a written request to the director of the MLA program to petition an acceptance of the transfer credit prior to requesting admission to candidacy to the graduate program. Graduate credit earned six years prior to the completion date of all degree requirements may not be applied toward the degree without the approval of the director of the MLA program and the Dean of Graduate College. Credits earned by correspondence courses or for remedial purposes will not apply toward the graduate degree. No undergraduate course may be repeated for graduate credit.

Graduate Credit Taken After Admission to Arkansas Tech University

If after admission to graduate study, a student wishes to take a course at another institution to count toward degree requirements at Arkansas Tech University, the student must (in advance of enrollment) obtain written approval from the director of the MLA program and the Dean of Graduate College.

Liberal Arts Project

All candidates for the MLA degree must complete LA 6711-3, Liberal Arts Project. The requirements for this course include a scholarly research paper that will be presented publicly. With the approval of the Dean of Graduate College and the MLA Director, a significant creative project may be substituted for a scholarly research paper.