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The Master of Liberal Studies degree requires the completion of 33 credit hours of study. It consists of 33 hours of credit including a 12-hour breadth requirement, research methods requirement and a master’s thesis or project.
Core Seminars (12 hours)
- MLS Seminar in the Humanities (MLS 6010).
- MLS Seminar in the Social Sciences (MLS 6020).
- MLS Seminar in the Natural Sciences (MLS 6030).
- MLS Seminar in the Visual and Performing Arts (MLS 6040).
Research Methods Course (3 hours)—chosen in consultation with the MLS director.
This course helps students to develop the research tools necessary to successfully complete the capstone project and is also great preparation for any career that requires dealing with information.
Electives (12-15 hours)
In addition to the four core seminars you are required to take 12-15 hours of electives. Electives are chosen with the assistance and approval of the MLS Program Director. Students are allowed considerable freedom and flexibility in choosing their electives. However, it is strongly recommended that you choose a combination of electives that represent a focused area of interest. Any graduate level course (5000 and above) for which prerequisites are met satisfies the elective requirement. Students are not restricted to MLS-designated courses.
Thesis or Project (3-6 hours)
The MLS thesis or project represents the culmination of your passage through the MLS program. A thesis is an independent research project. Projects are applied or creative rather than analytical. You are given considerable flexibility and freedom in choosing your thesis or project topic.
Once a thesis/project topic has been identified a thesis advisory committee must be formed. This comprises at least three members - a Chair and two Readers. All must be members of the Graduate Faculty at The University of Toledo* and should have significant expertise in your chosen thesis or project topic. *Discuss outside graduate faculty with the MLS director.
A student registers for thesis/project hours via a paper seminar request form that must be signed by the advisor. An MLS thesis must conform to the structural guidelines outlined in the Graduate School's Thesis/Dissertation page. Copies of theses completed by former MLS students are available both in Carlson Library and from the MLS Director.
Descriptions of Core Seminars
MLS 6010: MLS SEMINAR IN THE HUMANITIES
The Humanities seminar is intended to demonstrate the interdependent nature of knowledge in humanities and the diversity of approaches to understanding the human condition. Typically, it asks students to examine representative works of literature, history, and philosophy drawn from the ancient world, the European Middle Ages and Renaissance, and the worlds of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. In this seminar, students discuss essential and common issues and explore the traditions and spirit of humanistic inquiry.
MLS 6020: MLS SEMINAR IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
The Social Sciences seminar is intended to provide the student with an appreciation of the theories and methodologies of social science. Social scientists are primarily interested in understanding the behavior, organization, and functioning of society at a variety of analytical scales. Analytical scales include individual citizens, groups of citizens, and both public and private institutions (e.g. governments and corporations). An understanding of human behavior and societal organization allows us to make responsible and informed decisions regarding both personal and societal problems and issues.
MLS 6030: MLS SEMINAR IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES
The Natural Sciences seminar discusses major ideas in the natural sciences and how they relate to questions of importance to humans. The seminar also examines the historical development of the major concepts in the natural sciences. Previous courses in the natural sciences are not essential for the successful completion of this seminar.
MLS 6040: MLS SEMINAR IN THE VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
The Primary goal of the Visual and Performing Arts seminar is to examine the concept of creativity in the fields of visual art, theater, dance, and music. Topics of investigation may include art history and art appreciation; the relationship between societal structure, government, and the visual and performing arts; comparison of western and non-western arts; technology, media, and the arts; and the role of the arts in American society. This seminar will use a combination of reading and performance attendance as the basis for class discussion and written papers.