Master of Liberal Studies

Master of Liberal Studies Program Faculty Guidelines

The Master of Liberal Studies Program is a multi/interdisciplinary graduate program offered by the University of Toledo. It consists of 33 hours of credit including a 12-hour breadth requirement, research methods requirement and a master’s thesis or project.

Faculty serve students in the Master of Liberal Studies Program either as course instructors or as thesis/project/program advisors. Often students enter the program with uncertain objectives and are enthused to pursue a particular line of inquiry through an exciting experience in an early course.

Students come into the program with all sorts of backgrounds, although they must meet the usual graduate requirements for admission (2.7 or higher undergraduate GPA or adequate score on the GRE, three letters of recommendation). The program director is responsible for admission approval via the Graduate College procedure.

The MLS Program is a full member of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, and faculty members who participate are encouraged to attend that organization’s annual meeting and/or submit papers to its journal Confluence.

Courses

The students may receive program credit through MLS-designated courses or, as electives, any other courses offered at the graduate level on the University main campus. 

Interdisciplinary Courses

Because most students do not have a background of adequate preparation for most graduate courses designed for discipline-oriented degree programs, and because the interdisciplinary nature of the MLS inquiry asks the students to see beyond the confines of any one discipline, the Program needs a wide range of courses specifically designed for interdisciplinary studies.

Ideally, such courses are taught from a divisional point of view to give students a grounding in how scholars in a particular class of disciplines approach scholastic activity, but at the same time relate the divisional material to the broader aspects of the human condition.

Keep in mind that while the students may not have a background in divisional matters, they are nonetheless graduate students and should be expected to show motivation and maturity of intellect. Please consider designing and offering one of our MLS-designated courses!

 Curricular Authorization

MLS-designated courses do not pass through the College, University, and Graduate Council curricular authorization. The designation has been authorized as a generic suite in the same way that Special Topics and Independent Study designations have. However, the MLS program has an advisory committee that approves syllabi for new courses.

 4000-Level Equivalencies

Another option for MLS course work allows students to register for an MLS-designated course that is equivalenced to an existing 4000-level undergraduate course. In this option, the student and instructor must create a contract that lays out the additional/different work the student is expected to accomplish at the graduate level. This contract must be submitted to the Program Director when the student fills out a Seminar Request form requiring the Director’s signature.

Online Learning

While not specifically required, most MLS courses are taught in online format since most of our students are working, part-time, and/or distant. Arrangements for teaching online courses are made through Learning Ventures (419.530.8835) which facilitates and coordinates the University’s online and blended courses.

Learning Ventures certificate and degree programs at The University of Toledo are fully accredited through NCA’s Higher Learning Commission. Resources available from this office include: individualized and group support for distance learning and web assisted courses, student services, postcasting and other support services for teaching; the staff is more than willing to help instructors set up and maintain their courses.

Work Load and Compensation

The teaching of all MLS-designated courses may be in or out of load by agreement with the department chair and the faculty member's college.  Typically, enrollment should exceed 8 students for the course to proceed. Compensation for teaching distance learning courses is based on the number of students enrolled.

Advising

As early in the Program as possible, when she/he is narrowing the field of inquiry, the student should find a specific thesis/project advisor who will help determine useful electives or take on the task of advising the thesis research and writing, such an advisor must be a member of the Graduate Faculty.

At least two graduate faculty form the thesis committee in addition to the principal advisor; one faculty in addition to the principal advisor for the project committee.  On petition to the College of Graduate Studies, one member of the thesis committee may be an outside professional. In this case, a signed vita of the person in question explaining her/his qualifications must accompany the petition.

The MLS program greatly appreciates the dedication and commitment of its advisors and teachers. Please volunteer! Such work is a great addition to a faculty member’s record. 

Last Updated: 6/26/15