Master of Arts in Liberal Arts

We are currently accepting applications for the summer and fall 2024 terms.

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Students earning the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA) degree ask and respond to fundamental questions about themselves and the world by reading and discussing great books. Whether you are right out of college, concluding a successful career, or somewhere in between, this program welcomes sustained reflection and discussion with a community of enthusiastic learners. The program is offered on both the Annapolis and Santa Fe campuses, as well as online through the low-residency program, and can be started during the fall, spring, or summer semester.

The Program

From Aristotle to Aquinas, Wordsworth to Woolf, Herodotus to Hegel, Montaigne to Morrison, students pursuing the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts explore some of the greatest thinkers of all time. While texts are organized into segments, including history, philosophy & theology, politics & society, mathematics & natural science, and literature, the program is a truly interdisciplinary and coherent academic program that transcends disciplinary boundaries. In small, discussion-based classes, students analyze and explore the timeless texts of the past 3,000 years, providing a common ground for inquiry and conversation. The books studied throughout the program have important things to say about many different aspects of our lives and provide insight into timeless questions of humanity. The readings of the program provide a chain of thoughts that connect the entire program into one comprehensive learning experience.

Explore the Classes Program Requirements Reading Lists

Classroom Experience

All classes in the Graduate Institute focus on deep inquiry of fascinating books through discussion. While classes will have a maximum of 20 students, often there will be no more than 12 creating an intimate environment of trust. While our faculty, referred to as tutors, begin class with an opening question, the remainder of the period is dependent on the discussion between students with tutors chiming in when needed. There are no correct answers when discussing these great books, and often more questions arise through discussion. To observe our unique approach to education, we encourage all prospective students to observe a class either virtually or in-person.

Register for a Class Observation

Flexible Schedules to Fit Your Life

The Liberal Arts program requires four semesters of study on either campus in Annapolis or Santa Fe. Students can spend all four semesters on one campus or divide their time between campuses. Students can also complete the program online through our low-residency program.

Explore Low-Residency Enrollment

You can start in the fall, spring, or summer semesters. The program can be completed in two years (two fall and two spring terms), in one year (fall, spring, and two summers), in four summers, or part time over several years including any combination of fall, spring, and summer terms.

With classes held in the evenings, the degree is ideal for people working full-time. Many teachers will complete the degree by taking classes over four summer semesters.

Class times differ between campuses and between on campus and online offerings. Students are encouraged to explore each option to find a schedule that works best for their needs.

Santa Fe Schedule

Annapolis Schedule