All liberal studies courses are three credits. Thirty-six credits (12 courses) are required to complete the degree. Normally a student will complete the required 12 courses within the Loyola liberal studies program.
Two curricular options exist for students in liberal studies. Under the first option, the student takes all her/his twelve classes in the LS program. The remaining option permits students to "import" up to six credits, or two classes toward the degree. Independent study courses are seldom permitted and then only very late in the student's program of studies when the student has a well-developed research plan in mind and has discussed it with a faculty member who has agreed to monitor it. The capstone project option encourages students to engage in extended, cross-disciplinary research and to present a sustained composition and a public presentation as the final course in the program.
Courses outside the Loyola Liberal Studies Program
All students must complete at least ten courses or thirty credits within Loyola’s liberal studies program. Usually no more than six credit hours in total from courses outside the Program or outside the University will count toward the Loyola M.A.L.S. degree. However, nine credit hours from the M.A.L.S. Program at Notre Dame of Maryland University may be counted toward the Loyola degree.
The option of taking courses outside the Liberal Studies Program may be exercised in any one, or any combination, of the following ways:
- Classes completed at the graduate level prior to admission to Loyola
- Classes in Loyola graduate programs other than liberal studies in the College of Arts & Sciences
- Classes at the graduate level in Loyola’s School of Education
- Classes from Notre Dame of Maryland University's M.A.L.S. program
- The director's prior written approval is required for all courses outside the liberal studies program. Students taking courses in other programs must meet all the prerequisites for any course they select. It is the student’s responsibility to determine whether the desired class has prerequisites or conditions that limit or prohibit students from outside the department in question from registering for it.
As many as three classes (nine credits) from the Notre Dame of Maryland University M.A.L.S program may be counted toward your LS degree. These may be undertaken in fall, spring, or summer semesters. Students electing to take any College of Notre Dame class should follow this procedure:
- Get written approval from the director
- Register through Loyola’s Records Office, paying the current Loyola tuition and fees
- Complete a Cooperative Agreement form as provided by the Records Office. This is necessary so that the class and the grade can be posted to your Loyola transcript
- Questions about registering for the cooperative program between LS and Notre Dame of Maryland University's M.A.L.S. program should be directed to the Director of Program Operations or to the Records Office.
Classes Completed Prior To Loyola Admission
With the exception of credits earned at the Notre Dame of Maryland University as noted above, no more than six credits earned outside the Program will be counted toward the Loyola Master of Liberal Studies. As many as two classes, or six credits, completed with a grade of B or better at accredited graduate colleges or universities within the prior five years may count toward the student’s liberal studies program. Upon completing the probationary period of nine credit hours, or three classes, the student may petition in writing for approval of specific classes toward the degree. At that time, the director may require a formal version of the course description to determine its consistency with the goals and mission of liberal studies. Upon approval, the courses will be counted as electives, without grade, toward the liberal studies program.