Loyola University Maryland

Graduate Program in Liberal Studies


Infinitely Adaptable

Find out what some of our students have to say about why they chose Loyola's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program—and how they’re using it in business, education, health care, research, communication, and countless other applications in their everyday lives

Jason Noe

Jason NoeJason Noe, M.A. ’06, is a recruitment manager based in New York, N.Y., for the Northeast region at Wyndham Vacation Ownership. 

I knew from what I had experienced working at a law firm and in corporate culture that I wanted to pursue an education that would help me develop a timeless and well-rounded set of skills and a deeper knowledge base about just about everything...

I started searching for educational options that would make sense and embrace free thinking. Loyola’s Liberal Studies program came onto my radar and was immediately appealing for its rich diversity of topics.

The beauty of Liberal Studies is there is not much you don’t or can’t study. This program asks questions about everything: the past, the present, the future; history, politics, governments, countries, cultures, careers, and companies—everything that informs what goes on in our everyday lives.

You are reading and discussing and debating a whole host of topics which broaden and deeply enrich your knowledge base, topics that explain how we got we are and inform where we are headed. Classes cover things that should be important to us as Americans, including our history, our politics and economy, and bigger global issues.

This program certainly helped me build skills that translate to engaging with the people in my work and building better relationships.

It can help you do everything and anything, from conceiving a strategic plan to writing a white paper to even heightening your email skills through use of analogies and concise communication. This is a thoroughly interesting, broad-based degree that you will use every day.

Jeanne HeinJeanne Hein

Jeanne Hein, M.A. ’13, is a manager for corporate communications at Baltimore Gas and Electric in Baltimore, Md.

After a successful 25-year career, I decided to challenge myself by applying to the Liberal Studies program at Loyola University. Although there were other academic choices, Loyola was highly recommended by BGE colleagues who had graduated from the both the Liberal Studies program and the MBA program.

I hadn’t been in a traditional classroom setting in years and didn’t quite know what to expect. Most of the students were years younger than me, some having just received an undergraduate degree. The class size was small, so there was no hiding, no blending in.

As each week passed, I became more confident, buoyed by the fact that although my first college experience had ended years earlier, I had considerable life experience—along with many years in a professional work environment. The curriculum was challenging, and learning how to successfully carve out enough time to read, write, study, and prepare for discussions each week took self-discipline. The teaching staff in the Liberal Studies program presented thought-provoking assignments and had high expectations for each student.

After my last class in December 2013, I walked out the door feeling a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

The liberal arts experience helped me grow, both personally and professionally. Every day, I put the skills learned during my time at Loyola into practice. Now I fully understand the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis—the education of the whole person.

Being part of the Liberal Studies program, with its emphasis on academic excellence and individual development, is something that will remain with me forever.

Jon BarnesJon Barnes

Jon Barnes, M.A. '10, is director of communications at ADG Creative, a marketing and communications agency in Columbia, Md. 

Starting a graduate program is a big investment. I knew the program I chose should have some substantial payoff, professionally speaking. Loyola’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program was certainly the right choice. I’d leave each class feeling like my classmates and I dug deep into the bedrock of the universe. I’d wrestle with the material for days, teach it to others, blog about it, use it… I think this is what grad school is supposed to be about.

This program provides the perfect combination of collaboration, reading, discussion, and communication—all skills that I’ve needed for each career move I’ve made. I’ve been a youth pastor, a marketing agency CEO, a law firm communications guy, and the director of communications at an interactive and branding agency. The critical thinking and leadership skills I developed through this program are skills I use everywhere, all the time.

In addition, this program is about as flexible and student-focused as you can get, even if you have kids or commute. From the multiple locations to the non-linear course offerings, Loyola has created a program that really gets itself out of the way and lets students jump right into the learning experience. Every program should be like this—it’s a model that actually makes sense for how people live and work today.

Pursing my master’s degree at Loyola was extremely rewarding and probably the most fun I’ve had in a classroom. The friendships I’ve made with both professors and students are ones that I still maintain today, and for that I’m very grateful.

Ashta ChopraAstha Chopra

Astha Chopra, M.A. ’14, is the director of Risk Adjustment Operations at Tenet Healthcare in Seattle, Wash.

What you learn in Loyola’s Liberal Studies program, you'll find yourself recognizing and applying in your work. There were daily instances where what I had just read or learned or discussed in class came back into my job. In today's world, every one of us is a citizen in a global society. To really appreciate where we all come from and understand how we got where we all are, we need to understand history and cultural awareness and sensitivities. This is helpful for all of us, regardless of industry or profession.

The thinking and discussion and debate that go on in this very supportive and fun learning environment is stimulating and exciting. I highly recommend anyone who considers themselves a curious person to pursue this degree.

Deciding to pursue a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies will be the beginning of an exciting personal journey where you will be really made to think in ways you never have before about the world—and about yourself. It will challenge you to reflect on the world and how it all interacts, what is important to you and why, and what you are willing to do about it. 

Jason Brown

Jason Brown, M.A. ’14, is currently pursuing publication for his memoir, which he started writing during the program, and has plans to apply to the doctorate of liberal studies program at Georgetown University.

I came to Loyola looking to change my life through educating my mind, spirit, and body. Through the Liberal Studies program, I found all of this possible.

I found the classroom discussions in liberal studies to be catalysts in developing new patterns of thinking. I was encouraged to question what had been generally accepted by most people, and fundamentally examine the basis for human interactions.

This analysis sent me on a search to find a whole new philosophy of life, one that could explain my existence to myself and (hopefully) to others.

The theory I have arrived at encompasses the Jesuit traditions in a modern manner that reflects the tremendous impact that this magnificent setting has had upon my education and my spiritual renewal.

Prior to commencement in May 2014, Jason Brown spoke to Loyola magazine about his personal story of redemption and what the liberal studies program meant to him. Read Jason's full interview.

Hear more from students about their experience in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Loyola.


Ted's Video Icon
Ted Alsedek, M.A. ’14, teaches at Calvert Hall College High School in Baltimore, Md
Garrett's Video Icon

Garrett McPartland, M.A. ’13, teaches English & Theory of Knowledge, a course created by the International Baccalaureate Program, at Saint Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio.

Heather's Video Icon
Heather Sympson is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Liberal Studies while she teaches elementary education at  St. Augustine School in Elkridge, Md.
Katie's Video Icon
Katie Kellermann, M.A. ’13, is a teacher at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md.