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Master of Liberal Studies

Pictured | Lola Diaz | Master of Liberal Studies | Mexico City, Mexico (hometown)

Academic Curriculum (34 cr.)

All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise designated.

Three degree options are available to students: the Independent Research/Creative Activity Option, the Public Intellectual Option, and the Sustainability Leadership Option. The Sustainability Leadership Option is more specialized than the other two options; it incorporates the curriculum of the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Sustainability Leadership in place of electives. The three options are also distinguished by different capstone experiences.

All three options require successful completion of the introductory proseminars and the M.L.S. core seminars. Each of the core seminars combines detailed study of particular topics with broad interdisciplinary perspectives. These courses give students the opportunity to explore the connections that exist among the diverse disciplines and perspectives that define contemporary knowledge.

Proseminar and Core Seminars (13 cr.)
  • COAS-Q 510 Topics in Information Literacy (1 cr.)
  • LBST-D 510 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
  • LBST-D 501 Humanities Seminar
  • LBST-D 502 Social Sciences Seminar
  • LBST-D 503 Science Seminar

The Independent Research/Creative Activity Option and the Public Intellectual Option give students the choice of a wide variety of elective courses suitable to their individual interests. These elective courses may be selected to build support and background for the graduate project, or to enable students to more ably participate in the public intellectual, artistic, and cultural life of their communities. In addition to the courses below, students may also repeat core seminars as electives (each may be taken up to two more times under a different topic); and/or take graduate courses from other IU South Bend departments, divisions, and schools.

Electives (12 cr.)
  • LBST-D 511 Master of Liberal Studies Humanities Elective
  • LBST-D 512 Master of Liberal Studies Social Science Elective
  • LBST-D 513 Master of Liberal Studies Science Elective
  • LBST-D 514 Study Abroad
  • LBST-D 594 Liberal Studies Directed Readings*
  • LBST-D 596 Liberal Studies Independent Research*

The Independent Research/Creative Activity Option and the Public Intellectual Option each requires a distinct form of capstone experience.

Capstone Experience (9 cr.)

To complete the degree under one of these two options, students choose one of the following capstone experiences.

Independent Research/Creative Activity Option

The Independent Research/Creative Activity option offers students the opportunity to work closely with a faculty committee and to complete a final project designed around their unique interests. The graduate project is an independent scholarly or creative enterprise in which the student demonstrates mastery of a specific topic. Examples include: a thesis, a collection of poems or short stories, a translation of a work of literature, or an artistic composition or performance. To enter this track students must successfully complete a project proposal.

  • LBST-D 601 Graduate Project Proposal Seminar
  • LBST-D 602 Graduate Project (6 cr.)

Public Intellectual Option

The Public Intellectual option offers students the opportunity to work within a learning community made up of other students and led by a faculty facilitator to explore the variety of genre through which public intellectuals communicate, and to create their own portfolio of public intellectual work to be submitted for completion of the M.L.S. degree.

  • LBST-D 600 Public Intellectual Practicum

Select two of the following

  • LBST-D 501 Humanities Seminar
  • LBST-D 502 Social Sciences Seminar
  • LBST-D 503 Science Seminar

Sustainability Leadership Option

An M.L.S. degree with a strong emphasis in sustainability leadership gives graduates the tools to contribute creatively to a growing international movement among businesses and communities. The student is able to add specific expertise in sustainability to the general communications skills and academic interdisciplinary skills developed in the M.L.S. core courses. A student is able to shape the degree to fit specific professional and personal goals, but at the core of the educational experience are the values of interdisciplinary scholarship and practice, as well as the understanding of how to lead effective sustainability efforts in several contexts. The Sustainability option incorporates the curriculum of the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Sustainability Leadership into the core requirements of the IU South Bend Master of Liberal Studies degree. It includes two capstone courses, the Public Intellectual Practicum and the seminar on Sustainability Leadership and Planning.

Sustainability Required Courses (9 cr.)

  • SUST-S 501 Sustainability Strategies and Applications
  • SUST-S 520 Sustainability and Innovation
  • SUST-S 620 Sustainable Technologies and Alternative Energy

Sustainability Electives (3 cr.)

Select one of the following

  • SUST-S 630 Sustainable Food Systems
  • SUST-S 660 Sustainability and the Built Environment

M.L.S. Elective Hours (3 cr.)

  • Select three credit hours of electives from among graduate course offerings, including independent study credit, with approval of the academic advisor.

Two Capstone Seminars (6 cr.)

  • LBST-D 600 Public Intellectual Practicum
  • SUST-S 690 Sustainability Leadership Development and Planning

Photo credit | Peter Ringenberg

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.