Dec 05, 2019  
2019-20 Hamilton Holt Graduate 
    
2019-20 Hamilton Holt Graduate

Liberal Studies, M.L.S.


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Tom Cook, Ph.D., Director
 
The Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program at Rollins College is designed for working adults who wish to expand their intellectual horizons. Classes meet during evening hours, and students can earn the degree in as few as three years or as many as seven.

The MLS program focuses on breadth of learning and the ideas and values that have shaped human society. Courses examine issues of perennial human concern for individuals, societies, and civilizations. Students discuss important life questions and grapple with potential solutions.

Because the program is conceived as a community of inquiry and discussion, most courses are seminars that create a respectful and challenging atmosphere for discussing the ideas that shape the world we live in.

The Master of Liberal Studies program is a full member of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs.

The Curriculum


The Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program is based on the premise that studying the great ideas of Western civilization increases intellectual awareness and self-fulfillment. Students explore how these ideas apply to the problems that humans have confronted over the ages, and they consider the moral dimensions of contemporary issues as well. They read great books to revisit ideas and insights that emerged centuries ago and to examine their relevance to the modern world. The program fosters analytical and critical thinking:  through discussing great works, MLS students join in a dialogue with classmates, professors and the great minds of the Western intellectual tradition.   
 
Matriculated students in each entering class pursue the core courses together, in sequence, so that they achieve a common ground of knowledge and a strong sense of community. Students begin the program of study in the fall term each year; however, once students have been accepted into the program, they may take an elective or masterworks course as a degreeseeking student during any term prior to the fall.

Core Courses (6)


The six core courses, required of all degree-seeking students, are interdisciplinary in nature. Students acquire an overview of the history of Western thought from ancient to modern times. The core courses are structured in a “great books” format in which students read great works in the liberal arts and sciences in their historical contexts. Discussions explore the universal questions these books pose. The final core course is the thesis project. Students must have completed a minimum of 10 courses (40 semester hours) before enrolling for Thesis Project.

Elective Courses:


In addition to the six core courses, students choose a total of 24 credits from the elective courses offered. This may be comprised of six elective courses (4 credits each) or an equivalent number of masterworks courses (2 credits each) to complete the program. Students may select these courses during the fall, spring, and summer terms.
 
The elective courses diversify the curriculum by focusing on applying great texts to contemporary issues or comparing Western ideas with those of other cultures. Electives often are connected in theme or methodology with one or more of the core courses. Masterworks courses focus on one great work or idea.
 
Matriculated students may enroll in the electives at any time during their course of study, as long as they complete all requirements for the Master of Liberal Studies degree within seven years.

Program of Study


Three-Year Plan:


In addition to the core courses, students must take a minimum of 24 credit hours of electives. These electives can be spread throughout the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students should consult with the Holt Student Services or Faculty Director prior to beginning the program to develop a custom program of study that includes elective coursework.  The following schedule is a sample of how a student might choose to distribute electives over three years, without taking summer courses.

Year One:


Fall

8 credits

Spring

8 credits

Year Two:


Fall

8 credits

Spring

8 credits

Year Three:


Fall

8 credits

Spring

8 credits

Accelerated Track:


The accelerated track is designed for international students or full-time students who do not plan to be employed during their time in the program. The following is a sample schedule that allows graduation after two and a half years.  It would be possible (though not recommended) to complete the program after the summer of the second year by taking the final core course (MLS 604 ) concurrently with MLS 604  in the fall term of the second year, and doing the thesis project (MLS 690 ) in spring of the second year.  Faculty Director permission is required for enrollment in this track. The total number of elective/Masterworks credits must equal a minimum of 24 credit hours.

Year One:


Fall

10-12 credit

Spring

10-12 credits

Summer

2-4 credit hours (optional)

  • Elective Credit(s): 4
    or
  • Masterworks Credit(s): 2

Year Two:


Fall

10-12 credits

Spring

10-12 credits

Year Three


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