Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I enroll in this program part-time?
Yes, most of our students are pursuing the MLS degree on a part-time basis.
- For what sort of student is this program designed?
This program is designed for students who have a clear idea of what they want to study, but find that that involves taking courses from different disciplines, such that a traditional Masters in one department will not allow them to reach their goals.
- For what sort of student is this program NOT designed?
Every year I get applications from students who need a Masters degree for career advancement but have no particular program of study in mind. I understand that need. I live in the "real world" as well. Still, the Master of Liberal Studies is not for students who do not have a clearly defined program of study in mind.
- If I have already taken graduate courses elsewhere, how many hours can I transfer into the Kent State Master of Liberal Studies program?
You can transfer up to 12 graduate hours, with certain stipulations, which you will find here.
- How long would it take to complete the program?
Students pursuing the degree full time can do it in 1-2 years. Students pursuing the degree part-time have a time-to-completion average of 3 years. You have 6 years to complete a masters degree at Kent State.
- What are the entry requirements for students wishing to be admitted to the MLS degree program?
For standard admission to a KSU graduate program, the university requires a GPA of 3.0. Conditional admission is occasionally granted based on the student's application file and a GPA that falls between 3.0 and 2.75, but that is determined on a case-by-case basis. There is no GRE requirement.
- What are the application deadlines for each semester?
Your application file must reach completion six weeks before the start of the semester in which you wish to begin the program in order to receive adequate consideration. That means all required documents - letters of recommendation, transcripts, etc. - must be received by Graduate Studies six weeks before the start of the semester in which you wish you enroll. The program can be started in Fall, Spring, or Summer I semesters.
- Is this a new program?
No, the MLS at Kent was initiated in 1985. It is one of 6 MLS Programs in Ohio, but it is unique in that students can combine coursework from different departments and different colleges within the university, not just within Arts & Sciences. There are over 100 alumni. Other MLS programs in Ohio exist at Wright State, Ursuline College, University of Findlay, Hiram College, and the University of Toledo. There are 120 Liberal Studies Programs in the United States and Canada. Information about the concept of Liberal Studies graduate programs and links to each of the programs in the U.S.A. and Canada can be found at the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP).
- Do I have to write a thesis?
No, this is a non-thesis Master's program. You do have to write a Liberal Studies Essay, approximately 50 pages long, as the capstone course to your program. The essay will be written in consultation with your advisor and a reader and should draw on a theme you have chosen from your interdisciplinary coursework and your own special interests. For examples, click on Examples of MLS Programs and Capstone Essays on the left.
- What is the difference between a Master's Thesis and a Master's Essay?
A Thesis is a written document of original research that follows a particular university-defined format, is graded for six credit hours, defended, placed in the library, and available on microfiche or electronically. An Essay is a written document that may be original research but alternatively may take another form, follows a particular university-defined format, receives 3 credit hours, is defended, and is archived online on the program's website, as well as on the University library's website. The Essay may be in the form of a standard thesis, or in the form of a handbook, a play, or a novella, depending on your program of study. To see the list of past Essays and examples of the most recent ones, click on Examples of MLS Programs and Capstone Essays on the left.
- I want to combine courses that are listed in different Colleges of the University. Can I do this?
Yes, in this program you can do this. The structure of the program is as follows: A minimum total of 33 credit hours (semester hours) must be completed for the Master of Liberal Studies degree, of which 12-15 will be in one concentration. 12 must come from the College of Arts & Sciences, a minimum of 16 must be at the 60,000 level or higher. The Introduction to Liberal Studies (2 credits) and the Liberal Studies Essay (3 credits) are mandatory courses. The Introduction to Liberal Studies is offered in the Fall semester only. You will enroll in the Liberal Studies Essay near the end of your program when you have come up with a topic and are ready to write on it. NOTE: Your program must be integrated. You need to explain why your choice of courses hangs together as an interconnected program. Many people combine coursework from the College of Education, the College of Fine and Professional Arts, and the Business College and the College of Arts and Sciences.
- How will I find an Adviser?
You will find an Adviser as you take your classes, a graduate faculty member with a specialty in the field you decide to write on. Additionally, the Director can help you link to an Advisor.
- Are there any scholarships available from the MLS program?
No, there are no scholarships available from this program. The University does offer a variety of scholarships. These are listed on the KSU homepage.
- What grades do not count in graduate school at Kent State?
The university's policy is as follows:
Graduate: Graduate students are expected to maintain a 3.000 average GPA in all work attempted at Kent State. A student who fails to maintain a 3.000 average is subject to dismissal. In addition, in order to qualify for graduation, a 3.000 average must be maintained for all graduate coursework. Grades below C (2.000) are not counted toward completion of requirements for any advanced degree, but are counted in evaluating a student’s grade point average. Only graduate course credits count toward a graduate degree.
A graduate student who receives a combination of more than 8 credit hours of B- (2.700) or lower grades, or more than 4 credit hours of grades lower than C (2.000) is subject to dismissal. Dismissal may be recommended by the chair (or director) of the student’s department to the college dean, or the college dean may request the action of the department chair, or action may be recommended by the college dean’s designee.
When a department has determined that the number of in-progress (IP) or incomplete (IN) grades on a student’s record indicates poor progress toward completion of a degree, it may recommend to the college dean dismissal of the student.
In determining a graduate student’s grade point average, all graduate courses attempted by the student while in a Kent State University graduate program are included in the computation. A change by a graduate student from one department or program to another does not eliminate the grades received under the first enrollment, which are computed in the student’s grade point average. Graduate (but not undergraduate) courses taken by the student over and above those required for the student’s program are included in the grade point average.
- What do people do with this degree?
The MLS is a tailor-made degree, so each person has a different goal in mind for using it. Some continue on to law school or doctoral programs, some are in mid-career and use the degree to facilitate a shift in their career focus, some are high school teachers and take this interdisciplinary training back to the classroom, and some are newly retired and are at last pursuing long-held interests. What will you do with this degree?
If you have further questions, e-mail the Program Director at email@example.com.