College Catalog: 2015-2016

SSHGS: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Website: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

(MALS faculty come from the following schools: SSHGS, CA, SSHS, and TAS)


About the Program

Socrates suggested over two thousand years ago that we need more than specialized learning or mastery of a particular skill to function in our world. MALS is shaped by the traditions and heritage of Ramapo College, New Jersey’s official liberal arts college. The MALS program:

  • Enhances the ability of its graduates to analyze, synthesize and present information
  • Develops research, writing and critical thinking skills
  • Searches for the unifying elements in the complexities of modern life
  • Fosters an understanding of the multicultural and interdisciplinary nature of today’s world
  • Encourages originality and decision-making in an ethical context

MALS is a graduate program in the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies offering seminar classes in many different fields, including literature, history, psychology, philosophy, history of science, sociology and the arts.

MALS is a 30 credit program of 3 core courses, 5 elective courses and a 6-credit thesis or creative project and process paper, divided into a research semester and a writing semester. Students take 3 required core courses (generally team-taught) followed by five electives which build upon themes introduced by the core. Courses meet once weekly, in the evening, for 2 ½ hours in the Fall and Spring semesters. Summer courses may meet day and evening, or evening only. In a selected number of instances, Saturday classes will be held during the academic year or during the summer. A Credential of Concentration is awarded to students who devote 40% of their study to a specific area approved by the Director.

Requirements for admission appear on the MALS Website:

The director of the program is Dr. Anthony T. Padovano, a founder of the College and a distinguished professor of literature and philosophy.

Outcomes for the Program

Goal 1: Students learn to relate course material in all MALS courses to the consequences for: The Self, The Other, The Global Community. 

Outcome 1: Students define American culture in its relationship to world cultures. 

Outcome 2: Students compare the diverse ways at least two different disciplines address the same issue. 

Outcome 3: Students analyze pivotal texts by which cultures express their values. 

Outcome 4: Students utilize the accepted rules for academic writing and professional research in their papers.

Requirements of the Program
  1. Students may transfer or earn Graduate Learning Experience credits (GPLA) for a maximum of 6 credits.
  2. GPLA credits cannot be done until 9 credits have been completed in the program.
  3. To remain in good academic standing, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.