Degree Requirements

Each degree-seeking student is required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of MLAS coursework, with at least 24 of those credits taken at UNC Asheville.  Students must complete at least one MLAS course per year and maintain regular contact with their assigned faculty advisors in order to remain candidates for the degree. Students should track their own progress through the use of the Graduation Checksheet. It is expected that a student will need no more than 5 years to complete the MLAS degree. Permission of the Graduate Council is necessary in order to remain a candidate for the degree beyond this time limit.

A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be attained in order to graduate. All coursework is assessed on the four-point scale, except for work related to the Capstone Project, which is evaluated on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) basis.

Each of the following seminars are required of all MLAS students. Topics for each seminar change each semester. See the Course Descriptions page for current offerings.

See the UNC Asheville Course Catalog for all degree requirements.

Required Interdisciplinary Seminars (12 graduate credit hours)

MLAS 500: Seminar on the Human Condition – 3 credit hours

Explores the historical evolution of concepts central to the development of civilization and of the human personality, including freedom and authority, aesthetic sensibility, a sense of self and of social relationships and mastery over the physical environment. Required of all MLAS students; must be taken at the first opportunity. May not be repeated for elective credit.

MLAS/ENG 520: Seminar on the Human Experience – 3 credit hours

Interdisciplinary seminars on questions of human nature and human values raised in the humanities, but drawing on insights from the natural and social sciences as well. Topics vary. Required of all MLAS students. May be repeated for elective credit.

MLAS 540: Seminar on the Individual and Society – 3 credit hours

Interdisciplinary seminars on questions of human nature and human values raised in the social sciences, but drawing on insights from the humanities and natural sciences as well. Topics vary. Required of all MLAS students. May be repeated for elective credit.

MLAS/CCS 560: Seminar on Science and Human Values – 3 credit hours

Interdisciplinary seminars on questions of human nature and human values raised by the natural sciences, but drawing on insights from the humanities and social sciences as well. Topics vary. Required of all MLAS students. May be repeated for elective credit.

Electives (12 graduate credit hours)

Students must take 12 credit hours of electives by repeating 520, 540, and 560 as topics change, or by developing an independent study course as outlined below.

MLAS 610: Tutorial – 1-3 credit hours

Students may take up to 6 credit hours of tutorials for elective credit.

Individual study supervised by a faculty member. Topics are chosen after consultation between student, graduate advisor and faculty member. Course may be repeated as subject matter changes for a total of 6 hours of credit. Requires permission of program director – please submit a Tutorial Request Form. Tutorials may only be used for elective credit and will appear on the academic transcript as MLAS 610.

MLAS/CCS/ENG 571-3, 671-3: Special Topics – 1-3 credit hours

Courses not otherwise included in the catalog listing but for which there may be special needs. May be repeated for credit as subject matter changes. Elective credit only. See program director.

MLAS/ENG/CCS 599: Directed Research – 1-3 credit hours

Independent research under the supervision of a faculty mentor or with an interdisciplinary team of faculty. An IP grade may be awarded at the discretion of the instructor. Students may take Directed Research twice for a total of 6 hours of credit, in any combination of MLAS 599, ENG 599 and CCS 599. Fall and Spring.

Required Capstone Project

6 hours of Capstone coursework which may include one of two options as the final requirement for the degree: a) MLAS 681, Capstone Project; b) a non-credit bearing MLAS Portfolio. Oral competency will be demonstrated through a formal presentation at the MLAS Program Forum.

681 MLAS Capstone Project (6 credit hours- may be taken over two semesters)
Most students enrolled in the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences program conclude their degree requirements by writing an independent project under the direction of a faculty supervisor. The graduate project is interdisciplinary in scope and reflects an emphasis or interest that the student has discovered in the MLAS program.  The Final Project, which includes but is not limited to a work of written analysis, may involve academic research, applied research or creative work. Often, students choose to amplify a paper or topic from a previous class.  The Capstone Project is a formal process that requires the development and submission of a proposal, structured study with a faculty supervisor, and exit interview with faculty supervisor and the MLAS advisor (who serves as the second reader of the project).  The completed project is retained in the MLAS archive in Ramsey Library.  (Grading S/U/IP). Students who receive an IP grade for MLAS 690 will have two (2) additional semesters in which to complete and defend their projects.

Non-credit Portfolio Option
Students who select the Portfolio option must still complete 30 credit hours in the program, taking an additional 6 hours of elective credit. The portfolio will be completed independently within the student’s final semester, and for students not selecting a graduate project or thesis, the portfolio is a degree requirement. There is no class to register for to complete the Portfolio. The student’s MLAS advisor serves as the portfolio advisor. The Portfolio will be submitted at the end of the semester to the MLAS Program Director and the Graduate Council for review and approval. The following items must be submitted to satisfy the requirements for the Portfolio option:

  • A cover page with the student’s name, date, and title of the project.
  • At least three substantive papers from separate courses that represent their best work.
  • A 10-12 page reflective narrative placing the papers in the context of the student’s intellectual journey through the MLAS program.

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer up to six credit hours from other accredited graduate programs, provided that the work is relevant to the individual student’s particular focus area in the MLAS Program and the student earned a grade of B- or better in each course being considered for transfer credit.

Current students wishing to transfer credits should submit the following supporting materials to the MLAS Program Director, who will present the portfolio to the Graduate Council:

  • official transcript
  • course syllabus
  • a written petition describing the relevance of the course to the MLAS Program

Transfer credit will be awarded at the discretion of the Graduate Council, which will review requests at monthly meetings. Approved transfer courses will count as elective credits in the MLAS Program.

Current students considering a course through another institution are encouraged to discuss the course with the Program Director before enrolling if the aim is to earn credit towards the MLAS degree.