2019-2020 Catalog 
    Jun 03, 2020  
2019-2020 Catalog

Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree (M.L.A.S.) is a broadly interdisciplinary program designed for a wide spectrum of adults, and provides a challenging, structured liberal arts curriculum at the graduate level. Students may be enrolled in the program as full-time or part-time students. However, international students must be enrolled as full-time students during their tenure in the MLAS Program.

The objectives of the MLAS Program are to cultivate appreciation of the dimensions of the human spirit and condition; sensitivity to problems concerning values; ability in critical analysis; appreciation of the interrelationships among disciplines as they relate to our humanity; and greater awareness of the importance of viewing contemporary problems from a variety of perspectives. The program is not specifically intended to train students for a particular vocation, to provide accreditation for a profession or to prepare students for further graduate study.

The Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree is designed around the theme “The Human Condition.” The program explores human nature, human values and the quality of human life. The theme integrates studies ranging from the humanities and the arts to the natural and social sciences. The program offers four areas of study whereby students may focus their scholarly and creative energies. The areas are Humanities and Creative Writing, Globalization Past and Present, Science and Human Values and Climate Change and Society.

UNC Asheville is a member of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. The university welcomes applications for admission into the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program from all persons interested in a rigorous program of post-baccalaureate education in the liberal arts. The requirements and procedures are explained below. Additional information may be found at http://mla.unca.edu or by contacting the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program Director, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC 28804-8509; telephone 828/250-2399.

Application Procedures

Admission to the UNC Asheville Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program is based upon the applicant’s possession of a baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, in any field, and demonstrated interest in pursuing advanced study in the liberal arts.

All applicants for admission as Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree candidates must submit to the MLAS Program Office:

  1. a completed MLAS application form; available at http://mlas.unca.edu;
  2. an application fee of $60. This is a non-refundable processing charge and does not apply to any other university fee;
  3. official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work previously undertaken:
  4. three letters of academic recommendation;
  5. an essay of approximately 1000 words that reflects the applicant’s academic background and interests, passion for the liberal arts, how the applicant plans to use the MLAS Program to further personal and/or professional aims, and what special abilities, personal qualities, and life experience the applicant brings to the program.

In addition to these requirements, each applicant will also be interviewed on campus by members of the Graduate Council. Candidates for admission may submit their scores from the Graduate Record Examination, or other standardized tests, but that is not required.

All applicants will be informed by the program director of their admission status as soon as possible after all of their credentials have been reviewed. The notice of admission may include mention of any academic condition under which a student is offered admission. Unless otherwise indicated, failure to meet those conditions will result in the student’s dismissal.

Advising and Project Seminar Committee

Each student will consult with the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences program director for information and advising before beginning graduate course work. Students are required to meet with a designated advisor at least once a semester to ensure progress through the program. A capstone project is required of each degree candidate. A project seminar committee composed of the student’s project advisor, the instructor of the project seminar (MLAS 680), and the MLAS director will supervise the capstone project. The project advisor and the instructor of the project seminar must approve the project topic. The student will present and defend the project in the capstone project seminar.


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. Students must complete at least one MLAS course per year and maintain regular contact with their assigned graduate advisor.


A student may withdraw officially from the program at any time, following consultation with his or her graduate advisor. If a student has not been in attendance for one full calendar year, he or she will be dismissed automatically from the program. Reinstatement requires permission of the Graduate Council.

Graduate Special Students

Persons with a baccalaureate degree who wish to take one or two graduate courses as a non-degree student may be admitted to the university as a Graduate Special student for a single semester and take up to 6 hours for credit. To be admitted in a non-degree status, students should submit the Graduate Special application and the $60 application fee to the MLAS Program office. Admission as a Graduate Special student does not constitute regular admission to the MLAS Program. Graduate Special students who wish to continue after one semester must apply as a degree-seeking student and be admitted by the Graduate Council. The Graduate Special application is available online at http://mlas.unca.edu.

Climate Change and Society Certificate Program

The four-course Climate Change and Society program will train students to be the intermediaries between scientists and government, and business and community organizations. They will gain the knowledge to understand research and the communication skills to translate data for the general  public.

The Certificate in Climate Change and Society is awarded to students who successfully complete four required courses, with an average grade-point-average of 3.0. The completion of the requirements for the certificate will be noted on the student’s academic transcript.

Environmental and Cultural Sustainability Certificate Program

The multidisciplinary aspects of a sustainability-based curriculum are essential to understanding many of the problems facing today’s world, and for providing the basis for the development of solutions. The five-course Environmental and Cultural Sustainability Certificate program is designed for individuals employed in or seeking employment in fields such as: land use planning, environmental non-profits, government, transportation, and insurance, in which sustainability concepts play an integral role. The program is intended to be attractive to both full-time and part-time students.

The Certificate in Environmental and Cultural Sustainability is awarded to students who successfully complete 15 credit hours, including three required core courses, with an average grade-point-average of 3.0. The completion of the requirements for the certificate will be noted on the student’s academic transcript.

Degree Requirements

Each student seeking a degree will complete 30 semester hours of course work within the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences program with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. At least 24 of these credits must be taken at UNC Asheville. Courses offered through the Asheville Graduate Center may be taken as MLAS electives with the prior approval of the Graduate Council.

Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences