2010-2011 Catalog 
    Aug 23, 2019  
2010-2011 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Liberal Arts

Professor Downes (Director) 

The Master of Liberal Arts degree (MLA) is a broadly interdisciplinary, part-time program designed for a wide spectrum of adults. It provides a challenging, structured liberal arts curriculum at the graduate level.

The objectives of the MLA 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 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 three areas of study whereby students may focus their scholarly and creative energies. The areas are Humanities and Creative Writing, Globalization Past and Present, and Science and Human Values.

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 Program from all persons interested in a rigorous program of post-baccalaureate education in the liberal arts. The requirements and procedures are explained below. Those interested may inquire by mail, telephone or in person to the Master of Liberal Arts Program Director, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC 28804-8509; telephone 828/250-2399.

Application Procedures

Admission to the University of North Carolina at Asheville Master of Liberal Arts 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 MLA degree candidates must submit to the UNC Asheville Office of Admissions:

  1. a completed MLA application form;
  2. an application fee of $50. 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 recommendation; and
  5. a statement of purpose for seeking a Master of Liberal Arts degree. This brief autobiographical essay should describe the applicant’s pertinent personal and professional experience and education, as well as his or her interests and goals in pursuing the MLA degree.

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 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 insure 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 (MLA 680), and the MLA 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 MLA 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 MLA 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 graduate courses, but have no clear intention of obtaining a degree, may be admitted to the university as Graduate Special (non- degree) students. At the discretion of the program director, Graduate Special students may take up to 6 credit hours of graduate courses each semester for credit. Students wanting to take graduate courses in a non-degree status should submit a Graduate Special application and $50 application fee to the Office of Admissions. Admission as a Graduate Special student does not constitute regular admission to the MLA Program. The Graduate Special application is available online at www.unca.edu/mla/forms.

Degree Requirements

Each student will complete 30 semester hours of course work within the Master of Liberal Arts 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 MLA electives with the prior approval of the Graduate Council.

Master of Liberal Arts Program


Master of Liberal Arts