Joe Cardot, Graduate Advisor
ACU Box 28156
Abilene, Texas 79699-8156
Sherrod Building, Room 128
The graduate faculty of the university serves as the faculty for the Master of Liberal Arts.
Abilene Christian University offers the Master of Liberal Arts degree with concentrations in a variety of fields in which the university offers master’s degrees.
The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) program offers students who have completed at least a baccalaureate degree a means of formal personal enrichment through the interdisciplinary MLA degree. Liberal arts study is for anyone with a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree who wishes to continue the “unfinished business” of a liberal arts education, the quest for knowledge about humankind, God, and God’s creation.
Liberal arts study at ACU permits the student to explore a wide range of disciplines and personal interests at the graduate level. The MLA student may take graduate courses from any area in which he or she can meet the specific course prerequisites. Thus, a student can gain understanding in a broad graduate curriculum within the context of Christian higher education.
The program is not designed to produce a standard career credential as are more traditional master’s degree programs. Rather, the liberal arts program seeks the intellectual development and professional enhancement of adult students in areas such as the arts and humanities, social sciences and religion with additional enrichment from professional and technical areas such as business.
In the arts and humanities, courses in literature, communication and history seek to address such enduring questions as what humankind is to live for and how humans should conduct themselves.
In the social sciences, courses in psychology, sociology and family studies endeavor to assist the student in forming a critical awareness of the complexity of human affairs and inter-relationships and in establishing an ethical framework for making informed decisions about human affairs and the social institutions that promote orderly human discourse.
In religion, courses address the nature of being and purpose and humankind’s interaction with each other and with God. Religion courses also include application courses in such areas as missions or biblical ministry. In business, courses in management and finance assist the student in understanding the theoretical and practical framework of everyday human interchange.
The liberal arts student will be responsible for helping design his or her degree plan because each is crafted to the student’s individual needs and desires for higher education. The degree plan must meet the parameters given in the degree requirements below. In many cases, the student can help design a degree plan that can be completed with evening and short courses. In others, the student will find it desirable to participate in regular day classes to gain the experiences desired.
The liberal arts student will first work with the MLA advisor to determine the dominant areas of interest and an appropriate graduate committee. The graduate committee will then work through the completion of the individual MLA degree program. The committee and degree program should be approved by the end of the second semester of enrollment.
The liberal arts student may apply to take courses in any graduate department of the university, but should remember that some courses have specified prerequisites. Note: the courses in some programs, including online programs, are available only to students formally admitted to those programs. In some cases, the student will require special admission to the course from the instructor or the chair of the department. Specific courses may be required and appropriate research competencies must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the student’s graduate degree committee, the MLA advisor and the dean.
Each degree program operates under the general supervision of the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. The initial advisor will be the MLA advisor. A supervisory committee of appropriate graduate faculty (at least three) will be appointed to consult with, advise and evaluate the student’s progress. Each degree plan will be approved by the dean and committee members from appropriate areas of study in consultation with the MLA advisor.
Admission requirements for the MA of Liberal Arts are:
- A completed application for admission with a nonrefundable application fee;
- An official transcript(s) in English (or translated to English) of all previous colleges attended. The transcript must indicate an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university or equivalent;
- A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
- Two letters of recommendation;
- Official GRE score;
- Personal interview with the MLA advisor or one appointed by the MLA advisor; and
- Impromptu written statement from the applicant describing the purposes and objectives for entering the MLA program.
An admission committee will determine the student’s eligibility for admission. Admission applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as received prior to the beginning of each academic term. Admission decisions will apply all general standards for graduate programs.
ProgramsMaster of Liberal Arts