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Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Course Offerings

LIST 501 Introduction to Liberal Studies (3 credits)  
Courses in this area are intended to serve as an introduction to liberal studies and fine arts through the study of significant works from a broad spectrum of areas and disciplines within the liberal arts tradition. Primary sources are selected from a variety of disciplines and time periods; secondary sources related to these primary sources are also considered. Courses in this area emphasize both the interdisciplinary nature of liberal studies and the fact that the most significant questions confronting humankind can be addressed from a variety of intellectual perspectives.This course is divided into three major sections. The first section examines key themes and ideas of the Western intellectual tradition. The second unit surveys the history of the liberal arts and discusses its significance for today’s world. The final unit examines the different methodologies used to address fundamental questions of existence, with particular attention to interdisciplinary research.

LIST 502 Intellectual History (3 credits)
Courses in this area reflect the fact that, throughout history, people have employed many and varied means to understand themselves and the universe around them, and that, over time, ideas and concepts change, merge, disappear and sometimes re-appear. Courses are designed to help students appreciate both the diversity and continuity of human thought. Proceeding chronologically, each course in this area follows some of the ways that ideas evolve, exploring the development of faith, reason, imagination or science in the works of authors who have made a mark on civilization. Both primary and secondary sources are examined.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Shakespeare: Film and Text
  • Love Stories: Shifting Perspectives on Romantic Love
  • Visual Culture and Essential Identity: Discerning Personal and Collective Meaning in Art

LIST 503 Ideas and Issues in the Humanities (3 credits)
Courses in this area examine some of the most important ideas and intellectual movements in the history of the humanities, including the fine arts. Readings come from a variety of subject areas (from literature, philosophy and history to religious studies and the fine arts) and may include selections from writers and thinkers as diverse as Plato, Dante, Shakespeare, Sartre and Rahner.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Hinterland Modernisms
  • Foundations of Servant Leadership
  • Made in America: A Survey of American Art and Artists

LIST 504 Ideas and Issues in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics (3 credits)
Courses in this area provide an introduction to some of the important current and historical issues in science and mathematics. Possible topics include: evolution; cosmology, quantum mechanics and string theory; genetics (genomics); environmental issues; artificial intelligence; medicine and medical ethics; and decidability and incompleteness theorems.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Darwin and the Divine: Evolution and the Faith-Reason Dialog
  • Modern Biology: Miracle or Menace
  • Bioterrorism 

LIST 505 Ideas and Issues in the Social Sciences (3 credits)
Courses in this area address some of the relations between individuals and social organizations (society, culture, economy, law or government). Through readings selected from economics, sociology, psychology, political science, anthropology, education or business, courses may investigate such important social issues as individualism versus collectivism, freedom versus coercion, civil society versus politics, private versus public, church versus state, national versus international, and the associated issues of individual autonomy, social cohesion, democracy, property rights, education, ethnic and cultural identity, international organization, free trade and globalization.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Moral Nature and Development
  • Human Rights and Global Justice

LIST 540 American Perspectives (3 credits)
Courses in this area address diverse and definitive elements of American culture and influence. Specific classes may deal, for instance, with American history, politics, economy, literature or art, but they always aim to broaden and deepen students’ appreciation of American heritage and America’s place in the contemporary world by focusing on the works and ideas that have helped shape American traditions.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Hinterland Modernisms
  • Made in America: A Survey of American Art and Artists

LIST 545 Classical Perspectives (3 credits)
Courses in this area invite students to think about the historical importance and continuing impact of the cultures (philosophy, literature, art, history and archeology) of ancient Greece and Rome. They may include topics up to the Renaissance, but will focus largely on the ancient period, showing the essential classical contribution to the development of the Western world. Featured authors may include Homer, Aristotle, Sophocles, Vergil, Lucretius and Ovid.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Tragedy and Philosophy
  • Heros, Gods and Monsters: Epics and Myths

LIST 550 Diverse Perspectives (3 credits)
In order to introduce students to an increasingly diverse society and intellectual tradition, courses in this area address the identities and perspectives of diverse populations, based on race, ethnicity, class and/or gender. Occasionally, courses may address other underrepresented populations on which there are significant bodies of knowledge.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Logic of Genocide
  • Jane Austen: Writer of Wit and Morality

LIST 555 Ethics and Liberal Studies (3 Credits)
Courses in this area present the main positions in ethical thought, their development and their application to contemporary social and political issues. The value of liberal studies for thinking and deciding about ethical issues is emphasized.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Christian Ethics
  • Bioethics: Birth, Health, Death and Choice

LIST 560 International Perspectives (3 credits)
Focusing on cultures and traditions outside the United States, courses in this area expand students’ understanding and appreciation of the diversity of human experience worldwide. Although approaches may engage disciplines from anthropology and art to economics, politics, science and religion, the learning experience should help students acquire an integrative world view, as well as methods for studying diverse and evolving cultures.

Titles of past course offerings in this area*:

  • Human Rights and Global Justice
  • Global Climate Change: Science, Politics, Literature

LIST 588 Capstone (2 or 3 credits)
This seminar prepares students to research and write their master’s thesis. The first part of the course discusses the similarities and differences in approaching a topic from various scientific and humanistic perspectives; the second part of the course requires students to begin researching their topics, with class time devoted to sharing their initial findings with the rest of the class. At the end of the course, students will be well on their way toward completing their research projects. This course is only offered in summer.

LIST 589 Special Topics (1 credit)
Special topic one-credit mini-courses will be offered occasionally. Topics of these courses vary.

LIST 596 Master’s Thesis Project I (1 credit)
The student develops and, under the supervision of the thesis director, writes a master’s thesis. The director of M.L.S. must approve thesis directors. Enrollment and registration in this course is available in the fall semester of each academic year. The purpose of the thesis project is to demonstrate the student’s ability to study a problem and utilize the resources available within the liberal studies program to develop a practical approach based on a sound methodology. This approach must be informed by a critical, focused and coherent analysis based on the liberal arts tradition. Students are required to register for LIST 596 the semester immediately following the capstone course. Registering for LIST 000 is not allowed after taking the capstone.

LIST 597 Master’s Thesis Project II (1 credit)
This course is a continuation of LIST 596, leading to the submission of the master’s thesis. Prior to final approval, a discussion of the project proposed will take place between the student and a panel of three persons (i.e., the thesis project director and two readers), at which time the thesis project is either approved, rejected or conditionally approved with recommendations for improvement. This course is offered in the spring semester of each year. Students are required to register for this course the semester immediately following LIST 596 Master’s Thesis Project I. 

LIST 600 Continuing Master’s Thesis (0 credit, $100 fee)
If a student does not complete the thesis project while enrolled in LIST 597, students are required to register for this course every semester thereafter until the project is completed. Those students who wish to graduate in May of any year must have the final, completed thesis project turned in no later than March 1 of that year.  If that student does not register for LIST 600, the M.L.S. program will automatically register the student. A maximum of six semesters will be allowed for the LIST 600 course; this includes summers.  

LIST 000 Inactive Status for One Semester
This is only available to students prior to taking the LIST 588 Capstone course. After completion of the capstone course, students must register for LIST 596 Master’s Thesis I (fall semester) and LIST 597 Master’s Thesis II (spring semester).  If the thesis is not completed at the end of the LIST 597 semester, students automatically will be registered for LIST 600 Continuing Master’s Thesis until the thesis is completed. A maximum of six semesters will be allowed for the LIST 600 course; this includes summers. Written requests for exceptions to this policy will be reviewed by the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Policy Committee.  

*These courses may or may not be offered the next time an area is offered. New courses are continually being developed.

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