Master of Arts in Liberal Studies


Reed MALS Turns 50!

MALS birthday cake

The graduate liberal studies concept dates from 1952 when Wesleyan University, CT established the first Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program. Reed designed its MALS program initially to complement and enhance teacher education preparation. With the support of the National Science Foundation, the Danforth Foundation and the Ford Foundation, Reed College formally established its Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program on December 6, 1966. The program was offered to high school teachers who wanted to increase mastery of subject matter in their teaching fields and to develop a broader background in the liberal arts.

In 1980 a college committee recommended that the program be revitalized with the inclusion of a more diverse population:

There appears to be a need for a post-baccaluareate program in the Portland area, one which does not have a specific vocational or professional orientation, which is flexible and which provides students with an opportunity to develop new goals, prepare for new courses in the most general way, and to enlarge their intellectual horizons in the same way that the liberal arts education serves to educate undergraduates.

The program held a celebratory gathering for alumni, faculty, staff, and current students on Friday, June 10th during Reed Reunions Week.

Upcoming Terms

*The summer full unit course on Joyce starts Monday, June 27 and runs through August 4.

* Fall classes will start Monday, August 31 and run through Wednesday, December 9. Fall break is October 17-25, 2016.

Prospective students should contact the MALS office to arrange a class visit, or 503-777-7259.