Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

The Academic Program

MALS class

Courseload & Progression

There are between 25 and 35 students in the program at any given time, with approximately 20 to 30 enrolled in courses in fall or spring semester, and 10 to 12 enrolled in the summer. Most students attend part time; full-time status requires concurrent enrollment in both undergraduate and graduate courses and generally is not recommended for MALS students. While the majority of MALS students take three to six years to complete the program, it is possible to finish in two years. The typical annual courseload generally ranges from one to five academic units. There is no specified minimum or maximum courseload and students are not required to enroll each term. It is important to balance this flexibility in progression, however, with continuity. All students therefore should meet the following completion time frames:

  1. Students must enroll in at least one Reed course within any three-term period or face removal from the program. By the last day of classes of the third term of non-enrollment, a student should submit a petition to the Committee on Graduate Studies that includes a statement of continued interest and a proposed time frame for program completion (including enrollment in at least one of the next two semesters). A student who does not meet these criteria and who wishes to continue study at a later date must reapply for admission to the program.
  2. Students are expected to complete the MALS degree within six years of formal acceptance as a degree candidate. Petitions to extend the time for degree completion must be approved in advance of the thesis term by the Committee on Graduate Studies.

Full-time enrollment in a regular semester is three units; half-time enrollment is one and one-half units. In an accelerated (six-week) summer term, the one-unit course is considered half-time enrollment.