Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Special Students

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MALS courses normally are open only to students formally enrolled in the program.  Individuals with an undergraduate degree who wish to sample a course one time only, however, may apply to enroll in a specific course.  Credit for the course may be applied later to the MALS degree requirements.  Please complete the Special Student Application and send it, along with a non-refundable $75 application fee, to the MALS Office. (If you apply as a degree-seeking student to the MALS program within two years of taking a MALS course, the later application fee will be waived.)  In addition, please have transcripts of all previous and current undergraduate and graduate work forwarded to the MALS Office from the originating institution(s).  An interview with the director of the program also is required.  The application should be filed at least 30 days before the start of the desired term.

Undergraduates in MALS Courses

Starting in fall 2016, the program has allowed a limited number of Reed undergraduate students with junior or senior standing to enroll in a fall or spring half-unit MALS course that does not have a comparable undergraduate offering within the same academic year. The MALS course may not be used to meet college distribution requirements. Students must check with their home department in advance of the start of the term to determine if the course qualifies to meet departmental major requirements. Approval of enrollment will be based on the application, an interview with the program director, and instructor permission. Priority in enrollment is given to current MALS students, and no more than two undergraduate students may enroll in any given MALS course. Applications are available through the MALS office and should be submitted at least 30 days before the start of the desired term.


Reed MALS graduates may apply to audit a specific MALS course, and are limited to one course audit per semester. Audited courses are not for credit and are not recorded on the college transcript. Graduates must submit an audit application by selecting "MALS Alumni" in the drop-down menu. The director will contact the professor for permission and will consider the auditor's statement of interest, instructor approval, and space availability in making a final decision. Auditors are expected to complete all readings and attend class regularly, but written assignments may not be evaluated. The fee for MALS alumni to audit a MALS course is $100 per course. All auditors must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination (please await instructions if approved, and do not email vaccination records).

All others are welcome to reach out to the MALS director at to learn more about applying as a special student to sample a MALS course.