Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Student and Alumni Profiles

There is no “typical” Reed MALS student. The program attracts a diverse group of people of varied interests, ages, and backgrounds. They are drawn to the program primarily by their desire to focus their intellectual curiosity in a more structured context, and to do so with similarly motivated students and a stimulating faculty. Some come to the program from specialized professions looking for an opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge; others are recent college graduates who wish to study more broadly before narrowing their career focus. Most can be described as seekers: people looking for deeper meaning as individuals and members of society, people who wish to expand their thinking about themselves in relation to the world. Thus, the most fundamental and abiding characteristic of students in the program is the desire to learn for its own sake.

Most MALS students come to the program from the Portland metropolitan area; others move to Portland from both US and international locations specifically to participate in Reed’s MALS program. While Reed does not offer on-campus housing for graduate students, a useful resource for students new to the area is the college's off-campus housing link. Almost all of the students work full- or part-time, pursuing careers in such diverse fields as education, law, medicine, the arts, finance, journalism, architecture, and business. The average age of program participants is approximately 40, with student ages generally ranging from the mid-20s to retirement ages.

The following profiles briefly portray just a few of the current students and recent graduates, including why they chose to study in the Reed MALS program.