Online Masters Degree in Liberal Arts: Program Overviews
Online programs are available for individuals seeking a master's degree in liberal arts or liberal studies. These programs offer students the opportunity to take a variety of classes in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Typically self-directed and self-paced, students work towards a thesis project or paper required for program completion.
Overview of Online Master's Degrees in Liberal Arts or Liberal Studies
Students wanting a well-rounded and diverse academic experience that encompasses many subjects might opt to enroll in an online master's degree program in liberal arts or liberal studies. The interdisciplinary programs consist of courses in numerous subjects, such as literature, art, sociology, politics and economics, just to name a few. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, although a specific field isn't required or preferred. Rather than adhering to a specialized or narrow course curriculum, students design the curriculum with their advisors to meet their academic and professional needs.
Program Information and Requirements
Most liberal arts or liberal studies programs require 30-36 credit hours, which students can complete in 2-4 years. Enrollees need a computer with Internet access, preferably high-speed Internet. While some schools offer hybrid programs, where courses are available both online and on-campus, some master's programs can be completed entirely online. Many online classes combine texts with audio and video presentations, and these materials are often provided via a course management system like Blackboard.
List of Common Liberal Arts Courses
The exact number of courses varies depending on the school, but students are required to take a certain number in the arts, the behavioral sciences and the applied sciences. Since the degree is tailor-made, courses differ from student to student, but some common courses include the following:
World Studies Course
Students study and analyze contemporary world events occurring after World War II. This class encourages students to look at global events from multiple and conflicting points of view and to develop social consciousness.
Religious Studies Course
The course surveys some of the world's most popular religions, such as Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism. Students explore the relationship between religion and Earth and study different religious sacraments, rituals and theologies.
Global Economics Course
This course covers the advent, theory and practice of free trade. Students look at its positive and negative impacts on a global scale with an emphasis on which countries have been the most and least affected.
Career Information for Graduates
The diverse background of liberal arts graduates helps such individuals succeed in differing jobs in various fields, so career prospects are promising. New graduates are poised to take on a variety of viable careers, such as public relations specialist, secondary school teacher, office manager, literary agent, political lobbyist, scriptwriter or journalist.
In July 2010, Salary.com revealed that journalists can expect to earn between $25,494 and $37,014. The same source reported that public school teachers had an annual salary range from $38,063 to $65,610, while public relations specialists made between $33,294 and $54,737. The reported salary for lobbyists ranged from $61,623 to $168,921.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates with a master's degree in liberal arts or liberal studies may go on to obtain a Doctor of Liberal Studies or a Doctor of Philosophy, which are considered equivalents, in a subject of their choice, such as economics or English. Few doctoral programs are available online. Many students with a master's degree continue on to medical or law school.
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