The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) program fosters intellectual breadth through courses that address a broad range of cultural issues from different academic perspectives. Students may explore questions of identity through art, literature and religion. They may analyze the politics of race in fiction, historical documents, the visual arts and music. They may debate ethical choices presented by fiction writers, jurists, philosophers and scientists from antiquity through the present. MLA seminars examine literary, artistic and cinematic masterpieces; historic moments of discovery and change; traditions of thought; cultural differences; and civic responsibilities.
MLA students sharpen their thinking about contemporary values and choices through courses that ask them to reflect on the individual's relation to society, technology and the spread of ideas, challenges to freedom, and inspiration and creativity.
Students pursue course work and independent research with Washington University scholars from a number of academic disciplines, including architecture, art, film, history, literature, music, philosophy, religion and science.
The MLA program emphasizes critical thinking and inquiry, close reading, intensive writing and problem solving, all of which are hallmarks of a liberal arts education and essential skills for a range of professional contexts.
The Doctor of Liberal Arts (DLA) program is designed for the experienced adult learner who wishes to pursue rigorous interdisciplinary study along with independent scholarly reading and research. The degree is designed to cultivate interdisciplinary skills, intellectual habits, analytical and critical reasoning, effective writing, and broad-based decision making. This degree neither constitutes a professional credential nor provides training for an academic career.