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Master of Liberal Arts Program
811 Anderson Hall
Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122
215-204-1644 (phone)
215-204-9611 (fax)

Michael Szekely
Director, MLA Program
215-204-6479 (phone)

Stephanie Morawski
215-204-8516 (phone)

Degree Requirements

NOTE: As per Graduate School Policy #02.25.11 on "Continuous Enrollment/Registration":

"To remain in Academic Good Standing, a graduate student must maintain continuous enrollment (i.e., 1 or more s.h. each Fall and Spring; also in the Summer for those students graduating in the summer) from the semester of matriculation through the semester of graduation" (see: http://www.temple.edu/grad/policies/gradpolicies.htm).

Students must enroll during the semester in which they are admitted. Leave of Absences are not permitted during the first semester of admittance, but may be granted for subsequent semesters. Should a Leave of Absence be necessary, the student must submit a completed Leave of Absence form, plus fee, to the Office of Graduate Affairs, 12th Anderson Hall (Dean's Office).

There are two primary components toward successful completion of the MLA degree: coursework and qualifying paper.


10 graduate courses (30 credits) are required for the degree.

Of these 10 courses:

This course combines a more typical interdisciplinary thematic course with an emphasis on methods and skills for doing research at the graduate level. Ideally, this course will be taken by all incoming MLA students either during the semester of matriculation, or shortly thereafter.

These courses are offered every semester and turn on a variety of interdisciplinary topics, such as: Gender Issues, Race, Visual Culture, Popular Culture, Politics and Society, The Arts and Contemporary Culture, Religion and Society, Modern Intellectual Traditions, The Classical Traditions, Global Cultures, and Urban Culture.

Effective Immediately: what were formerly known as “Foundations” courses will no longer be offered; as such, all current and incoming students are no longer required to take these courses.]

These courses can be selected from additional MLA courses and/or a wealth of graduate offerings from departments across the College of Liberal Arts that are tailored to the student's individual plans for study, qualifications, necessary course prerequisites, etc. Up to two graduate courses can be taken from outside both the MLA program and the College of Liberal Arts. (Please consult the MLA Advisor.)

[NOTE: Because the subject matter and areas of focus for MLA courses vary from semester to semester, students are permitted to register for the same course multiple times. This excludes MLA 8011.]

Qualifying Paper:

A Qualifying Paper is required for the degree.

In their last year or last semester, students must complete an essay, or Qualifying Paper (may be a creative project), that represents the culmination of their individual plans of study.   It must demonstrate the student's’ ability to write analytically on a topic of their choice; to read, absorb, evaluate, and cite scholarly thought and research; and to establish and develop a sound perspective on the topic under consideration. 

For information on the Qualifying Paper, visit: http://www.temple.edu/mla/qualifying/index.html


Students intending to graduate in any given semester (or summer) must:

1) be enrolled in at least one graduate credit during the semester (or summer) in which they intend to graduate (Please consult graduate policy #02.25.11 referenced above.)

2) both apply online through Banner and print out a hard copy of the application to submit to CLA Graduate Affairs, 1216 Anderson Hall (12th Floor).

To apply online, sign into TPortal, then go to "Self-Service Banner," then "Main Menu: Student," the "Student Records," then "Apply to Graduate."

Late applications will not be accepted.

NOTE: Master’s students are no longer required to pay a fee with this application.

Deadlines for submission of graduate application:

For Fall: October 17

For Spring: February 15

For Summer: June 1


"The Master of Liberal Arts Program offers the deep satisfactions of an engaged intellectual life while working full-time. The range and depth of my learning experiences, the new eyes and new tools gained in the Program strengthen my sense of connection to family, work, community, and the larger world. To paraphrase John Dewey, I feel the Program places its students and graduates firmly in 'better possession of their powers'."

William Casey, former MLA student (Social Security Administration)