The Master of Liberal Studies Program is designed for adults who wish to pursue a broad, interdisciplinary course of study, and lifelong learners interested in earning a graduate degree.   The program aims to help individuals develop the intellectual tools to engage in contemporary debates, to find connections among different areas of human thought, to conduct original research; and, most of all, to pursue a life of ideas.

The underlying premise of the Master of Liberal Studies is that interdisciplinary studies lead to intellectual independence and satisfaction not always found in discipline-based programs of study. As a result, we encourage our students to explore a broad range of subjects throughout the curriculum, rather than to focus narrowly on a single topic. For each student, the culmination of these interdisciplinary studies is the summative master’s project—an opportunity for students to work closely with a faculty advisor and committee of MLS faculty, chosen by the student, to apply interdisciplinary research frameworks to a subject of intense personal interest.

Candidates for the MLS degree complete a minimum of 27 units of coursework, which includes an introductory core seminar, at least seven Master of Liberal Studies program electives, and a summative master’s project.

The USC MLS degree is ideally suited to the lifelong learner driven by curiosity and the desire for intellectual engagement.

Shelly Hacco (MLS '11)

"I am taking away from the MLS Program a recharged curiosity for all yet-to-be tackled subjects, a confidence that I will succeed in my future goals, and most importantly, a better understanding of myself and my life journey."

Interested in learning more?

Call Ron Rothstain, MLS program specialist, at (213) 821-3901, or email him at rothstai@usc.edu.

What Can I Do With a Graduate Liberal Studies Degree? Panel Discussion
  • Master of Liberal Studies
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Mark Taper Hall, THH 355
  • University of Southern California
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0355