Graduate Liberal Studies Program

The University is a treasure house with many rooms to explore. . . and the key to them all is Liberal Studies.

In Liberal Studies, students are free to investigate what truly interests them by tracing their own path through the disciplines. Working with faculty mentors, they develop an individualized curriculum that combines foundational LST courses with other graduate courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the true liberal arts tradition, they engage in free, lively conversation with some of the best faculty in the college.

Within Liberal Studies, there are also several graduate certificates available, including American Studies, Ancient Worlds, Great Books and the newest certificate, Peace and Justice Studies. These certificates provide more structure for students who want to follow a more defined path through a particular interdisciplinary subject area.

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Press Release 10.2.13 Villanova University

Graduate Liberal Studies Student Kenneth Mumma Earns National Recognition in Interdisciplinary Writing

kenneth mumma

Kenneth Mumma, a student in the Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Liberal Studies Program, has been awarded the 2013 Confluence Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Writing from Confluence: The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies. Confluence is a national, interdisciplinary journal published by the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP).


Mumma’s essay, entitled “Law for the Chosen: Approaches to Levitical Interpretation through the Aperture of the Homosexual Prohibitions”, was written for a class on the Hebrew Bible and Literature taught by Ruth Anolik, PhD. He received a cash prize and his essay will be published in the journal's fall issue. Mumma also received an invitation to attend the annual meeting of the AGLSP this month.

The AGLSP board and the editors of Confluence sponsor the annual Confluence Awards for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Writing and for Excellence in Creative Writing. The first award celebrates interdisciplinary inquiry as the central intellectual practice of Graduate Liberal Studies programs and critical writing as a foundational tool of graduate study. The second award celebrates creative writing as a form of inquiry, art, and expression.

“I could not be more pleased with the recognition that both Kenneth Mumma and Villanova’s Liberal Studies master ’s program has received with this award,” said Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, Dean of Graduate Studies, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Ken’s academic achievements demonstrate the continued resonance of the program’s mission to promote interdisciplinary learning.  He exemplifies the centrality of the Liberal Arts to an education that does not end with graduation from college, but continues as a life-long adventure.”

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Liberal Studies

The Enlightenment . . . The Renaissance. . . War and Peace. . . The Fall of the Roman Empire. . . The novels of Jane Austen. . . The American Founding. . . The plays of Shakespeare. . . The Civil Rights Movement. . . The Reformation. . . .

These are examples of ideas, books, people, and events that have truly changed the world. What is the best way to study them? History, literature, philosophy, theology, political science, languages – all of these disciplines have something important to say. But how is it possible to combine such different courses into just one master’s degree? The answer is Liberal Studies.