The Graduate Liberal Studies program at Villanova University is a distinct educational experience based on the Augustinian tradition of seeking truth in a supportive and compassionate community.  

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 of graduate courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the true liberal arts tradition, students engage in conversation with some of the best faculty in the college and are able to delve into the most influential works of history, literature and philosophy as well as grapple with some of the most pressing issues of our time.

The Classics ... Peace and Justice ... American Studies ... Technology and Society ... Identity and Representation ... Faith and Culture ... Political Movements ... these are but a few examples of the depth and breadth of what is possible to explore in the Liberal Studies program.

Earning a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies will fulfill your curiosity, allow you to pursue your passions and build your own curriculum based on your interests and goals, and prepare you for further academic study or a successful career in a diverse number of fields.

Students who complete the master's degree or graduate certificate will gain an integrated view of the liberal arts and develop an appreciation for the major perspectives and methods of the discipline Students will understand the process of inquiry distinctive to different disciplines in the liberal arts and demonstrate a broadened understanding of some of the basic concepts in the arts, humanities and social sciences.


The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program is designed to provide an alternative, interdisciplinary approach to graduate education within the field of liberal studies. Students choose courses from a broad selection of humanities and social sciences options to tailor their own line of study.

A diverse range of students are attracted to the master’s degree in Liberal Studies, whose life experiences add to the richness of the classroom experience.

Liberal Studies appeals to life-long learners who love the classroom, experienced employees who wish to improve their current position or cultivate new interests in the humanities and social sciences, and retirees who want to explore intellectual pursuits after a lifetime of work and family life.

Liberal Studies draws upon some of the best professors in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, many of whom have won the University’s highest awards for teaching, research and service.

Earning a master's degree from Liberal Studies is an enriching experience, whether you plan to use your degree as a stepping stone to further graduate or professional study, a launching pad to a career or as a way to enhance your existing career with new skill sets.

In addition, a degree in Liberal Studies is perfect for teachers who want to earn a master’s degree or satisfy Act 48 requirements.

Program Director
Dr. Emory Woodard



Fall Assistantship: February 1

Fall: Rolling until August 1

Spring: Rolling until December 1

Summer: Rolling until May 1

Begin your application.




Krista Cantrell ’22 MA

Liberal Studies Master’s Degree Helps Recent Grad Align Career and Life Goals with Personal Values

Krista Cantrell ’22 MA began her graduate studies in the summer of 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic and civil unrest. During this time of isolation and uncertainty, Villanova’s master’s program in Liberal Studies served as both an opportunity to connect with others and as a path to align her career with her personal values of equity and justice. Cantrell’s academic excellence led to her induction into the National Honor Society of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, and, today, she works for a national nonprofit focused on changing the conversation about mental health. READ MORE