Students sitting on couches and discussing literature

As a second-semester junior, you have a unique opportunity to further your education after graduation while getting up to five graduate courses free. You can take courses during your senior year which count simultaneously for undergraduate and graduate credit – and shorten the amount of time it takes to get your Masters of Arts degree. In addition, your last two courses in Graduate Liberal Studies are free. Finally, you will have the freedom to explore courses across the graduate curriculum in the Liberal Arts – all the treasures of the University at your fingertips! 

How is this possible? Through the combined BA/MA program in Graduate Liberal Studies here at Villanova University.

In Liberal Studies, you will be free to investigate what truly interests you by tracing your own path through the disciplines. Working with faculty mentors, you can develop an individualized curriculum that supports your education and career goals. In the true liberal arts tradition, you will be able to engage in lively conversation with some of the best faculty in the college.

An exciting world of interdisciplinary exploration awaits you – start the exploration today!


Requirements for Admission

  • Enrollment in any BA program with junior academic status
  • GPA of 3.0. Please note: The admissions committee for the Liberal Studies program engages in a holistic admissions process. This GPA benchmark is used as a rough guideline rather than a hard cutoff.
  • Unofficial undergraduate transcripts (uploaded on the Academic History page in the application)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Goals

Application Deadlines

  • To begin graduate courses next fall: March 15
  • To begin graduate courses next spring: October 15

Academic Requirements for Students Accepted into BA/MA Program in Liberal Studies

  • Students must maintain a GPA higher than 3.0 in their remaining undergraduate courses.
  • Students must earn at least a “B” grade in each Liberal Studies graduate course while an undergraduate. A graduate course with a grade below “B” may not be transferred into the MA degree program in Liberal Studies.
  • Consistent with current policy, the students must maintain a GPA higher than 3.0 when holding formal graduate status (in Year 5).
  • Full-time and Overload Enrollment: As with the standard master’s programs, full-time enrollment is nine credits per semester in either the fall or spring semesters or six credits in the summer term. (A student enrolled in thesis credit or taking fewer than nine credits within the typical two-year full-time period is considered full-time.) Overload enrollment is discouraged.


Financial Arrangements

For students accepted into bachelor-master programs, the financial responsibility for the last two courses is covered by the University. When students prepare to enter their last two courses for the graduate degree, the Program Department should notify the Office of Graduate Studies, which will supply the Bursar with the list of students’ names, course loads and the tuition remission account to which these courses are to be charged.


Additional Information

Who Can Apply

Second semester juniors in any Arts department are invited to apply to the BA/MA program in Liberal Studies if they have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

When Graduate Courses Begin

Graduate courses may begin when the student who has been formally accepted into the program holds a “senior” status. A maximum of three graduate courses may be applied toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Application Fee

Application Fee is waived for all current Villanova students.

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