Overview

A liberal arts program provides a comprehensive overview of humanities related fields. From language and linguistics, to literature and political science, a liberal arts degree holders opt for a general approach rather than the specialized approach of traditional degrees. While graduates do not receive specialized training in a specific field, it would be a mistake to think they are not prepared to be skilled professionals. On the contrary, the general approach makes students masters in terms of critical thinking, creative problem solving, and communication. Add to that a master’s degree and they become versatile and highly successful professionals.

A master’s degree follows the general approach — rather than open doors to specializations, they often give students the opportunity to expand their base knowledge even further. In that sense, students learn to critically think about the connections their large knowledge base has across fields, which makes them invaluable for a multitude of professions.

A liberal arts degree is incredibly versatile. Professionals enjoy careers in healthcare services, communications, education, and more.

Online degrees no longer carry the stigma they once did. In fact, online degrees are often indistinguishable from standard degrees.

Yes. Most universities and schools offer a wide range of online degrees.

The specific requirements vary depending on the school or program. However, most programs list their requirements on their websites.

For those who want to obtain a broad education, a liberal arts program is an excellent match. In addition, holders of an advanced degree often make higher salaries and have better chances of employment.

Master’s of liberal arts programs were originally designed for educators but many industries now hire graduates including healthcare services and business operations. As society progresses, the value of independent thinkers is increasingly undeniable, which means that degree holders can look forward to rewarding career opportunities.

Best Online Masters in Liberal Arts Programs

We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online Masters in Liberal Arts program in the nation. Below are the results of our analysis and list of the 25 best online Liberal Arts programs.

Read about our methodology here.
School Type
Private
Tuition
$3,216 per course
Best Liberal Studies Faculty

Northwestern University's master's in liberal arts program is taught by a dynamic faculty that excels not only in academics but also in their professional careers. These instructors provide advanced training in the program and share their knowledge and expertise to help students advance their own careers after college.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Professional Studies
Program Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Available Concentrations: American Studies, Chicago Studies, Digital Studies, History, Religious and Ethical Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
Course Requirements: 9 courses

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Summer: June 24, 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer: April 15, 2019

Address:

339 E Chicago Ave

Chicago, IL 60611

312-503-2579

School Type
Private
Tuition
$935 per credit
Best Course Delivery

Texas Christian University delivers the coursework for the master's in liberal arts program in a convenient online format to help students earn their degrees around their busy schedules. This program is designed for working professionals who want to experience all that TCU's liberal arts program has to offer with the convenience of completing the coursework at home.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: AddRan College of Liberal Arts
Program Name: Masters of Liberal Arts
Accrediting Body: CCSAC

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer/Fall: March 1; Spring: November 16

Address:

2850 S University Dr

Fort Worth, TX 76129

817-257-7515

School Type
Private
Tuition
$2,797 per course
Most Established

Johns Hopkins University is an established leader in academics and provides a master's in liberal arts program that is the first of its type in the country. It offers nontraditional interdisciplinary graduate degree that broadens students' educational experiences rather than having them specialize in a particular field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Liberal Arts
Accrediting Body: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2-5 years
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

1717 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20036

410-516-7936

School Type
Public
Tuition
$900 per credit
Best in Distance Education

Rutgers University excels in distance education, providing students with an outstanding master's degree program in liberal arts no matter where they are. Students can participate in year-round classes and complete the program easily on the go.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies
Accrediting Body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

406 Penn St

Camden, NJ 8102

856-225-6104

School Type
Private
Tuition
$2,955 per course
Best in Extended Education

Wesleyan University is the ideal choice for professionals who want to earn their master's degrees in liberal arts but can't complete the program within two or three years. Students in this program have as many as six years to earn their degrees, benefiting full-time professionals and their pursuit of higher education.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Graduate Liberal Studies
Program Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Available Concentrations: Arts, Humanities, Mathematics, Sciences, Social Sciences
Accrediting Body: NECHE

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Spring, Summer, Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer: April 15, 2019

Address:

45 Wyllys Ave

Middletown, CT 6459

860-685-2900

School Type
Public
Tuition
$722 per credit
Most Innovative

Arizona State University is an innovative leader in higher education and offers one of the most intensive liberal arts degree programs in the nation. Students in this program explore everything from religion, health and culture to film and media studies, developing their skills to take on any challenge in their careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Program Name: Online Master of Liberal Arts
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: March 11, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

1100 S McAllister Ave

Tempe, AZ 85287

866-277-6589

School Type
Public
Tuition
$639 per credit
Best Student Support

The University of Toledo offers the best student support for its students in the master's in liberal arts program. Those in this online program benefit from Success Coaches, eTutoring, an IT Help Desk and an eLibrary to help students succeed in the program and their careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Graduate Studies
Program Name: Master's In Liberal Arts Studies
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Summer: May 13, 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.7

Address:

2801 W Bancroft

Toledo, OH 43606

855-327-5695

School Type
Private
Tuition
$686 per credit
Most Accessible

The University of Denver offers a Master of Liberal Studies in Arts and Culture with a concentration in Arts Development and Program Management for professionals who want to earn their degree without jumping through hurdles. This program waives the GRE and GMAT requirements, making it the perfect option for professionals who want to begin the courses right away and complete the program in 12 to 18 months.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: University College
Program Name: Master in Arts and Culture Management
Available Concentrations: Arts and Culture Marketing, Arts and Culture Outreach and Advocacy
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 18 months
Program start dates: April 1, 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 19, 2019
GPA: 2.5

Address:

2211 S Josephine St

Denver , CO 80208

303-871-2706

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $301 per credit; Out-of-state: $557 per credit
Most Engaging

UNC Greensboro prepares graduates to make dynamic changes in their organizations with an engaging master's degree program in liberal studies. This program intersects liberal studies, professional experience and applied learning, providing students with an interactive learning format for developing the competencies to succeed in their chosen field.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master's in Applied Arts & Sciences
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1; Spring: November 15; Summer: April 1
GPA: 3.0

Address:

915 Northridge St

Greensboro, NC 27403

336-315-7748

School Type
Public
Tuition
$561 per credit
Best in Foundational Studies

Students looking to build a solid foundation in the liberal arts should consider Stony Brook University. This program includes a focused curriculum that provides a strong foundation of the core professional skills that students need to succeed in their chosen field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Professional Development
Program Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Accrediting Body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1; Spring: January 1; Summer: April 1 - May 15
GPA: 3.0

Address:

2321 Computer Science

Stony Brook, NY 11794

631-632-7050

School Type
Public
Tuition
$603 per credit
Most Interactive

The University of Memphis offers an interactive master's degree program in liberal arts, gaining valuable skills through engaging coursework. Students also learn through developmental opportunities outside the classroom to expand their knowledge in the field of their choice.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program start dates: Fall: August 26, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

3720 Alumni Ave

Memphis, TN 38152

901-678-3685

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $350 per credit; Out-of-state: $652 per credit
Most Immersive

Kent State University immerses its students in the world of liberal arts through real-world training and curricula. Students in this program can also take their education further by selecting courses from across the university to create an integrated plan of study that benefits their personal and professional interests.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts and Sciences
Program Name: Master of Liberal Studies
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

850 University Esplanade

Kent, OH 44242

330-672-2661

School Type
Private
Tuition
$500 per credit
Best Personalized Experience

Small class sizes make the master's degree program in liberal arts at McDaniel College a great choice for students seeking personalized attention. The classes emphasize collaboration and make it easy for students to receive one-on-one support as they work through the program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Graduate and Professional Studies
Program Name: Master of Liberal Arts

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 15; Summer: May 1
GPA: 3.0

Address:

2 College Hill

Wisminster, MD 21157

410-857-2516

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $231 per credit; Out-of-state: $909 per credit
Best in Advanced Studies

UNC Wilmington offers advanced studies for professionals who want to increase their skills for career advancement. The master's degree program in liberal arts features advanced concepts and provides students with a deeper understanding of the social, scientific and humanistic aspects of the modern day.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Accrediting Body: SACS

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Spring, Summer, Fall

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Contact:

Kimberly Goerne Harris

Admissions Contact

Address:

601 S College Rd

Wilmington, NC 28403

910-962-7449

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $604 per credit; Out-of-state: $904 per credit
Most Unique

The University of Michigan-Flint offers a unique master's degree program in liberal arts for students who want to advance in their careers and to prepare for doctoral study. This program is designed for professionals who want to strengthen their expertise as artists, teachers and policy makers, providing them with the skills through extensive coursework and expert training from experienced faculty members.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Graduate Studies
Program Name: Liberal Studies (MA)
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 1; Winter: November 15; Spring: March 15; Summer: May 15
GPA: 3.0

Address:

303 E Kearsley St

Flint, MI 48502

810-762-3171

School Type
Public
Tuition
$288 per credit
Best in Experiential Learning

Fort Hays State University teaches its students through experiential learning, helping them to develop the necessary skills for career advancement through combined practical application and rigorous coursework. Graduates emerge with a solid foundation in liberal arts and have the tools to propel their careers to the next level.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Program Name: Master of Liberal Studies
Available Concentrations: Art, Corporate Communications, Global Management, Global Studies, Gerontology, Information Analysis and Communication, Literary Arts, Health Sciences, Management Information Systems, Political Leadership and Public Service, Political Science, Public Administration
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree or higher
Credit Requirements: 31 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Late August, Mid-January, Early June.

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Contact:

Kaley Klaus

Admissions Contact

Address:

600 Park St

Hays, KS 67601

785-628-4384

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $746 per credit; Out-of-state: $1,456 per credit
Best for Career Changers

The master's in liberal studies program at the University of Massachusetts Boston is ideal for students who come from all walks of life and have diverse backgrounds and interests. Students who enter this program are musicians, business owners, curriculum specialists and others who want to change careers and to make a positive impact in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Advancing and Professional Studies
Program Name: Critical & Creative Thinking, MA
Accrediting Body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 3 years
Program start dates: Summer 2019

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer: April 1, 2019
GPA: 3.0

Address:

100 William T. Morrissey Blvd

Boston, MA 2125

617-287-6400

School Type
Private
Tuition
$1,004 per credit
Best in Interdisciplinary Studies

Dallas Baptist University provides an interdisciplinary master's degree program in liberal arts with several concentrations to hone the students' skills in a particular area of interest. Graduates emerge with the knowledge and skills to advance their careers in areas such as fine arts, humanities and more thanks to an in-depth curriculum and exceptional faculty guidance.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master Liberal Arts
Available Concentrations: Christian Studies, Fine Arts, Humanities
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Summer: May 18, 2019; Fall: August 26, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

3000 Mountain Creek Pkwy

Dallas, TX 75211

214-333-5242

School Type
Private
Tuition
$540.00 per credit
Best Learning Environment

Spring Hill College provides students in the liberal arts program with seminar-style instruction to broaden their educational and professional experience. Students explore topics in everything from history and philosophy to religion and fine arts, expanding their knowledge and skill set for career advancement in their respective field.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Liberal Arts
Available Concentrations: Literature, Fine Arts, History & Social Sciences, Leadership & Ethics
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Address:

4000 Dauphin St

Mobile, AL 36608

251-380-3030

School Type
Public
Tuition
$555 per credit
Most Dynamic

Empire State College offers a dynamic and engaging master's degree program in liberal arts. This program is designed for activists, performing artists, educators and others who value interdisciplinary studies and want to further their education for professional growth.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Available Concentrations: Public History/Heritage Preservation, American Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Performance Studies, Historical Studies, The Arts, Creative Writing, Educational Studies, Health and Wellness Studies, Social Justice, Community Development and Advocacy, International Studies, Dance and Movement Studies, English Literature and Language
Accrediting Body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Summer: May 6, 2019

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

Two Union Ave

Saratoga Springs , NY 12866

800-847-3000

School Type
Public
Tuition
$329 per credit
Best Program Structure

The University of Illinois Springfield designed its master's in liberal studies program for self-directed students, giving them the freedom to create an individualized course of study. Through their studies, graduates build upon their core fundamental knowledge and skills and apply newly acquired competencies in their chosen industry.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Arts in Liberal and Integrative Studies
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 29-55 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: April 15; Spring: November 15;
GPA: 3.0

Address:

One University Plaza

Springfield, IL 62703

217-206-4847

School Type
Public
Tuition
$462 per credit
Most Customizable

The College at Brockport offers a highly customizable master's degree program in liberal arts for students who want to create their own custom plans of study. Students can select courses that interest them the most, creating a unique curriculum that hones their skills in a particular field of their choice.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Liberal Studies Masters (MA)
Accrediting Body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: June 15; Spring: October 15: Summer: March 15
GPA: 3.0

Contact:

Kulathur Rajasethupathy

Admissions Contact

Address:

350 New Campus Dr

Brockport, NY 14420

585-395-2262

School Type
Public
Tuition
$385 per credit
Most Flexible

Clayton State University offers a flexible master's program in liberal arts for students who are continuing to work while earning their degree. Students enjoy flexible scheduling options and individualized attention as they work to advance their careers through this rigorous program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Graduate Studies
Program Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Available Concentrations: English, History, Liberal Studies, Mathematics, Philosophy, and Public Administration
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 15; Spring: November 15; Summer: April 15

Address:

2000 Clayton State Blvd

Morrow, GA 30260

678-466-4113

School Type
Private
Tuition
$2,553 per course
Best in Career Development

Albertus Magnus College offers a multidisciplinary master's degree program in liberal arts to focus on the students' career development through coursework and independent study. Graduates are equipped with the research, communication and critical-thinking skills to advance their careers in their chosen field.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Available Concentrations: Society and Culture; Arts and Humanities; Science, Technology and Environmental Studies; Religion, Philosophy and Moral Choice
Accrediting Body: NECHE

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.8

Address:

700 Prospect St

New Haven, CT 6511

800-394-9982

School Type
Public
Tuition
$668 per credit
Best Curriculum

Thomas Edison State University offers one of the most in-depth curricula of any master's in liberal arts program in the country. With courses in art and morality, faith and reason, and technology and the human community, students gain exceptional insight and broad knowledge to use in their careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Heavin School Of Arts & Sciences
Program Name: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Accrediting Body: MSCHE

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram start dates: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.75
Work Experience: 2 years

Address:

111 W State St

Trenton, NJ 8608

609-777-5680

What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Liberal Arts Program?

Liberal arts programs, also referred to as liberal studies or general studies, cover a broad scope of subjects, which can open up numerous varied career paths. Online liberal arts master’s programs differ between educational institutions, but typical programs are interdisciplinary with topics in arts, humanities and the social, natural and formal sciences. Earning your master’s in liberal arts online offers the flexibility working adults need while getting the same degree of professional education you’d receive through on-campus programs.

Concentrations Offered for an Online Master’s in Liberal Arts

A good online liberal arts master’s program prepares you to succeed in a variety of industries and allows you to choose concentrations that align your coursework with your personal interests and career goals. In addition to core courses, you’ll take electives that correlate with the concentration you choose to match the career path you desire.

CONCENTRATIONDESCRIPTIONPOSSIBLE CAREERS THIS CONCENTRATION PREPARES FOR
Creative NonfictionDevelop the skills needed in every stage of the writing process, from preliminary research to the final edit.Technical writer, journalist, editor, publicist, advertising executive, marketing professional, copywriter
ArtProvides comprehensive coverage of the visual arts, art history and technical artistic skills.Professional artist, art teacher, museum curator, graphic designer, art agent, animator, arts administrator
SociologyExplores the role of individuals in society, including the effects of family, religion, education and government interactions.Social worker, guidance counselor, human resources, public relations, policy analyst, therapist, probation officer
HumanitiesIncorporates numerous topics, including art, literature, performing arts, classical and foreign languages, religion, philosophy and ethics.Teacher, technical writer, travel agent, museum curator, linguist, genealogist, foreign correspondent
Natural ScienceCovers any branch of science that deals with the physical world, including biology, chemistry, botany, archaeology, geology, zoology and physics.Scientist, teacher, chemist, archaeologist, conservation technician, environmental health and safety expert

Curriculum for an Online Master’s in Liberal Arts

Online master’s in liberal arts programs typically have standard core requirements but allow you to individualize your degree through electives that match your personal and professional goals. The graduation requirements for most programs can be fulfilled completely online, and many programs culminate with a master’s thesis or master’s capstone. All liberal arts programs offer a broad range of courses in numerous academic fields, but course options might include:

COURSESDESCRIPTION
Intro to Literacy StudiesApproaches literacy from historical, cultural and critical perspectives, with students reading and writing about the definitions of literacy and literacy narratives.
Liberal and Integrative StudiesCovers the theories, resources and skills needed for students to become independent, self-directed learners.
History of EthicsExplore the historical origins of ethics and moral philosophy while exploring the rationality or wisdom of the ethical life.
Food and PoliticsExamine the history and development of agriculture, including consumerism and governmental policies, while exploring the inequalities related to food production and consumption.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts?

Most online liberal arts programs require at least 30 credit hours and typically take about two years to complete; however, many factors affect your actual time of completion. Self-paced programs that allow students to take more than one class simultaneously can take differing amounts of time, depending on your motivation to finish. Cohort-based programs require students to take individual courses as a group and typically cover one course at a time. Students looking to graduate quickly should choose individually paced, accelerated programs.

Certifications and Licenses an Online Master’s in Liberal Arts Prepares For

Unlike most majors that prepare students for one specific career, an online master’s degree in liberal arts prepares you for multiple careers in numerous fields. Due to this broad focus, there aren’t any professional certifications or licenses offered specifically for liberal arts graduates. Depending on your area of concentration and chosen career, obtaining a master’s degree can prepare you for — and may even be required to apply for — professional licensure in a specific field.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in Liberal Arts

Earning an online master’s in liberal arts from an unaccredited school could call into question the legitimacy of your degree. If prospective employers won’t recognize your degree, you could find yourself unemployable. Accreditation also affects your financial aid. Attending an unaccredited school makes you ineligible to apply for federal financial assistance programs, which are the biggest sources of student aid. State-based financial aid also requires attendance at an accredited college, and most private scholarship providers do, as well.

Colleges and universities with a proven ability to provide a quality education and meet established academic and professional standards receive accreditation following a thorough review. Agencies recognized by the Department of Education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation issue accreditation to qualifying schools. Individual programs within an educational institution may also receive field-specific accreditation from professional organizations. While this is a relatively new practice for liberal arts programs, the American Academy for Liberal Education accredits programs at schools that maintain the highest standards of learning.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Liberal Arts Graduates

Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s

While any amount of higher education boosts your career, earning your master’s in liberal arts helps you gain specialized knowledge that could provide even further advancement in your field. A master’s degree makes it easier to transition into leadership positions, and it can also increase your earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings of workers in 2017 who possessed only a high school diploma was $712, while those with a master’s degree earned nearly twice as much with median weekly earnings of $1,401.

Expected Salary

Earning an online master’s in liberal arts provides you with a strong foundation of knowledge in numerous subjects, unlike other degrees that specialize in a single subject. Being knowledgeable in multiple subjects also increases your transferable skills and prepares you to work in a variety of sectors instead of a single vocation. The list of careers below illustrates the wide range of fields graduates with a liberal arts master’s degree could potentially pursue.

Source: PayScale.com

A liberal arts undergraduate degree provides a wide variety of career choices, but many of them require a master’s degree to qualify for an entry-level position. Earning your master’s in liberal arts online opens up even more career opportunities, with many in fields that are lucrative and/or expected to have faster-than-average growth. Although some career paths will require additional education or training, a liberal arts master’s sets you on the right path for the following occupations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Opportunities

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of a liberal arts degree, possible careers for graduates of online master’s programs are highly varied. Choose a concentration that aligns with your desired career track, or choose general studies for greater career opportunities.

JOB TITLEJOB DESCRIPTIONMEDIAN SALARYPROJECTED GROWTH RATE
Multimedia ArtistMultimedia artists design graphics, illustrations, animations and visual effects for film studios, video game companies, marketing agencies and other forms of advertising or entertainment fields with hand-drawn or computer-generated creations.$70,530 per year8%
Environmental SpecialistEnvironmental specialists use their knowledge of natural sciences to protect the environment by collecting and compiling environmental data, analyzing environmental problems and developing sustainable solutions.$69,400 per year11%
HistorianHistorians gather historical data from documents, books, artifacts, archives and a variety of other sources to research, interpret and write about history so they might preserve historic materials, educate the public and provide guidance on preservation issues.$59,120 per year6%
ArchaeologistArchaeologists draw on their liberal arts knowledge in humanities and the social, physical and biological sciences to perform cultural research, including the origin, development and behavior of humans in different time periods and locations around the world.$62,280 per year4%

Professional Organizations

Graduate students earning a master’s in liberal arts degree online who join professional organizations gain access to numerous resources that can supplement their education and professional development. Many professional organizations host conferences or other events and offer research support and funding, training programs, professional journals, job boards and various other perks. Membership in one of these organizations also allows you to build and maintain a strong network with professionals in your field.

Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs: AIMBE provides education and resources for individuals in the field of biological and medical engineering. The AIMBE hosts workshops and advocates for public policies supporting biological engineering.

Association for General and Liberal Studies: The AGLS provides students and professionals in the liberal arts with academic and career development services, plus professional journals and annual conferences available to members at discounted rates.

National Association for Graduate-Professional Students: NAGPS advocates specifically for the rights of graduate students and offers its members numerous benefits, including thesis/dissertation assistance, citation resources, grant and proposal writing tips, resume and curriculum vitae writing tips and examples, an extensive member network, a crisis hotline and discounts on insurance and other professional services.

Financing Your Online Master’s in Liberal Arts

The popularity of pursuing higher education online has increased significantly, and financial aid opportunities have evolved to meet the growing demand. Online master’s in liberal arts students qualify for many of the same types of state and federal aid and scholarships as students attending school on campus. Many contemporary awards are available to distance learners only, and the federal government ceased differentiating between online and on-campus courses as a determination for financial aid eligibility.

When applying for financial assistance for your online master’s degree in liberal arts, your first step should always be the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You use your FAFSA to apply for federal financial aid in the form of grants, awards and student loans. State-based financial assistance programs also utilize the information from your FAFSA to determine your eligibility. The federal government is the largest source of funding for college tuition and other expenses, but don’t forget to also look at private scholarships and other resources for financing your higher education.

Resources

Scholarships

Scholarships

Details

Beinecke Scholarship Program – Graduate Education in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Award: $4,000 initially / $30,000 while attending graduate school

Deadline: February

Eligibility: College juniors enrolled at a participating institution and planning to pursue a master’s in the arts, humanities or social sciences.

National Women’s Studies Association Graduate Scholarship

Award: Up to $1,000

Deadline: Fall

Eligibility: Any graduate student who is a member of the NWSA and engaged in the research or writing stages of a master’s thesis in the interdisciplinary field of women’s studies.