Designed for the intellectually curious life-long learner, Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS) is a part-time program where working students can pursue an interdisciplinary master of arts degree in liberal studies by participating in a rigorous academic program that is both flexible and diverse.

SFU Harbour Centre, where Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS) seminars take place.

The Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS) program aims to foster progressive discourse and innovative thought while creating a community of engaged citizens. We focus on breadth of learning by integrating knowledge from many of the traditional arts, science, and social science disciplines to provide an intellectual grounding in the ideas and values that have shaped our culture. 

Our intimate, seminar-style courses invite our students to join in in-depth creative discussion with a community of like-minded students from diverse backgrounds in an atmosphere that is cooperative, respectful and challenging. Thoughtful and comprehensive exchanges provoke new perspectives which are stimulated by both modern and classical texts as well as independent research and travel studies. 

The interdisciplinary nature of the program encourages our students to explore all aspects of a subject, unlimited by the narrow scope of academic specialisation. A significant percentage of our students move on to PhD programs in their chosen fields, and all of our students gain the wisdom and skills needed to approach their careers and their personal development with a newfound passion and vigour. The GLS program remains the only one of its kind in Canada.

Learn more about our program

History of GLS

Established at Harbour Centre in 1992 with the help of the Graduate Liberal Studies' Endowment, GLS originated as a bastion of liberal arts at the then newly-launched Harbour Centre Campus in order to provide some balance to the preponderance of business programs being offered in Vancouver’s business-focused downtown core.

In 2013, we expanded our academic program in 2013 in partnership with the Faculty of Graduate Studies Special Arrangements Program (SAR) with the introduction of an interdisciplinary PhD in liberal studies.

GLS in the global community

GLS is proud to be involved in the international Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP) and has hosted their annual conference in 1996 as well as in 2008. The Program has also been involved in the West Coast GLS Symposium since its inception and hosted the tenth annual West Coast GLS Symposium in 2016. These Symposiums have been a great opportunity for students and alumni to present papers and to enjoy discussions with the wider liberal studies community.