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Graduate Liberal Studies Program | Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Simon Fraser University Calendar | Fall 2019

Liberal Studies

Master of Arts

This program, which leads to a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS), is for adults returning to part-time study. The program, which is affiliated with the department of humanities, is offered at Simon Fraser University Vancouver during evening and weekend hours.

In the best tradition of liberal education, the program addresses some of the great works of our intellectual and artistic heritage, studies the perennial concerns that have shaped our culture, and explores contemporary perspectives on traditional ideas and values. The interdisciplinary seminars offer wide reading, careful reflection, and intense discussion. They are taught by faculty who are chosen for their expertise and teaching excellence, and for their interest in interdisciplinary studies. The program emphasizes a community of inquiry and discussion over independent research and entails several special expectations within the graduate study general regulations. Students should expect to participate in out-of-class activities, such as pre-class dinners, that encourage interchange and enhance intellectual community.

Approved for part-time study, the program is designed for individuals having other obligations, and who may for that reason require greater or lesser amounts of time to complete the program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the University admission requirements as stated in Graduate General Regulations 1.3 in the SFU Calendar. In addition to the normal graduate admission requirements, applicants must satisfy the liberal studies graduate program committee of academic suitability requirements and demonstrate readiness through reference letters, written work samples, and normally an interview. Exceptionally, the graduate program committee may recommend admission to those who do not meet normal requirements but whose strong credentials and demonstrated competence due to prior experience, are particularly suited.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work and either two extended essays, a project, or a course work option for a minimum of 35 units.

Students must complete in the first two terms

LS 800 - Reflections on Reason and Passion I (5)

The first of two core courses that constitute an extended examination of the tension between reason and passion in human experience. This course will emphasize close reading and discussion of works, drawn from different cultures and epochs, that reflect on human passion.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
G100 We 6:30 PM – 9:20 PM
HCC 2260, Vancouver
LS 801 - Reflections on Reason and Passion II (5)

The second of two core courses that constitute an extended examination of the tension between reason and passion in human experience. This course will examine writings by some who have insisted on the indispensability of reasoning as a guide to action and the source of truth, as well as writings by some of those who on various grounds have cast doubt on this faith in human reason.

and four graduate courses in Liberal Studies for a minimum of 20 units

and one of the three options below

Extended Essays Option

and two extended essays

LS 998 - MA Extended Essays (5)

Students will present two of their essays for formal examination in order to satisfy the Simon Fraser University requirements for a master's degree.

Project Option

and a project

LS 999 - MA Project (5)

This course is for students choosing to satisfy part of the requirements for an MA in liberal studies by presenting a project for formal examination.

Course Work Option

and an additional five units of graduate course work in Liberal Studies

and a graduating seminar

LS 898 - Liberal Studies Graduating Seminar (5)

The final seminar for those students in the graduate liberal studies program pursuing the course option MA. The seminar will revisit the themes raised in the two opening core seminars (LS 800 and 801).

Program Length

Students must complete the program requirements in nine terms.

Other Information

Course Work

Exceptionally, and by agreement of the graduate program committee and the department involved, a student may complete two graduate courses from other departments toward this degree.

Extended Essays

The extended essays, developed from course work papers, may make significant use of non-written media. They are examined as specified in Graduate General Regulations 1.10.1 and must be submitted to the library.

MA Project

The project is examined as specified in Graduate General Regulations 1.10.1 and must be submitted to the library.

Academic Requirements within the Graduate General Regulations

All graduate students must satisfy the academic requirements that are specified in the Graduate General Regulations, as well as the specific requirements for the program in which they are enrolled.