Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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College of Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts and Sciences Programs
The Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Offered on the WIU-Macomb and WIU-Quad Cities campuses
All students who have completed an undergraduate degree by an accredited institution and who qualify for graduate study according to the admission standards of the School of Graduate Studies may be admitted to the program. To apply, students should be prepared to submit the following documents:
- a School of Graduate Studies application form (available online);
- official transcripts from EACH college or University previously attended;
- a 1–2 page personal statement which explains their larger personal and career goals and how a LAS degree will further those objectives;
- 3 letters of recommendation.
The degree requires 33 credit hours, including core courses, a capstone experience, and incorporates post-baccalaureate certificates currently available in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Students who do not hold one of these post-baccalaureate certificates can construct their own individualized LAS program. These students will design a course of study from the CAS’s general list of courses offered, in consultation with the Director of LAS Master’s Degree Program.
The LAS program has many distinctive features and opportunities for its students. The program is defined, at every level by its most distinct features – flexibility and academic excellence.
- Flexible program structure
- Students have several exit options or possible capstone experiences. Students can write a thesis if they wish, or students can work on an applied project or in an internship. All of these options feature a close, working relationship with a faculty member of their choosing. This kind of mentoring and developing of real relationships with CAS faculty is one of the strongest features of the LAS program.
- Flexible schedule
- One of the key elements of the LAS program is the flexibility of the course offerings. Courses are scheduled during the evenings and, occasionally, on the weekends, in addition to regularly scheduled day courses. The program is designed to meet the needs of part-time students as well as to accommodate students’ busy schedules and to deliver the degree in the most accessible manner possible. The Director of LAS Master’s Degree Program will meet regularly with students on the Quad Cities and the Macomb campuses and be directly involved in providing real guidance and consultation in the student’s progression through the program.
- Research and Scholarly Activities
- There are many activities in which students in the LAS program can participate, such as annual departmental conferences, University, College, and departmental speakers, various workshops and graduate organizations, clubs, and so on. This academic culture is one of great the opportunities for the students in LAS, and indeed one of the keys to the larger success of the LAS program and the LAS student.
Career Opportunities and Personal Development
Non-traditional programs that emphasize comparative, critical thinking skills are more applicable to the needs and demands of the majority of students employed in industry or service occupations where advanced specialty education is supplied on the job. The Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree is designed to meet these specific applications and needs. The LAS degree will enhance students’ ability to work in an extraordinarily diverse variety of industry, occupational, and professional environments. Graduates of the LAS program will be highly skilled in speaking, writing, critical reading, and critical thinking, and will be able to use the broadly based, advanced interdisciplinary education they receive in the degree program as a means of increasing their upward occupational mobility.
The LAS degree also offers students the opportunity for tremendous intellectual development. The program is student-centered and structured to allow students to explore the issues that they are interested in exploring. By being so flexible, and again by giving students a broad, diverse set of educational contexts and experiences, students will be able to translate their work directly into real personal growth and development as well as the marketable credentials needed for future and current occupations.
Faculty Excellence and Expertise
Through participation in the LAS Program, students will have the opportunity to study with a highly qualified and diverse faculty who hold advanced degrees from prestigious institutions from throughout the United States and from around the world. Our goal is to create an environment where our students are able to develop and define their individual interests and emphases by working directly with faculty whose scholarly activities are on the cutting edge of those academic interests and emphases.
Assistantships and Other Funding Opportunities
Currently, the LAS program does not offer graduate assistantships. There are numerous funding opportunities available for students in the LAS program through awards, scholarships, and fellowships in the Graduate School and the individual departments of the three LAS core areas in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences/Mathematics. Visit the fees and financial assistance page.
For admissions process and general program information, contact School of Graduate Studies, Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, Macomb, IL 61455, (309) 298-1806, Grad-Office@wiu.edu, www.wiu.edu/grad.
For program information and Advising contact:
Dr. Althea K. Alton, Director
Liberal Arts and Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Visit the Quad Cities website for the program offered at Quad cities.