Online Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts

A masters degree in liberal arts is for individuals who prefer to pursue a broad, interdisciplinary course of study rather than focus narrowly on a specific topic. Students take classes in history, literature, philosophy, political science, art, and related areas. Liberal arts programs encourage students to find connections among different areas of human thought and conduct original research. Masters degree programs in liberal arts generally require two years to complete. Part-time and online masters programs, such as the part-time Master of Liberal Arts program offered by Stanford University, will take four to five years. Of course, program length will vary based on the school and the number of classes a student takes per quarter or semester.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Liberal Arts

Since liberal arts programs apply an interdisciplinary approach, students can expect to take courses across a broad range of fields. Course work spans disciplines such as history, literature, philosophy, theology, politics, policy, and international affairs. Students will gain a nuanced perspective by exploring connections among these different areas. The degree may lead to a career change, serve as a stepping stone to doctoral work, or provide an opportunity to pursue a lifelong passion. Classes are varied and may include:

  • Anthropology and Human Rights
  • Art and Ethics: Current Controversies in the Liberal Arts
  • Literature in the Modern World
  • The Politics of Gender in World Religions
  • Theology and Literature

A masters degree in liberal arts culminates in a thesis. Students will write a tightly-focused, in-depth study of a single subject. They must demonstrate familiarity with a specific discipline by interpreting original data and writing a scholarly critique. During the research and writing process, students may work in groups that provide opportunities for peer critique and general advice. Students will also work under the guidance of a faculty advisor.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Liberal Arts

An online masters degree program in liberal arts prepares students to pursue many different professions. Students who pursue subjects within the scope of the liberal arts may go on to become academics, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and more. While bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts are also available, the master’s degree serves students who wish to change their career trajectory by gaining a multifaceted education. Master’s candidates may pursue the degree for advancement opportunities or simply for personal enrichment purposes. In all, a successful liberal arts education will prepare students to be innovative and perceptive thinkers and problem-solvers.


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