Courses and curriculum
Your ambition is the curriculum in the Master of Liberal Arts program: from the courses you take to the culminating capstone project you complete, you tailor the degree to your individual interests and goals. With access to graduate-level courses in the College of Liberal and Professional Studies and the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as schools throughout the University including the Annenberg School for Communication and the Weitzman School of Design, the MLA program places Penn’s world-renowned faculty and Ivy League resources at your fingertips.
Students may develop an entirely individualized curriculum in collaboration with their advisor, or focus their studies to a particular topic with a graduate certificate. MLA certificate requirements vary by topic, and include African studies, African-American studies, cinema studies, cultural heritage management, East Asian studies, environmental studies, folklore, gender and sexuality, global studies, Jewish studies, Latin American studies, public culture, region, and urban studies.
Learn more about courses and curriculum >
Become a Penn-made thinker and writer
The MLA Proseminar courses are intensive seminars with small class sizes that foster thoughtful conversation and intellectual growth. Each term offers several different Proseminar courses on varying topics such as international politics, film studies, and autobiographical or creative writing, and all Proseminar courses integrate the research, writing, and critical thinking skills that distinguish MLA students and prepare them to design their capstone.
The capstone project is the culminating experience of the liberal arts degree, allowing you to integrate two or more academic disciplines and define your area of expertise. Your capstone project can take the form of an in-depth research paper, a creative endeavor such as memoir or fiction, or a hybrid project designed to meet your unique academic, professional, or personal goals.
See graduating students present their capstone projects >
Take your liberal arts education to the next level
The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Liberal Arts is an advanced graduate degree designed for individuals who want to demonstrate applied scholarship beyond a master’s degree. The Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts can serve as an important step in future PhD study preparation or simply an opportunity to extend scholarly engagement with additional courses and a focused thesis project.
Learn more about the MPhil program >