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Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach

Gender & Diversity Studies

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Gender & Diversity Studies is a 34-credit hour graduate program that enables the interdisciplinary exploration of current and historical issues, trends, and theoretical paradigms related to gender, cultural and ethnic diversity, and social justice. Students acquire the knowledge to act more effectively within academic, professional, and personal situations to achieve a more just, equitable, and diverse society. Additionally, the degree develops insight into the economic, sociocultural, and philosophical factors influencing the lives of all individuals, particularly those often marginalized in terms of gender, race, age, ethnicity, physical or mental ability, or geographic region.

Why Choose the MALS Gender and Diversity Studies Concentration?

  1. The interdisciplinary curriculum allows students to pursue coursework across the spectrum of disciplines represented in liberal, gender, and diversity studies, providing the flexibility to build a program of study that suits specific scholarly interests while remaining focused within a structured, integrative program.
  2. The MALS program is designed specifically with working students in mind. Core courses are held once a week in the evenings, and many elective courses are taught either in the evening or online.
  3. Pursuing a concentration in Gender and Diversity Studies at the master's level aids those students who wish to pursue further graduate and professional study in women's and gender studies or diversity studies in meeting admission requirements for Ph.D. or professional programs.

Who would Benefit from a MALS Degree with a Concentration in Gender & Diversity Studies?

  1. Anyone interested in gender, diversity, and social justice who wishes to continue education at the graduate level, especially those with undergraduate degrees in, for example, women's and gender studies, sociology, anthropology, literature, history, or cultural studies.
  2. Professionals in the social-service and non-profit sectors who wish more fully to understand the diverse populations they serve and to address their clients' needs more equitably and effectively.
  3. Students with a desire to develop the intellectual tools to assist their efforts to create a more just, tolerant, and equitable society.
  4. Students seeking a competitive edge for employment in areas that require proficiency in gender and diversity issues, such as
  • human rights work
  • politics
  • social and policy planning
  • teaching and education
  • counseling
  • media and communications
  • public relations
  • community development
  • human resource management

Program of Study

The program of study consists of MALS core courses in interdisciplinary theory and practice and research as listed below:






MALS 5000

Foundations in Liberal Studies


MALS 5100

Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study


MALS 5200

Seminar in Liberal Studies


MALS 5400

Seminar in Interdisciplinary Research


MALS 5950


MALS 5960

Project Research


Thesis Research


Total MALS Core Credits



MALS 5300

Gender, Diversity and Social Justice


And one course from each of the following categories:

Women's and Gender Issues


FCNU 5507

Social Concerns and Women's Health


Diversity and Ethnicity


CUAI 5199

Teaching in a Diverse Society


Philosophy, Ethics, and Social Justice


MCOM 5030

Media and the First Amendment


Total Concentration Credits


NOTE: With the exception of MALS 5300, which is a required concentration core course, the courses listed above are just examples. The MALS Director maintains a list of approved courses from which students may choose.


Students will complete three courses (9 credits) from one of the following three categories: Women's and Gender Issues, Diversity and Ethnicity, or Philosophy, Ethics, and Social Justice. The MALS Director maintains a list of approved courses from which students can choose.

Womens and Gender Issues



HIST 5837

History of Women Since 1945


ENGL 5957

Gender and Language


HDAL 5440

Trauma and Abuse in the Family


Diversity and Ethnicity



MCOM 5020

Media and Cultural Diversities


HIST 5010

Issues in African American History


SOWK 5101

Multicultural Practice


Philosophy, Ethics, and Social Justice



HDAL 5430

Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling


CJCR 5005

Ethics and Social Justice


PSYC 5100

Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology



Courses listed above in each category are just examples. Students may select other approved disciplinary department courses that are suitable. The MALS Director maintains a list of approved courses from which students can choose


Total Elective Credits


Total Credits for Concentration in Gender and Diversity


For additional information contact the MALS Program Director, Dr. Marie Tedesco, at or Dr. Jill LeRoy-Frazier, coordinator of the Concentration in Gender and Diversity Studies, at . They can also be contacted at (423) 439-4223.




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