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Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

School of Continuing Studies and Academic Outreach

Regional and Community Studies

The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program is proud to introduce a new graduate concentration in Regional and Community Studies for Fall 2012. Firmly rooted in the approach and values of interdisciplinarity, this concentration gives students the unique opportunity to explore the history and heritage, problems and potentials of Appalachia and the American South and other communities and regions as they may desire. They are educated to support the quality of life in various localities, to foster the development of communities and neighborhoods, and to lead the realization of the bright dreams of communities and regions.

Why Choose the Graduate Concentration in Regional and Community Studies within the MALS Program?

  1. Regional and Community Studies provides students with the broad and integrative knowledge and skills that make them highly qualified employees in not-for-profit organizations that serve community needs, in national and international human service agencies, community service organizations, and chambers of commerce, and in various federal, state and local agencies. The concentration also prepares students for further graduate work in various doctoral and professional programs.
  2. Students are able to select available courses from various disciplinary departments in order to build an organic, individualized program of study focusing on the communities and regions of their choice. Students may choose an elective track in  Appalachian and Southern Studies, Community Studies, or Hispanic Community.
  3. Through the MALS concentration in Regional and Community Studies, students are prepared to proceed with outreach and professional work, applied research, and further graduate study in areas such as
  • Appalachian and Southern Studies
  • Social Work
  • Community Sociology
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Community and Regional Development
  • Community and Regional Administration
  • Community and Regional Resources Management
  • Planning and Social Service
  • Education and Community
  • Family and Community, and
  • Experiential Learning, Area Studies, and Language.

Career Benefits

The MALS Concentration in Regional and Community Studies

  • provides needed expertise for students who desire to work in social service, community service, tourism, urban and regional planning, regional and economic development, and related occupations.
  • enhances the expertise of students who already work in social service and related occupations by educating them about the needs of diverse populations that they serve.

Program of Study

The program of study consists of MALS Core courses, Concentration Core courses, and Electives as listed below:

MALS 5000 Foundations in Liberal Studies 1
MALS 5100 Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study 3
MALS 5200 Seminar in Liberal Studies 3
MALS 5400 Seminar in Interdisciplinary Research 3

MALS 5950


MALS 5960

Culminating Project Research


Thesis Research


Total MALS Core Credits

Students must take the following two courses:
MALS 5350 Theory and Practice of Regionalism 3
APST 5960 Documenting Community Traditions 3
And one of the following courses:
HIST 5427 Public History:  Theory and Practice 3
ENGL 5060 Literature of Southern Appalachia
ENGL 5207 Literature of the South
SOCI 5057 Applied Sociology
COBH 5200 Social and Behavioral Foundations of Public Health
HIST 5010 Studies in US History (when topic appropriate)
Total Concentration Credits 9
Students will complete 9 (thesis option) or 12 (project option) elective credits of disciplinary department course work as approved by the MALS Program Director. Students will choose one of the following tracks: Appalachian and Southern Studies, Community Studies, or Hispanic Community. (Students interested in studying a specific region or locale of their own choosing may pursue the Community Studies track.) MALS will maintain a list of approved electives for each area. Some examples of such electives include (please note: these examples are provided for hypothetical purposes only; each student will develop a unique program of elective coursework relevant to the track s/he chooses to pursue):
Appalachian and Southern Studies  
APST 5150 Appalachia and Religion 3
ENGL 5670 Seminar in Folklore 3
HIST 5157 The South Since 1865 3
Total Elective Credits for Appalachian and Southern Studies 9
Community Studies  
ECON 5000 Essentials of Economics 3
SOCI 5057 Community Sociology 3
EDFN 5050 Social and Political Influences on Schools 3
Total Elective Credits for Community Studies 9
PLEASE NOTE: Students in all tracks who choose to do a culminating project rather than write a thesis must take one additional elective course, for a total of 12 elective credits.

The list of approved elective courses is updated regularly. Special topics courses (non-catalog courses not offered on a regular basis) and recently added new courses may be taken with the approval of the MALS Program Director. 

Total Elective Credits 9-12
Total Credits for Concentration in Community and Regional Studies 31 for Thesis Option


34 for Project Option

For additional information, contact the MALS Program Director, Dr. Marie Tedesco, at , She can also be reached at (423) 439-4223.






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