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Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies Contact Us

The Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies is intended to present graduate background material for those seeking personal enrichment provided by liberal learning and the development of those intellectual skills necessary to lifelong learning—critical reading, scholarly writing, and the art of interpersonal communication.   The program consists of four courses: (1) Foundations of Liberal Studies; (2) Research in Liberal Studies; (3) Liberal Studies Seminar; and (4) one elective course.

Foundations, Research, and Seminar are core courses in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree program and thus, those who successfully complete the certificate program will be offered entry to the MALS degree program as well as the opportunity to apply those courses towards graduate degree programs in other departments in consultation with that department’s graduate advisor.

Admission Requirements

Completion of an undergraduate degree with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited college or university is expected.  It should be noted that as applicants are selected on a competitive basis, admission is not granted to all applicants who meet only the minimum requirements.

Application for admission to the program consists of two steps:

Step 1: Application for admission to the Graduate School

The Graduate School at the University of Memphis accepts applications via electronic submission at

Admission deadlines to the program:
Fall - July 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - May 1

Step 2: The Application Essay and Letter of Recommendation

As soon as possible after applying to the Graduate School, students interested in the Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies program should submit to the University College Graduate Programs office the following:

(a) One official letter of recommendation, preferably from a previous or current instructor who can attest to the student’s capacity for graduate work.

(b) An application essay that addresses the following points:

  • Why is the Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies program the best choice for pursuing your personal and intellectual goals?
  • How have your academic and professional experiences prepared you for this program?
  • Why do you think you are a good candidate for the Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies program?

PLEASE NOTE that the University College only has the authority to recommend or deny admission to the Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies program. The Graduate School makes all final admission decisions, and will notify students once a decision has been reached.

Program Requirements

Successful completion of the Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies requires twelve (12) credit hours:

  • UNIV 7000 Foundations of Liberal Studies (3 hours):  Analytical introduction to graduate liberal studies and its theoretical framework.  Readings in and concerning the humanities, social sciences, and natural science. Course may be taught with different readings during different semesters. 
  • UNIV 7100 Research in Interdisciplinary Studies (3 hours):  Methods of inquiry and research appropriate to graduate interdisciplinary studies. Permit required.
  • UNIV 7200 Liberal Studies Seminar (3 hours):  Interdisciplinary examination of major issue, historical period, or theme. Topic may vary. This course is not typically available during Summer terms. Permit required.
  • Elective (3 hours): one elective at the 6000 or 7000 level.


University College Graduate Programs
University of Memphis
201 Brister Hall
Memphis, Tennessee 38152
901.678.4056 | 901.678.4049 (fax)

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

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Last Updated: 8/8/14