Graduate Certificate in Liberal Studies

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. 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.

Program Requirements

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

Applying for Admission to the Program

We are currently accepting applications for the Spring 2018 semester, with a submission deadline of December 8, 2017.

All applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale from an accredited college or university. 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.

Step 1: Application for Admission to the Graduate School

The Graduate School at the University of Memphis accepts applications via electronic submission.  Review their site for specific deadlines.

Steps 2: Application to University College Certificate Program

As soon as possible after applying to the Graduate School, students should submit the following to the University College Graduate Programs office:

  • Resumé: The applicant's resumé should include the applicant's employment history, academic history, current contact information, and any additional relevant information, such as professional skills, training, presentations, publications, etc.
  • Recommendation Letter: Applicants must submit at least one official letter of recommendation, preferably from a previous or current instructor who can attest to the student's capacity for graduate work. All recommendation letters must meet University College requirements or they will not be accepted.
  • Personal Essay: Applicants must submit a brief, original essay (approximately 500-600 words) that addresses the following points:
    • How will the Liberal Studies certificate help you attain your personal and intellectual goals?
    • How have your academic and professional experiences made you a good candidate for the Liberal Studies program?

To expedite processing, applicants are strongly advised to submit their materials all at once rather than sending each document separately. Each document must have the applicant's name and submission date, and may be either emailed to ucgrad@memphis.edu or mailed to the following address:

Graduate Programs Coordinator
University College
University of Memphis
201 Brister Hall
Memphis, TN 38152-3440


Only after all of these steps are completed will a final decision be made on the application. Please note that the University College only has the authority to recommend or deny admission. The Graduate School makes all final admission decisions and will notify applicants once a decision has been reached.

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