Doctor of Liberal Studies

The College of Professional & Liberal Studies at the University of Memphis is pleased to announce a new Doctor of Liberal Studies (DLS) degree. The University of Memphis becomes only the third school in the nation to offer this degree for students wishing to work across disciplines to engage a topic or issue.  The DLS allows participants to design their own interdisciplinary doctoral program focused on areas of interest to the student with online options available.  Because each DLS student follows a unique course of study, students work with academic advisors to develop a curriculum proposal that satisfies both the interdisciplinary intent of the DLS program and the Graduate School's requirements for graduation.

Every DLS student is required to complete and submit a Coordinated Study grid before being admitted to the program. The Coordinated Study grid is a planning document that students use to identify the classes that will constitute their degree. Students may combine courses from any two or more disciplines with guidance and approval from an academic advisor. Please contact the Graduate Coordinator for any questions about the Coordinated Study grid.

Students will complete twenty-one (21) hours of College of Professional & Liberal Studies core requirements, and thirty-three (33) hours for the Coordinated Study. Students enrolled in the DLS degree will earn a total of 54 hours of post-master's coursework at the 7000 and/or 8000 course level, successfully complete comprehensive exams and defend the Dissertation/Capstone Project. The 54 hours include two segments: the DLS Core and the Coordinated Study.

The DLS Core is required of all students, and consists of twenty-one (21) designated credit hours:

  • UNIV 8000 - Foundations in Liberal Studies (3 hours)
  • UNIV 8100 - Research in interdisciplinary Studies (3 hours)
  • UNIV 8200 - Liberal Studies Seminar (3 hours)
  • UNIV 8111 - Data-Based Decision Making (3 hours)
  • UNIV 8996 - Directed Study / Prospectus Design (3 hours)
  • UNIV 9000 - Dissertation / Capstone Project (6 hours)