The University Record, April 1, 1997

Dearborn to offer master's program in liberal arts

By Terry Gallagher
U-M-Dearborn

U-M-Dearborn will launch a master's degree program this fall "to provide liberal education at the master's level for motivated, mature individuals who want to explore new subjects, to develop intellectual resources and to broaden their horizon of knowledge and ideas."

The master of arts in liberal studies program, approved by the Regents at their March meeting, will be offered by Dearborn's College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters (CASL), under the auspices of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

"The objectives of this degree are synonymous with the objectives of liberal education: developing critical thinking skills, encouraging intellectual flexibility, and cultivating an individual's ability to make connections among diverse fields of human thought and activity," says Gerald F. Moran, professor of history and CASL associate dean.

With more than 100 colleges and universities offering similar programs, Moran notes that "the typical enrollees are people who are somewhere in mid-career, are successful in their professional lives, or are reevaluating their careers and want the opportunity for further intellectual development."

"Our program will draw upon a similar, non-traditional constituency, and will be offered at times, such as evening hours, that are suitable for that student population."

Students will be able to choose from several elective tracks, including liberal studies, women's studies or individualized programs.

"While typical graduate studies tend toward specialization, our new program will give students the freedom and flexibility to explore knowledge across disciplinary boundaries," Moran says. "We will emphasize interdisciplinary learning, teaching and research to foster the development of a broad and varied understanding of the liberal arts, and promote the critical and comparative analysis of ideas and society across diverse historical and cultural contexts."

For more information on the program, call the CASL office, 593-5490.