FAQ

General

  • What type of students does Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies (GLS) program attract?
    Wesleyan’s GLS program attracts a diverse group of individuals, including educators, administrators, journalists, health professionals, business people, artists, lawyers, full-time parents, writers and nonprofit leaders. Although most Wesleyan GLS students live in Connecticut and the New England region, our program counts among its ranks students from across the United States and around the world, ranging in age and experience from recent college graduates to retirees. In general, students drawn to Wesleyan’s GLS program are eager to feed their intellectual curiosity, improve their writing and communication skills, and gain specific knowledge in their current field or other area of interest.
  • Can students take GLS courses without pursing a degree?

    Yes. Students may choose to take GLS courses for personal or professional enrichment without pursuing a degree, or they may apply for admission to a degree or certificate program. We currently offer a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) degree, a Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts (MPhil) degree and a Graduate Certificate in Writing, in addition to non-degree study options.

  • What types of courses are included in Wesleyan’s GLS curriculum?
    Wesleyan’s Graduate Liberal Studies program offers courses in the arts, humanities, mathematics, sciences and social sciences. The program’s broad, interdisciplinary curriculum is academically rigorous and creatively intense, inspiring students to produce their best work in an intellectually vibrant community. Typically, between 70 and 100 unique courses are offered during the time a student is pursuing degree study in the program (2 to 4 years), with the more popular courses offered several times during that period.
  • How many students are in each GLS class?

    The average GLS class size is 12 to 14 students, providing students with the personal attention and intimate liberal arts experience that is a hallmark of Wesleyan University. The maximum enrollment for classes is set at 18, and classes do not run with fewer than 5 students.

  • What is the GLS faculty like?
    GLS faculty include some of Wesleyan’s most acclaimed professors and artists-in-residence, in addition to highly accomplished visiting writers, artists and distinguished faculty from peer schools.
  • Will a degree from Wesleyan’s GLS program help me gain admittance to a PhD program?
    Many students enter Wesleyan’s GLS program (as degree candidates or for non-degree study) to assess their own readiness for doctoral work, specify their area of interest, and hone the skills they will need to pursue further study. Students whose goal is to pursue a PhD are encouraged to research the requirements of the programs in their area of interest in order to determine whether their work in our interdisciplinary master’s degree program will benefit them in their future applications. Students who do so often successfully gain admission to doctoral programs, most typically in the fields of the arts, social sciences and the humanities
  • What career opportunities are available to students who receive a master’s degree or certificate from Wesleyan’s GLS program?
    Students completing the MALS degree, MPhil degree or Graduate Certificate in Writing at Wesleyan are well-positioned to either advance their career or launch a new one. Many GLS students work in the field of education service, either as teachers or administrators, while others pursue careers as communication, development and arts professionals. That said, a recent survey of GLS alumni found graduates running their own businesses, working as consultants for science and technology firms, employed as graphic designers, and holding positions in myriad other industries. We find that our students’ interests and motivations are the best predictors of their job prospects. Students are drawn to our program because it feeds their intellectual curiosity, improves their writing and communication skills, and gives them specific knowledge in their field. Students hoping to advance in their current career or make a career change that requires a different, specific degree (such as an MSW or MBA) should speak to someone working professionally in their field to determine whether their GLS degree or certificate will ultimately be advantageous to their career advancement or change.

Admission

  • How will my GLS application be evaluated?
    Applications are evaluated to determine the applicant’s level of preparedness for graduate research and writing. Importance is placed on the quality of the essay and strength of the recommendation letters. The essay should reflect a prospective student’s intellectual curiosity and initiative to research ideas and themes about which they are passionate. While we do consider undergraduate transcripts, the Admission Committee understands that these may not always be indicative of an applicant’s potential and desire to succeed in our program; hence, more weight is placed on academic recommendations and writing samples
  • When can I apply?

    While students may apply at any time during the year, there are three set deadlines for degree and certificate application (typically in July, November and April). Applications received prior to a stated deadline will be considered for degree matriculation in the following term. Students seeking to study as non-degree candidates must submit an application online and will be able to register online shortly thereafter; undergraduate transcripts and proof of immunizations should be received before the beginning of the first term of study. Information about applying for degree candidacy is extensive and can be found on our Degree Application page. 

  • May I ask my employer, friend, family member or colleague to write my letters of recommendation?

    No. Letters from friends, colleagues, employers and family members will not be considered as recommendation letter writers and will jeopardize a candidate’s application to the program. Because we are aware that some GLS students may have been out of school for many years, we allow students to take two courses as non-degree students, with those grades effectively waiving the academic recommendation requirement when and if the student applies for degree candidacy. Students who cannot pursue non-degree study, but are not able to acquire academic recommendations from former professors, should contact the GLS office to discuss alternative letter writers.

Tuition

  • Are financial aid or scholarships available?

    Degree candidates may apply for scholarship aid; non-degree and certificate candidates eligible for the Greater Middletown Area Teacher’s Scholarship may apply for that scholarship. Student loans are also available. Please refer to our Financial Aid page for more information about available student aid.

Credits

  • Are credits transferable?

    All course credit transfer is subject to the rules and regulations of the receiving college or university.

  • How many credits are required to obtain an MALS degree, MPhil degree or Graduate Certificate in Writing at Wesleyan?

    The requirements for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) are as follows:

    • 6 courses (18 credits) within the area of concentration
    • 6 courses (18 credits) outside the area of concentration
    • Optional master's essay or project instead of the sixth course within concentration
    • Courses must be taken in at least three of the five areas of concentration

    The requirements for the Master of Philosophy in Liberal Arts (MPhil) are as follows:

    • 5 courses (15 credits) within the area of concentration
    • 2 courses (6 credits) outside the area of concentration
    • 2 elective courses (6 credits), either inside or outside the area of concentration
    • 1 thesis
    • Courses must be taken in at least three of the five areas of concentration

    The requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Writing are as follows:

    • 3 writing courses*
    • 1 foundational writing option course in the humanities/alternate fourth writing course*
    • 1 foundational writing option course in science or the social sciences/alternate fifth writing course*
    • Capstone essay (academic, research focused) or creative project (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, etc.)—each option requires a minimum 30 pages of writing
    • *The term “writing course” refers to any course which has received the “CERT” designation. View course listings to review which courses each semester qualify as “writing courses.”
  • What's the difference between "for credit" and "auditing"? Why can only some GLS courses be audited?
    The difference between audit and credit is that, by definition, an "auditor" receives no feedback and is not assessed by the professor in any way. A "for-credit” student must be assessed on the basis of their work and participation. Unfortunately, this means that it is not possible to audit workshop classes, since such classes require copious amounts of personalized attention and active feedback for both classroom dialogue and written assignments. All students may register for workshop classes for credit; they are open to both degree and non-degree students, and there are no prerequisites.

Course Load and Timeline

  • Does the GLS program include required courses?

    Students are not required to take any particular courses, so long as they meet the distribution requirements for the completion of the degree (6 within the concentration, 6 outside of the concentration for MALS candidates; 5 within the concentration, 2 outside of the concentration and 2 electives for MPHIL candidates) or the requirements to earn the Graduate Certificate in Writing.

  • How long does it take to complete a GLS degree or certificate at Wesleyan?
    Students are expected to fulfill all degree and/or certificate requirements within six years of taking their first GLS course. Many students finish in four years or less. Students studying fulltime may finish in as little as a year and a half. If circumstances arise that prevent a student from completing the degree within six years, students may petition for an extension of one or two years. Eight years is the maximum amount of time students may take to complete degree requirements.
  • Is a minimum GPA required for admission to or graduation from Wesleyan’s GLS program?
    There is no minimum GPA required for admission to the program. Once enrolled, all students are expected to earn grades of B or better in each class. Grades below B- will not count toward degree requirements. Emphasis is placed on graduate-level academic performance. While students must maintain a minimum GPA of B- (81.7) to graduate, the expectation is that students maintain at least an A- (91.7) average.
  • When are GLS classes held?

    GLS at Wesleyan is a liberal arts graduate program designed for working adults. Therefore, most classes meet in evenings, on weekends, and over the summer, depending on the course.

Housing

  • Is housing available for GLS students?

    Wesleyan University offers housing to GLS students during the summer term. It is not generally available at other times of the year. Students needing to make fall or spring housing arrangements are encouraged to visit the Wesleyan Classifieds, which often contains private but reputable housing listings, or speak with a GLS student services representative.