Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Individuals holding a bachelor's degree who wish to pursue a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) degree may apply for admission to the program prior to taking any courses or after taking a handful of courses as a non-degree GLS student. Up to four GLS classes taken prior to the semester of matriculation as a degree candidate will be applied toward a Wesleyan GLS degree.

Students seeking to transfer credits from another institution should contact the office as soon as possible.

Students who do not require a visa for study should apply during the semester immediately preceding the term in which they wish to begin their degree studies. International students should apply at least 10 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester in which they would like to begin their studies.

All materials listed below must be received on or before the deadlines noted above to be considered for matriculation in the upcoming semester (see Degree Programs page for deadlines).

Apply Now

Complete your online application.

Academic Writing Sample

The academic writing sample must be an academic essay supported by research which meets the standard of graduate-level writing. The Admission Committee will evaluate your intellectual and academic preparedness for graduate-level writing. Wesleyan Graduate Liberal Studies seeks applicants who have serious academic interests and can articulate thoughtful, coherent arguments supported by appropriate, properly cited materials. The academic writing sample should be prepared exclusively by the applicant and will be reviewed using the following rubric:

  1. written in an academic (not colloquial or conversational) style
  2. topic clearly fits within the target concentration of the arts, humanities, mathematics, sciences or social sciences
  3. clearly states a position, provides support for the position, acknowledges contrary considerations and comes to a conclusion
  4. strong grasp of grammar, usage and spelling, as well as organization and structure
  5. demonstrated excellence in editing (i.e., organization, spelling, grammar, syntax)
  6. clarity of expression
  7. creativity and originality of thought
  8. correct and appropriate use of cited material according to standard academic convention (i.e., MLA, Chicago)

Applicants whose work does not meet these criteria will not be considered for admission. Applicants whose work minimally meets these criteria may be invited to reapply after taking a Graduate Liberal Studies course with a foundational writing option.

The sample may be excerpted from a longer work and must have been written within the past five years. If the writing sample was submitted as coursework or for publication, the sample must include the title of the class or publication and the original date of submission.

NOTE: Applicants who do not already have an appropriate writing sample from previous academic coursework may use the following guidelines:

1. Write a 6-8 page research essay on the topic of your choice, within your proposed concentration area.
2. Identifying a topic can be difficult; give yourself permission to spend thirty minutes reading a book you’ve been meaning to read, reviewing the news from a credible source, or browsing a magazine or journal to help you discover something that you’d like to learn more about.
3. Learn more about the topic by consulting credible academic or journalistic resources, or primary sources.
4.After consulting 5-8 sources, you should be able to arrive at a conclusion on the topic.
5. Your essay should articulate your argument and be supported by the resources you have consulted.
6. Your resources should be cited properly in the style appropriate to the discipline in which you are writing. 

Depending on the topic and number of resources used, students may submit longer papers, but ten pages should be considered the limit. The rubric for assessment found above will be utilized for all Academic Writing Samples.

Statement of Academic Intent

The statement of academic Intent, not to exceed 250 words, should be prepared exclusively by the applicant and address one or more of the following:

  1. Why are you choosing to pursue graduate work at this time?
  2. Are there specific areas of knowledge in which you hope to develop expertise?
  3. If you have had the opportunity to perform research on the topics that interest you, casually or in an academic setting, please describe.
  4. Any additional information that you feel is relevant to your application.


Official transcripts must be sent directly to the GLS office by the degree-granting institution for students applying for MALS candidacy. Electronic transcripts can be sent to and hard copies can be mailed to Graduate Liberal Studies, Wesleyan University, 74 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown, CT 06459.

Immunization Cover Sheet

Proof of immunization documentation is a Connecticut State requirement for matriculants to degree study. Students must submit the immunization form with documentation demonstrating compliance with the State of Connecticut's requirements for immunizations to Wesleyan Health Services.

School Report

Enter a School Official from the last institution that you attended (prompt appears in online application). If you are unsure who to enter, the Registrar’s Office at your last institution is a common contact for the School Official Report. An email will automatically be sent to the school official that you entered when you submit your application. Contact if you have questions regarding this report.

Academic Recommendations

Two letters of academic recommendation must be completed online by the recommenders. The academic recommendation request can only be accessed through the online application. Recommenders should be individuals who have taught you in a post-secondary academic setting and can speak to your qualities as a student. Recommendations from employers, friends or family members will not be considered and may jeopardize your application to degree admission.

Important information for MALS candidates

MALS candidates may submit letter grades from previous GLS coursework in lieu of academic recommendations. One letter grade will waive one recommendation; two letter grades will waive both recommendations.

TOEFL Exam Score

Required if an applicant's native language is not English; IELTS test results will also be considered. The minimally acceptable TOEFL score for graduate work is 100, and the minimally acceptable IELTS score is a 7.

Scholarship Application

Visit Tuition & Aid for more information.