The Master of Liberals Arts Degree at the University of Chicago as the CAPSTONE to your Professional and Academic Path

Some of our most successful MLA students have been mid-to-late-career professionals. Often, the MLA is the third and final degree for these students. By way of example, a student might earn her undergraduate degree in her early twenties, earn her MBA in her mid-thirties, and comes to the MLA program in her mid-forties or early fifties.

Students from this demographic apply to the MLA for a few different reasons. Some seek to take advantage of newfound free time that comes with winding down a busy professional career. Others are looking to “fill in their gaps” in their prior education, like the tax attorney who studied finance during college, went straight to law school, and never had time to formally pursue a lifelong interest in literature or politics.

Still others—and this group is often our most successful student—are seeking to re-tool their skillset in anticipation of the final fifteen or twenty years of their careers. These mid-career professionals especially benefit from the MLA. They find that as they advance in their workplace, their prior education may be too narrow for the new responsibilities they gain as they progress up the ladder. They needed to specialize in college to enter the job market, but after twenty years in their field, they’ve been promoted to broader responsibilities and find their prior training inadequate for their current responsibilities. They now require an education and new intellectual outlook broader in scope affording them the ability to step back and look at the big picture. And the MLA provides just that.

“I earned my undergraduate degree in engineering and earned an MBA a few years later. My career in the Insurance Industry is challenging, fulfilling, and rewarding. I am a student in UChicago’s MLA program and am fully confident that the experiences from this program will transfer to my professional and my personal life. Professionally, the perspectives, the rigorous analysis, and the thought methods will be transferable to the problems and challenges that I face regularly at work. Personally, the growth opportunity that this program provides will provide me with the toolset to achieve my potential.”


Jeff Briglia
SVP, Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Current MLA Student

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