Master of Liberal Arts

At a Glance

Full-time, Part-time
1 year Full-time
Up to 5 years Part-time
Hybrid (in-person and online)
$3,640 Per course
Financing Your Education
Two people walking in an ornate library

The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) at the University of Chicago is a degree program designed for working professionals who seek to commit to their curiosity in an interdisciplinary, intellectual community.

Whether your goal is professional advancement or personal growth, our flexible, remote and in-person courses are designed to fit into a busy schedule.

Who is in the Master of Liberal Arts program?

Our program attracts intellectually curious adults who like to ask questions and share ideas. We count doctors, entrepreneurs, business executives, scientists, police officers, lawyers, teachers, and a wide variety of other professionals among our current students. This variety of perspectives and backgrounds contribute to an engaging and enlightening exchange of views.

I am now, as a scientist, a passionate advocate of the Humanities. Engineering might show you the 'how' of something, but it will not show you the 'why.' What I learned from the preeminent scholars in MLA is that the perspectives of both the arts and the sciences are crucial. Without the Humanities, you have only half the equation. You have only half the world.

Michael Wilson headshot

Michael Wilson, MLA '13

The Commitment to Rigorous, Intense Inquiry

Our MLA program is a rare combination of academic rigor and flexibility that reflects the University of Chicago’s relentless commitment to open, rigorous, and intense inquiry. Through reading, reflection, lecture, and lively discussions, our MLA students study the works of great thinkers—in the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and biological sciences—and gain the tools to apply interdisciplinary thought to their professional lives. In small classes, all taught by University of Chicago faculty, students engage and wrestle with great ideas as they work towards developing their own ways of thinking and solving problems.

Explore our curriculum

The Value of Liberal Education

The essence of a liberal education is the ability to read deeply, listen closely, think critically, and communicate effectively. It gives you a sense of the big picture and how things relate to one another. “The liberally educated person has a mind that can operate well in all fields,” University of Chicago President Robert Maynard Hutchins said. "He may be a specialist in one field. But he can understand anything important that is said in any field and can see and use the light that it sheds upon his own. The liberally educated person is at home in the world of ideas and in the world of practical affairs, too, because he understands the relation of the two.”

This desire to understand how everything fits together provides the basis of the Master of Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago Graham School.

The Opportunity to Grow Personally and Professionally

For professional advancement or personal enrichment, our MLA program helps you sharpen your analytics skills, think and plan at a strategic level, better express your ideas, and make more convincing arguments. The program involves engaging, interdisciplinary coursework designed for adult learners. Students refine valuable skills like critical thinking, writing, developing and presenting solutions, and constructively challenging conventions and assumptions. A Master of Liberal Arts from UChicago is a credential that opens doors.

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