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Master of Liberal Arts

Tulane University's School of Professional Advancement offers an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) degree. The MLA degree program at Tulane, which began in 1983, exposes students to a wide range of reflection on human experience, over different epochs and from multiple perspectives.  Course offerings include academic disciplines such as history, literature, philosophy, political science, and sociology. The program promotes development of skills in reading, writing, and oral communication.  Tulane’s MLA welcomes students of diverse educational backgrounds. In consultation with the MLA director, Dr. Ronna Burger, students develop a plan of study tailored to their individual interests.


Students applying to the MLA program must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

Applications to the program must include:

  • A statement of 250-500 words describing how graduate education at Tulane University would support them to achieve personal and/or professional objectives.
  • Official college transcripts from each college attended. Typically, successful applicants will have at least a “B” (3.00) average in all coursework taken.

Applicants may be conditionally admitted to enroll in one course in their first semester and must earn a grade of B or better to gain regular admission.

Completed applications are reviewed by the MLA director and Admissions Committee throughout the year.

Fill out the form below to learn more about our Master of Liberal Arts degree program.


Degree Requirements

The School of Professional Advancement awards the MLA degree following the successful completion of ten courses. These must include at least two core courses (designated MLAR), while students may be eligible to enroll in other graduate level liberal arts courses at Tulane. MLA students who wish to write a thesis in lieu of the tenth course may petition the Director to do so. Students may not apply more than two independent study courses toward graduation requirements for the MLA. Students must also submit an application for degree, available from the School of Professional Advancement Dean's office, at the beginning of the semester in which the student plans to complete all required coursework.

Academic Progress Requirements

Students admitted to the MLA program must maintain an overall grade point average of 3.00 or better to be considered in good academic standing. Students whose grade point average falls below 3.00 will be placed on academic probation and limited to a maximum of six credit hours in the subsequent semester. Students will be removed from academic probation when they earn an overall grade point average of at least 3.00.

Students may apply one B- toward degree requirements; however, students who earn a second B- will be dismissed from the program. Students who receive a grade of C+ or lower in any coursework attempted will be dismissed from the program.

Transfer Credits

Students in good standing may petition to transfer a maximum of nine credit hours (three courses) of graduate coursework from other accredited colleges or universities to the MLA degree. However, only courses with grades of B or better, completed within five years of enrolling in the MLA program, may be considered for transfer credit.


MLA program faculty include the Director of the MLA program, Dr. Ronna Burger, Professor of Philosophy, holding the Catherine & Henry J. Gaisman Chair, and the Sizeler Professor of Jewish Studies at Tulane University, as well as other liberal arts and sciences faculty of the university.

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