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Earn Your Master of Liberal Arts

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Tulane University's School of Professional Advancement offers an interdisciplinary Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) degree to prepare students for versatile leadership opportunities across industries. The MLA degree program at Tulane, which began in 1983, exposes students to a wide range of reflections on the 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 the development of skills in reading, writing, and oral communication. The School of Professional Advancement’s MLA program welcomes students of diverse educational backgrounds, and in coordination with the MLA director, Dr. Ronna Burger, students will develop a plan of study tailored to their individual interests.

Achieve Liberal Arts Mastery With a Focus on Career Preparation

Students in the MLA program benefit from Tulane’s long-standing legacy of liberal arts achievement, balanced with flexible course schedules catered to working professionals. No matter your current profession, you can earn a versatile master’s degree focused on developing your critical thinking and communication skills. You’ll gain access to the full spectrum of graduate-level liberal arts courses offered through Tulane University, combined with SoPA’s dedication to professional development.

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Cater Your Degree to Meet Your Professional Goals

With a Master of Liberal Arts degree, students develop a foundation of knowledge applicable to a wide range of professional settings. Depending on your personalized plan of study, you may pursue advanced roles in corporate and office settings or nonprofit organizations, as well as government agencies or educational institutions. Common industries that align well with the MLA program include advertising, human resources, journalism, and post-secondary education.

Graduates may be eligible to fulfill any of the following professional roles:

  • Reporter or Broadcast News Analyst
  • Social and Community Service Manager
  • Economist
  • Policy Analyst
  • Writer or Editor

Build Your Network With an Esteemed Program Faculty

The MLA program faculty includes 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. With such a diverse professional faculty, students gain access to a far-reaching professional network across the Gulf South.

Meet the Faculty

MLA Admission Requirements

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.

MLA Degree Requirements

The School of Professional Advancement awards the Master of Liberal Arts degree following the successful completion of ten courses. 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.

MLA 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.

Eligibility for 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 Master of Liberal Arts 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.

Listing of Required Courses

Students are required to complete 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.

Tuition & Fees


  • Graduate: $1,000/credit
  • Non-SoPA courses that are not cross-listed: $2,116/credit


  • Graduate Application Fee: $50
  • Uptown & Elmwood Academic Support Fee: $60
  • Uptown and Elmwood students are assessed a student activity fee of $12 per three-credit course or $48 maximum student activity fee for four or more courses

We strive to make our degree programs accessible to a diverse range of working professionals. Explore available financial assistance and discount programs.

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