Graduate Liberal Studies Program



UNCW, as do all reputable universities, has a specific and detailed application process to matriculate in the Graduate School. A link to that application and guidance for the completion of that application as it relates to either the MALS or the Post Master's Certificate in Liberal Studies (PMCLS) programs are available at the links herein or in the left-hand navigation section of this web page.

MALS + a Post-Baccalaurate Certificate

The MALS degree program allows the combination of some post-baccalaureate programs with GLS courses to be credited towards the MALS degree. Links to the details regarding these combinations are provided below.

The application for matriculation into the MALS program is separate from that to the desired post-baccalaureate certificate program. Students are encouraged to apply first to the MALS program and to take several of the core post-baccalaureate certificate courses early on rather than apply to both simultaneously.

Why? MALS program policy pertaining to permission to apply to the post-baccalaureate certificate is that a student must both successfully complete two of the required post-baccalaureate courses, and, write a letter to the director applying for permission. As students are permitted to take courses outside the GLS program (meaning courses with a prefix other than "GLS") while matriculated in the MALS degree even if not formally matriculated in the post-baccalaureate certificate, there is less risk in beginning work in the post-baccalaureate certificate area in this way rather than as a post-baccalaureate certificate enrollee. The student experiences courses in the area of the post-baccalaureate certificate and, with that experience, can make an informed decision about continuing to work in that area.

However, unless you are formally enrolled in a post-baccalaureate certificate program, you can only be awarded course credit for a total of three courses outside the MALS degree program. We instituted the delayed application to the post-baccalaureate program policy to allow students, even those who came in with a strong interest in both MALS and the post-baccalaureate certificate, to have the freedom to experience both programs before making a commitment to the post-baccalaureate certificate. These certificates are rigorous enough that the reality of their challenges have led to students backing out after taking too many courses in the post-baccalaureate certificate area to be credited to the MALS degree (only 9 hours non-GLS courses allowed). Then, their path to a Master's degree become longer and more expensive.

Although we have tried to make the application process clear, the application for admission and acceptance into the UNCW Graduate School and the GLS Program can be confusing, especially with the combined MALS and post-baccalaureate certificates. If there are any questions about the process, please use the contact information at our "Our Staff/Contact Us" page to contact us by email or telephone.


Degree requirements for the GLS programs (MALS and PMCLS), e.g., what has to be taken and limitations regarding transfer credits, cross-listed courses, etc., are also available at the relevant links.

Other Relevant Areas

For detailed information on Scholarships and Assistantships, Academic Regulations, Expenses, and Residency, please use the relevant links in the left-hand navigtion block.

Last Update: October 10, 2017