Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Director's Welcome

Back in 1999, the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program had only 13 students and offered two courses. Now, we are one of the largest graduate programs at UNCW and are offering in Spring 2016, not including internship and directed independent study, two courses at UNCW and four more (all online) at UNCW's Onslow County Extension Program (at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville). Also, we offer one of only several post-Master's certificate options in the U.S. and the only post-Master's certificate option among the currently existing seven graduate liberal studies programs in the state of North Carolina. Although we aim to serve primarily the local community, we have drawn many out-of-state and a number of foreign students. To this point the program has graduated 300 MALS students and awarded seven post-Master's certificates in liberal studies. Representative final project titles from Fall 2015 include: "Hear Me Roar: Confessions and Stories,""The Language of Change: Gendered Language and Dominant Discourse in Nonprofit Grant Writing,""Letters to My Son,""An Analysis of the Government Land Acquisition for Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina,""Now and Forevermore: The Creation of a Website to Help You Remember,""The Small Black Church's Impact on Black Rural Communities in Jacksonville, Onslow, North Carolina," and "The Art of Stuttering." This list of final projects highlights what is for me one of the most gratifying aspects of the program this year and every year: the graduation of students who, in spite of daunting professional, social, family, and service responsibilities, have, through their perseverance, determination, and academic commitment, completed degree and certificate requirements.

A recent development was the receipt of a named and endowed scholarship for GLS: The Loretta Schwartz-Noble Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Fellowship.Together with the teaching assistantships, scholarships, and awards, this fellowship will, when funds are available, help us fund (a few) deserving GLS students.

The coming year promises to be exciting. We have put together what we feel will be an exciting, diverse, and thought-provoking line-up of courses for this academic year. Further, the GLS program includes the capability of completing the MALS degree in a fully online mode. For example, several students recently defended their final projects from distant sites (Oregon, Nevada, and Raleigh, NC) on WeBex and Skype.

Finally, then, welcome to the GLS web-page, in regard to which I would like to credit Rachel Gentry, the GLS program assistant and web-master. Thanks to Rachel's assiduous vigilance, the GLS web-page provides a thorough and comprehensive overview of the GLS program at UNCW whereby you can conveniently access everything from admissions and degree requirements, Graduate School and GLS-related forms, descriptions of upcoming courses, student news and profiles, faculty web links, and a link to various campus event calendars. So I'd encourage you to browse through the web-page for further detailed information about the GLS program at UNCW and if you have any comments or suggestions feel free to contact Rachel at gentryrc AT uncw DOT edu. I also invite and welcome any inquiries about the GLS program, the special quality of which is matched by the commitment, enthusiasm, and intellectual engagement of the students it enrolls.


Patricia Turrisi

GLS Program Director
Bear 105 B
Tel: 910.962.3299
Fax: 910.962.3542
turrisip AT uncw DOT edu

Last Update: October 31, 2016