Master of Liberal Arts

Director's Message

Welcome to Winthrop University's Master of Liberal Arts Program!  The MLA degree, one of WU's most innovative graduate programs, is notable for supporting the intellectual curiosity of a wide variety of students.  Our students include, among others, recent graduates from bachelor's programs who seek to deepen and broaden their studies, retirees interested in life-long learning, and working professionals desiring an advanced degree that helps them expand their knowledge and further their careers.  The program theme — "The Search for Order" — is organized around three core courses that approach learning and knowing from the perspectives of the empirical, the rational, and the intuitive. These courses, along with challenging electives, provoke students and faculty to wrestle with the fundamental questions of human thought and knowledge.

Through a range of liberal arts courses, the program supports interdisciplinary inquiry into the challenges that face human beings in the twenty-first century.   Enhanced by thought-provoking elective courses in an array of disciplines such as, for example, history, literature, political science, and philosophy, Winthrop's MLA framework allows students to create a degree program that supports and leads to a Capstone Project of their own design.  Students and professors join together in small seminar classes to discuss, interrogate, and analyze complex texts from multiple disciplines and to challenge each other to come to terms with the difficult questions raised by the most important writers, artists, philosophers, and innovators of the past and the present.  These courses also support students' overall intellectual development through increasing their critical thinking, writing, reading, and research skills.

If you are motivated by the opportunity to deepen and broaden your learning, expand your knowledge in a range of disciplines, and join a supportive group of scholars on your path to life-long learning, then Winthrop's MLA program will suit you admirably.  I invite you to look through this web site and learn more about the program, its students, and faculty. I also encourage you to contact me by phone at 803/323-4572 or via e-mail at


Siobhan Craft Bownson
Director, Master of Liberal Arts Program