Home : Coed Graduate Programs : M.A.L.S.

Hollins University
Graduate Center
PO Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
(540) 362-6288 (Fax)

Program director:
Joe W. Leedom
(540) 362-6253

General information:
Hollins University Graduate Center
P.O. Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
Fax: (540) 362-6288


Lorraine Lange, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools, was named one of four finalists for the 2012 National Superintendent of the Year Program by the American Association of School Administrators. Lange, who earned her master's degree at Hollins, is a former adjunct professor here. Read more »


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Master of Arts in Liberal Studies


Hollins offers a master's degree for women and men, with scheduling that respects the demands of home and work, and flexibility that allows you to follow your interests or discover new ones. Since 1969, Hollins, along with a number of other select colleges and universities (such as Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Duke, and Wesleyan), has offered the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (M.A.L.S.) degree.

The M.A.L.S. program is designed for students with varied interests and backgrounds, who thrive on the interdisciplinary approach and flexible curriculum. Students include business executives, nurses, lawyers, educators, homemakers, and lifelong learners desiring the professional or personal benefits provided by obtaining the master's degree.

Hollins is now offering even more flexible scheduling with online course offerings.

Leadership concentration

The leadership concentration grew out of Hollins' 10-year history of training leaders at the undergraduate level through the Batten Leadership Institute. The leadership concentration at the graduate level builds on the solid foundation created by BLI. One of the features of the leadership concentration is a new partnership with the University of Virginia, under which:

  • Those who have completed U.Va.'s 18-credit leadership certificate program will be able to bring those credits into the Hollins M.A.L.S. program and advance quickly toward a master's degree.
  • Students enrolled in the M.A.L.S. program will be able to take courses in U.Va.'s online graduate certificate program.

Degree requirements

Forty credits (10 courses) are required. Two courses (8 credits) are "heritage core" seminars in humanities and social sciences, examining various historical periods and disciplines. Seven courses (28 credits) are drawn from a menu of courses designed for M.A.L.S. students. These seven courses must develop a concentration in one of five areas:

  • Humanities: English, literature, art, theatre, music, philosophy, and religion
  • Social Sciences: history, sociology, psychology, political science, and gender and women's studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts: art, dance, film, music, and theatre
  • Leadership: leadership courses, gender and women's studies, history, political science, and psychology
  • Interdisciplinary Studies: design an individual liberal studies program that meets your own needs

The final requirement (4 credits) is a capstone experience, involving a research essay or creative project.

Fees and financial aid

Courses taken in the M.A.L.S. degree program during the 2014-15 academic year are set at $365 per credit hour (licensed, practicing teachers receive a $10 per credit discount). Students must pay a nonrefundable deposit of $100 at the beginning of each semester. All deposits will be credited toward the semester's tuition charges. Financial aid is available to qualified students. Stafford student loans are available to students enrolling on at least a part-time (2 courses) basis. Students are encouraged to apply for the Sue Zirkle Frazier Scholarship. This scholarship, established in memory of Sue Zirkle Frazier by her husband, Allie Frazier, one of the organizers of Hollins M.A.L.S. program, is awarded annually to eligible students demonstrating financial need and potential for academic success.

To apply

Rolling admissions make entry into the M.A.L.S. program possible prior to any of the three terms offered — fall, spring, or summer. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants must submit an application form and $40 processing fee. They must provide evidence, by undergraduate record, statement of educational objectives, and three letters of recommendation, of their capacity to undertake this program. No student may be considered degree-seeking until completing his or her first two courses with the grade of B or above; a 3.0 average is required for graduation from the program. An admissions interview is required upon acceptance to the program.

Hollins will accept two courses of graduate work completed at another regionally accredited graduate school toward the M.A.L.S. degree provided the grade received was B or better and that the course is a substantive one that ties in with the program.

Scheduling options

Scheduling is sensitive to your responsibilities and demands at home and work. Courses are offered fall, spring, and summer; most classes are taught in the evenings. Students may take classes part-time or full-time, and have eight years from matriculation in which to complete the degree requirements.