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  1. #1
    bennylinus is offline Registered User
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    Master of Liberal Arts vs Master of Arts in Liberal Studies?

    Which one has more utility and looks better on a resume? From my understanding, there isn't much different between the two degrees.

    Discuss.

  2. #2
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    I believe that those are different names for essentially the same thing. Look at this wikipedia article: Master of Arts in Liberal Studies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Wikipedia is not considered a scholarly resource fit to cite, but I believe that it is correct on this one.
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  3. #3
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    I would agree and say they are the same. An MA just looks less "odd" on a resume.

  4. #4
    mcjon77 is offline Registered User
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    The say the same thing. Someone MIGHT think of an Master's of Liberal Arts as being possibly related to Art, but that isn't especicially likely. Where the degree was obtained would be VASTLY more important.
    ALM, Harvard University
    AB, Georgetown University

  5. #5
    HikaruBr is offline Registered User
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    I think they are pretty different - a Master of Liberal Arts it's a "type" of degree and could have different fields and/or concentrations. A MA in Liberal Arts means the field/concentration is "Liberal Arts".
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  6. #6
    HikaruBr is offline Registered User
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    It's like a Master of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Fine Arts. Not the same thing (the first could be in different fields, like Film, Animation, etc... while the latter would be only in Fine Arts)
    MFA - Motion Pictures & Television, Academy of Art University, USA
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  7. #7
    StefanM is offline Registered User
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    I would prefer the M.A. nomenclature.

    For example, you could legitimately list the MA in LS as "Master of Arts, University of Random."

    The MLS Degree is going to be "Master of Liberal Studies, University of Chance."

    The MA is a more familiar "format," so I would prefer it.

    I don't think it makes much difference in the programs, though.

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  9. #8
    Fortunato is offline Registered User
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    Doesn't the MA designation imply that the program has a thesis or capstone component?
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  10. #9
    StefanM is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortunato View Post
    Doesn't the MA designation imply that the program has a thesis or capstone component?
    No. Plenty of MA programs have neither of these elements.

  11. #10
    bennylinus is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for the opinions, guys.

    Anyone else have an opinion on this?

  12. #11
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennylinus View Post
    Thanks for the opinions, guys. Anyone else have an opinion on this?
    I think MA vs. MLA is a pretty irrelevant distinction. Whatever difference it may make will be overcome by the difference in program content, school reputation, and professional goals that lead you to choose one over the other. I really wouldn't worry much about this, and would make the decision on other criteria.

    Put another way, as someone who's hired people, if your resume were in front of me this would have no impact on my decision whether to request an interview.

    -=Steve=-
    BS, Info Sys concentration, Charter Oak State College
    MA in Educational Tech, George Washington University
    PhD in Leadership, U. of the Cumberlands (in progress)
    More at http://stevefoerster.com

  13. #12
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcjon77 View Post
    The say the same thing. Someone MIGHT think of an Master's of Liberal Arts as being possibly related to Art, but that isn't especicially likely. Where the degree was obtained would be VASTLY more important.
    Last week, just days after hanging up my diploma, a friend dropped by along with one of his friends whom I had never met before. He looked at my diploma...

    Friend of a Friend: "Wow!!!! What kind of arts do you do?"
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College

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  14. #13
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanM View Post
    I would prefer the M.A. nomenclature.

    For example, you could legitimately list the MA in LS as "Master of Arts, University of Random."

    The MLS Degree is going to be "Master of Liberal Studies, University of Chance."

    The MA is a more familiar "format," so I would prefer it.

    I don't think it makes much difference in the programs, though.
    Then there is the fact that you can have as your signature something more immediately recognizable.

    Maniac Craniac, MA
    Maniac Craniac, MLA
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College

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  15. #14
    StefanM is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maniac Craniac View Post
    Then there is the fact that you can have as your signature something more immediately recognizable.

    Maniac Craniac, MA
    Maniac Craniac, MLA
    or

    Maniac Craniac, APA.

    Maniac Craniac, Chicago Manual of Style

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  17. #15
    bennylinus is offline Registered User
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    Hopefully you guys were joking about the whole putting "M.A" or "M.L.A." after one's name. That is just pretentious and most people laugh at those who do this.

    Anyway, so an M.L.A. degree from a top 100 national school (according to US News anyway) would be better than a M.A.L.S. from a regional top tier school or tier 2 national school? True, I'd rather have the M.L.A. from Stanford, Harvard, Penn State or the University of Chicago(all of which offer the degree as a Master of Liberal Arts instead of the M.A. of Liberal Studies distinction).

    The two schools I'm looking at are both top 100 nationally. One offers the M.L.A., the other an M.A. of Liberal Studies. The M.L.A. degree doesn't have a concentration component, but one could technically choose a concentration in an area if the courses were available any given semester. The M.A.L.S. program has different concentration areas.

    Is it pretty much a wash between these two schools? Both have the rigor and name recognition. One school is easier than the other to choose a concentration area. Both schools cost nearly the same.

    What say you?

  18. #16
    Maniac Craniac is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanM View Post
    or

    Maniac Craniac, APA.

    Maniac Craniac, Chicago Manual of Style
    Don't forget the graduate degree in microwave technology that was awarded to me by cookderosa:

    Maniac Craniac, MBA
    (Master of Baking Alternatives)
    BA, Social Sciences ---- Thomas Edison State College

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