Which of these Liberal Studies master programs would you choose an why?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by bennylinus, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    The programs:

    Master of Liberal Arts, Texas Christian University

    Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, Stony Brook University(SUNY)

    Both schools are ranked #99 according to US News.

    Stony Brook offers more courses and concentrations...Texas Christian University only offers 5 or 6 liberal arts courses each semester and you can't choose a concentration.

    Both programs are similar in price.

    TCU is an M.L.A., SBU is an actual M.A.

    TCU has no thesis, SBU has a project seminar which is similar to a thesis.

    SBU requires 33 credit hours, TCU requires 30 hours.

    Again, at SBU you can choose from about 7 or 8 different concentrations, TCU you just take 10, 3 hours courses of whatever you want.

    Program Websites:

    Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Online

    I'm currently in the M.L.A. program, but I've been accepted in the SBU program. I have 12 graduate hours, 6 of which could be transferred into the M.A.L.S. program. Or I could just stay at TCU and graduate much sooner.

    However, I wonder if the M.A.L.S. will be more marketable, career wise, than the M.L.A. degree. What do you guys think?
  2. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

    If you are a NCAA football fan, TCU has a lot more name recognition.

    Beyond that, I have no input on the particular programs.
  3. Templar

    Templar New Member

    What do you mean by “marketable”? Teaching? Writing?

    You may want to clarify your goals somewhat.

    Also, you might want to shop around; 1500+ per class at TCU and Stony are not the cheapest (although they have some really sweet course offerings) MLS programs.

    You might be better off financially at Ft Hayes or UNC-Greenville-both of which have generous transfer policies.
  4. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    I'm interested in a history or literature concentration. By marketable, I generally mean which school has more name recognition. To be more specific, I'm wondering which program would be more marketable to future employers based on course rigor and offerings. I've checked out other programs and I have my mind set on these two schools.
  5. Templar

    Templar New Member

    Sorry, it's UNC-Greensboro.
  6. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    I'd say TCU, but only because their football team gives them broader reach nationally than Stony Brook. It sounds like the TCU program is less rigorous (I've never seen an ALM program with no thesis requirement) and if the two degrees hold the same level of recognition in the world's go with the program with no thesis requirement (those things are a pain in the a$$)
  7. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    I've looked into both programs. I guess I just wanted a school that had more name recognition. Ok, you can all call me a brand whore:)
  8. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    Welcome to the club. I'm at the corner of Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Us whores gotta stick together!
  9. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    Do you think they do hold the same recognition? Is comparing an M.L.A. to an M.A. in liberal studies a moot point? The M.A. would offer a more focused degree plan, while the M.L.A. is basically a bunch of random coursework that I find interesting. Both programs are accredited by the AGLSP(associated of graduate liberal studies programs). True, TCU does have awesome sports:)
  10. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    Ask yourself this, is an employer going to ask to see your transcripts? They verified my degrees at this job, but only verified graduation,they didn't look at my transcripts and i work at what is among the most elite academic institutions on the planet.
    They are both liberal arts degrees, people get so caught up on whether it is a PhD or Ed.d, MLA or an MA. They are equivalent. If you're are in the TCU program and are enjoying it then stick with it....and get some Horned Frogs gear to support your Alma mater.
  11. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I doubt if any employer will care where you earned your masters degree (it's your experience that makes you "marketable" for most jobs). Personally I would go with whatever degree is the lowest cost to complete. Another consideration is your satisfaction with TCU - do you get great customer service? - maybe it may not be so good at SBU.
  12. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    Thanks for the responses.

    So really there's no discernible difference between an M.L.A. and an M.A.? If I get the M.L.A. will I constantly have to explain exactly what it is? I feel like an M.A. is pretty self explanatory.
  13. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    If you don't list the degree as an MA in Liberal Studies, you'll have the same questions. Everyone will want to know the field for your MA.

    Master of Liberal Arts / Master of Arts in Liberal Studies = equivalent nomenclature

    I'm not sure either is going to make that much difference in a career. If anything I would give greater weight to the TCU degree as it is in residence and has better name recognition.

    At the end of the day, though, does an employer really care about a liberal arts master's degree?
  14. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    What do you mean in residence? Stony Brook is in the United States.

    So are you saying this degree is worthless?
  15. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    I mean not online.

    Worthless? No, but I also do not see it as particularly useful apart from positions that might only require a master's degree in any subject.

    If you are looking for employment in academia, you are better with a regular MA in a specific subject, but even an MA in history, for example, isn't particularly marketable. Degrees in the humanities are a "dime a dozen."

    If you are looking for employment in the corporate world, then a liberal arts Master's is somewhat irrelevant.
  16. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    Oh, well you can do the Stony Brook program in person and online...a combination of the two.

    I'm more interested in being able to teach...Do you think this degree will allow one to teach at the high school level?
  17. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator Staff Member

    Have you read this page?
  18. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    No, you need to do a teacher certification program for that. If that is your goal, I recommend not pursuing either of these programs.

    I am in the same boat, essentially. I just completed a master's degree, but I will need to pursue another program to meet my goal of teacher certification. I wish I had pursued this plan all along (as I would have not pursued the MA in Human Services), but I made that decision based on my goals at the time.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2010
  19. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    You can do the entire TCU program online. If you click the link Benny provided and go to the bottom of the page it states that the entire program can be completed online.
  20. bennylinus

    bennylinus New Member

    If you guys had to choose one of these programs, which one would you choose?

    Hypothetically speaking :)

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