MLA Information Session
Glimpse into our Master of Liberal Arts.
Gain the multidisciplinary knowledge and intellectual tools to fuel your personal and professional growth.
Interdisciplinary Graduate Education From UChicago
To lead an organization responsibly, to develop a new product or service, or to make a difference in your community, you need a strong foundation in the principles and practices of reasoned inquiry.
The University of Chicago online Master of Liberal Arts will allow you to engage with fresh perspectives in a transformative educational environment that’s driven by intellectual curiosity and open dialogue.
As a pioneer in distance learning at one of the world’s foremost higher education institutions, the UChicago MLA program brings together accomplished individuals from a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds. In MLA courses, you’ll exchange ideas with thought leaders and sharpen your arguments in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
To get answers to your questions about the program and hear directly from an MLA student, sign up for a virtual information session.
The program more than met expectations. It taught me to ask better questions, dig deeper for answers, challenged me to consider perspectives outside my expertise, and connected me to a community of talented and curious individuals.Sarah Hope Marshall
Meet Sarah Founder and Principal, Profound Hope Industries
The MLA program helps you develop skills to better organize your thoughts, sharpen your points, and deliver a strong argument.Brian O’Connor
Meet Brian Head of Embedded Banking, JP Morgan
The UChicago MLA program allows me to transfer my real-world experience in scaling startups to the realm of academic thought and beyond, all while being a part of an exciting learning community that challenges my current notions and helps me grow as an individual and executive.Cara Brennan Allamano
Meet Cara Chief People Officer, Lattice
Waking up early in the morning here in Shanghai and immediately diving into the prescient geniuses of Weber or Kant, I am able to discover time-tested insights that help me think more clearly and make better decisions in this time of unpredictability.Fei Ni
Meet Fei Chairman & CEO, Pingyuan App-Ark Education
Each deep conversation with my professors, each vivid discussion with my classmates, and each page of the books I read, help me to better articulate my worldview, and paint a vivid picture of the future destinations that I want to explore.Fabiola Delgado
Meet Fabiola Assistant VP for Finance and Chief of Staff for National Laboratories, University of Chicago
The liberal arts encompass both broad opportunities for personal development and avenues to gain expertise in specific areas that fit your interests or professional objectives. You can complete a general course of study or focus on the topics that you’re passionate about by selecting from these concentrations:
Take an interdisciplinary look at leaders and leadership strategies, interrogating the ethical implications of our choices and reflecting on your own leadership style.
Read some of the best writing that humanity has produced as you learn from faculty members who approach literature from a wide range of disciplinary standpoints.
Examine the relationship between emerging technologies and society through the lenses of history, anthropology, science, policy, and business.
We designed the online Master of Liberal Arts program to welcome individuals with a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds. We build diverse cohorts of students who bring a wealth of lived experiences and unique points of view into class discussions. You do not need to have earned a previous liberal arts degree to succeed in this program.
Admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of your application materials. To be considered for admission, an applicant must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university with any major. Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE or GMAT) are not required.
The UChicago MLA is not driven by traditional lectures or exams. Instead, you’ll engage in Socratic seminar-style discussions, sharing your thoughts in a respectful atmosphere dedicated to open inquiry.
Each course consists of weekly, synchronous sessions—scheduled on weekday evenings and Saturdays— in which you’ll talk in detail about the topics raised in the assigned reading. You’ll analyze ideas from a variety of sources, make persuasive arguments, and synthesize information in unique ways.
“Our Master of Liberal Arts students are accomplished professionals who refuse to rest on their laurels. They’re dedicated to self-improvement and pushing their careers to even higher levels of achievement. They enter our program seeking to add layers of complexity and nuance to their thinking.”
Tim MurphyMaster of Liberal Arts Program Director
“Interdisciplinary collaboration opens up remarkable possibilities for confronting complex social problems and building a better future. In our MLA courses, students gain a deeper understanding of the world around them and the intellectual tools to make a meaningful impact.”
Omar McRobertsAssociate Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago
“MLA students have found direct career benefits from this program. Learning to think in more creative, analytical and critical ways opened up their imaginations, taught them problem-solving skills, and nurtured an intellectual creativity that they were then able to bring back to their work.”
Mark MillerAssociate Professor of English, University of Chicago
Do you have questions about our master’s degree in liberal arts that aren’t answered here? Find answers on our FAQ page
You’ll sign into the Zoom meeting for each MLA class prepared to engage in lively, respectful discussions about the assigned reading. With a small group of peers, averaging 15 students per course, and your professor, you’ll examine fundamental questions through the lenses of multiple disciplines and varied lived experiences. Our most successful students come to every class session confident they have valuable ideas to contribute, but also eager to have their views challenged and improved upon through open dialogue.
The MLA offers rich intellectual engagement in a format that’s designed specifically for busy professionals and ambitious lifelong learners. Many of our students have been out of school for years or decades, and our admissions team conducts a holistic review of application materials to seek individuals with a variety of work and life experiences.
We provide extensive resources to support our students. A dedicated writing advisor is available to review essays and assignments, giving expert feedback to sharpen your arguments and refine your prose. Our faculty members regularly hold virtual office hours, and we offer specialized workshops on the skills necessary to excel in your graduate courses.
You can finish the MLA in one year on a full-time schedule or take courses part-time at your own pace for up to five years.
The MLA is an ideal complement to other master’s degrees. An MBA, JD, MD, or graduate program in another professional field often teaches the specialized knowledge that’s necessary to advance in a specific industry. The MLA connects you to the big picture, addressing overarching questions about why organizations and communities function the way they do. You’ll gain the intellectual tools to think deeper, lead smarter, question conventional wisdom, and collaborate with others in complex environments.
MLA students have full access to UChicago career resources. Career advisors are available to review resumes, connect you with networking opportunities, conduct mock interviews, and answer your questions. You can also attend virtual or on-campus career events to meet with top employers who are actively recruiting UChicago alumni.
Glimpse into our Master of Liberal Arts.
The Graham School recognized its latest MLA graduates at Spring 2023 Diploma Ceremony.
The world around us is undergoing profound transformations, and organizations of all kinds are being compelled to adapt.
Take a short quiz to find out how the UChicago MLA fits your goals and which of our optional concentrations could be the best choice for you.