Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MALAS: The Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences, SDSU | Catalogue Copy


Liberal Arts and Sciences
In the College of Arts and Letters
OFFICE: Nasatir Hall 203
TELEPHONE: 619-594-4826 / FAX: 619-594-1325

Director: William A. Nericcio
Program Coordinator: David McHenry

Participating Faculty

Susan E. Cayleff, Ph.D., Professor of Women’s Studies
Patricia J. Geist-Martin, Ph.D., Professor of Communication
Dipak K. Gupta, Ph.D., Professor of Political Science
D. Emily Hicks, Ph.D., Professor of English and Comparative Literature
and Chicana and Chicano Studies
Linda D. Holler, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies and Associate
Dean of the College of Arts and Letters
Alan E. Kilpatrick, Ph.D., Professor of American Indian Studies
William A. Nericcio, Ph.D., Professor of English and Comparative
Steven L. Barbone, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy
Jung Min Choi, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology
Stephen A. Colston, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History
Elizabeth A. Colwill, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Women’s Studies
Sarah S. Elkind, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History
Ellen Quandahl, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Sandra A. Wawrytko, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Philosophy
Kathy S. Williams, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology
Sthaneshwar Timalsina, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Religious

John and Jane Adams Endowment

John R. Adams was an esteemed faculty member of San Diego
State University from 1928 until his retirement in 1968, whereupon he
accepted the position of University Archivist. Dr. Adams was a
professor of English and chair of the Division of Humanities. He and
Jane Adams were generous benefactors to SDSU throughout their
lives and they established a Charitable Living Trust to be used to
promote liberal education. Today some of those funds are used in the
MALAS program to support graduate assistantships and to help pay
for academic retreats, workshops, and lectures. In addition, MALAS
has arrangements with two sister institutions, the University of
Maastricht in The Netherlands and Simon Fraser University in Canada,
to convene an annual conference that revolves among the three sites.
Funds from the Adams Endowment are used to send students to
present papers at Maastricht and Simon Fraser.

General Information

The College of Arts and Letters offers a flexible multidisciplinary
master’s degree in the liberal arts and sciences. An alternative
approach to traditional graduate education, the program consists of
coursework that crosses disciplinary boundaries so as to better
appreciate the richness of existence and begin to apply multiple perspectives
to the complex realities that face us. From explorations of
the human condition to the social impacts of technology, the program
focuses on issues central to the meaning and quality of our lives and
the creation of sustainable, just, communities.
In existence since 1987, the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and
Sciences is equally well suited to students who recently achieved the
bachelor’s degree, students preparing for the Ph.D., professionals for
whom the master’s degree may mean promotion or career advancement,
and life-long learners in search of personal enrichment and
intellectual community. We welcome applications from K-12 teachers,
community activists, and policy makers.

MALAS draws upon SDSU faculty who are trained in disciplines
but whose teaching and scholarship makes connections across disciplines.
Interplays among the humanities, the social sciences, the
natural sciences, and the arts are taken up in four required courses.
These seminars seek to understand contemporary life and construct
positive futures but they also push the level of discourse to foundational
questions of epistemology and perennial philosophy, such as
the existence of truth, goodness, and beauty. Particular attention is
given to understanding the psychological, economic, and environmental
consequences of globalization, and to the ways that human
values are embodied in and transformed by modes of consumption,
labor, and material culture. The four core courses act to ground and
center five elective courses, selected by each student to customize a
program that captures his or her interests.

Admission to Graduate Study

In addition to satisfying the requirements for admission to the
university with classified graduate standing as described in Part Two
of this bulletin, the student seeking admission must: (1) have a grade
point average of 3.0 or better on work completed during the last 60
units for the baccalaureate degree, (2) have an acceptable score on
the GRE General Test (combined verbal and quantitative), and (3)
complete a statement of purpose essay. A personal interview with the
director is recommended.

Students applying for admission should electronically submit the
university application available at http://www.csumentor.edu along
with the $55 application fee.

All applicants must submit admissions materials separately to
SDSU Graduate Admissions and to Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and

Graduate Admissions

The following materials should be submitted as a complete
package directly to:

Graduate Admissions
Enrollment Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7416

(1) Official transcripts (in sealed envelopes) from all
postsecondary institutions attended;


• Students who attended SDSU need only submit transcripts
for work completed since last attendance.

• Students with international coursework must submit both
the official transcript and proof of degree. If documents
are in a language other than English, they must be
accompanied by a certified English translation.

(2) GRE scores (http://www.ets.org, SDSU institution code 4682);

(3) TOEFL score, if medium of instruction was in a language other
than English (http://www.ets.org, SDSU institution code 4682).

Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences

The following materials should be submitted by November 1
(October 1 for international students) for admission for the spring
semester and May1 for the fall semester to:

William Nericcio, Director
Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-8137

(1) Statement of purpose essay
(2) Writing Sample (10 to 25 pages, maximum)
(3) A paragraph wherein you define your vision of interdisciplinary studies, liberal arts, the humanities or cultural studies.

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Advancement to Candidacy

All students must satisfy the general requirements for
advancement to candidacy as described in Part Two of this bulletin. In
addition, the students must (1) satisfactorily complete 12 units, with a
minimum grade point average of 3.0, including 9 units of core
seminars as stipulated (MALAS 600A, 600B, 600C, 600D) and (2)
have a thesis or project proposal which has received the approval of
the Graduate Liberal Arts and Sciences Committee and its director.

Specific Requirements for the Master of
Arts Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences
(Major Code: 49017)

In addition to meeting the basic requirements for the Master of Arts
degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences as described in Part Two of this
bulletin, the student must complete a graduate program of 30 units, 15
units of which must be in 600- and 700-level courses. Up to 15 units of
coursework can be taken at the 500-level. The total program includes:

1. MALAS 601 (3).
2. MALAS 600A, 600B, 600C, or 600D in any combination (9
units). Each course may be repeated once with new content
and, in excess of nine units, can be used for elective credit.
3. MALAS 799A (3): Thesis or Project.
4. 15 units of electives selected with approval of the MALAS director.

All programs must be approved by the MALAS director in consultation
with the Graduate Liberal Arts and Sciences Committee.
Courses Acceptable on Master’s Degree
Program in Liberal Arts and Sciences (MALAS)

Refer to Courses and Curricula and Regulations of the Division of Graduate
Affairs sections of this bulletin for explanation of the course numbering
system, unit or credit hour, prerequisites, and related information.

MALAS 600. Interdisciplinary Study in Liberal Arts and
Sciences (3-3-3-3)
Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
MALAS seminars are divided into four general areas with content
that varies semester to semester. Each course may be repeated once
with new content. See Class Schedule for specific content. Maximum
credit six units for each of the following courses: MALAS 600A, 600B,
600C, 600D.
A. Cultural Studies
B. Science and Society, Environmental Studies
C. Globalization, Technology, Future Studies
D. Media Studies, Fine Arts, Transformative Arts

MALAS 601. Seminar in Interdisciplinary Thinking (3)
Prerequisites: Graduate standing.
Nature of interdisciplinary thinking. Ways of knowing and schools
of thought in multiple disciplines. Interdisciplinary methods to analyze
social issues. See Class Schedule for specific content.

MALAS 798. Special Study (3) Cr/NC/RP
Prerequisites: Graduate standing.
Individual study on a given topic through interdisciplinary

MALAS 799A. Thesis or Project (3) Cr/NC/RP
Prerequisites: An officially appointed thesis committee and
advancement to candidacy.
Preparation of a project or thesis for Master of Arts degree in
Liberal Arts and Sciences.

MALAS 799B. Thesis or Project Extension (0) Cr/NC
Prerequisites: Prior registration in Thesis or Project 799A with an
assigned grade symbol of RP.

Registration required in any semester or term following assignment
of RP in MALAS 799A in which the student expects to use the facilities
and resources of the university; also student must be registered in the
course when the completed thesis or project is granted final approval.

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