Master of Liberal Studies
Frequently Asked Questions
If I haven’t been in school for many years, will I be able to succeed in the program?
The MLS program is designed for adults who have been out of school for some time. The program faculty and the MLS advisor provide support and advice for a returning student. The MLS Writing Advisor is always available for help with papers. If your mind is active, you enjoy reading about and discussing ideas — and are willing to work — then no matter how long you have been out of school, you can succeed in this program.
What is the process of admission?
It is simple. We ask three things: that you have a bachelor’s degree and provide us with an official transcript; that you write a brief essay of several paragraphs about why you want to undertake the MLS program; and that you meet with a member of the MLS program for an informal discussion of the program as well as your background and educational goals.
Do I have to take Graduate Record Examinations or any other tests in order to apply to the MLS Program?
No. The MLS program recognizes that it serves no purpose to ask people who have been out of school for some time to take standardized exams and also believes that such exams are of little use in an interdisciplinary program. Moreover, we recognize that some adults may not have devoted themselves wholeheartedly to their studies when they originally went to college. Our system of admission is a two-stage process that evaluates students on how they perform in their first MLS seminar.
What are the interdisciplinary seminars like?
The seminars address broad topics from the perspective of several academic disciplines, with lively weekly discussions of assigned readings. In addition, each student writes a research paper on a topic related to the overall subject of the seminar. Brief descriptions of the seminars can be found under Course Descriptions. Call the MLS office (847/735-5083) for more information and/or sample syllabi of past seminars.
It has been years since I wrote a college paper. Will that put me at a disadvantage?
No. First of all, most MLS students are in a similar situation. Second, there is help. The faculty will guide you in defining a topic and undertaking your research. The MLS Writing Advisor can help you work on organizing your paper and expressing your thoughts.
If I started a graduate program elsewhere, can any of the work be applied to the MLS Program?
Probably yes, if it is work of a liberal arts nature from an appropriate accredited institution, but each case must be examined by the MLS Committee, The standard policy is that with the approval of the MLS Committee up to 8 semester hours of appropriate work (that is, the equivalent of two Lake Forest College courses) may be transferred.
Do I have to take a course every semester?
No — and there’s no paperwork or red tape. Students who find that work or personal reasons prevent them from enrolling for a semester need only notify the Associate Director.