Master of Liberal Arts

Established in 1962 and administered by the Center for Liberal Arts at Johns Hopkins University, the Johns Hopkins Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) Program has gained national recognition for the quality of its teaching and the breadth of its course offerings. The MLA thrives on the curiosity, passion, and diversity of its students. Our community of scholars eagerly embraces the Master of Liberal Arts interdisciplinary approach and flexible curriculum to better understand more about the world—and in so doing, learn and understand more about themselves.

In addition to the Master of Liberal Arts, the program also includes a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in the Liberal Arts. The 10 course certificate is available to students who have completed the MLA degree or another comparable interdisciplinary master’s degree. Students can cluster courses to meet both professional and personal goals.

Quick Stats

Course Locations Baltimore, MD; Montgomery County, MD (Jan. 2015); *Online
Available 100% Online Yes. For questions regarding courses available over the next year, contact the MLA director, Melissa Hilbish at
Entry Terms Fall, Spring or Summer semester
Degree Requirements 10 courses

The Johns Hopkins Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) is a unique, non-traditional graduate degree. Whereas most graduate programs ask you to become more and more specialized, the MLA expects you to both broaden and deepen your educational experience. Established in 1962, the MLA at Hopkins is the first program of its type in the country.

Our MLA draws from a large number of programs and departments across the campus and offers flexibility with courses in the evenings and on weekends. As an MLA student, you’ll work with an advisor to tailor the program to your own professional and intellectual interests, exploring fields including history, religion, literature, philosophy, political science, the humanities, music, art history and the performing arts. The program consists of ten courses and includes a capstone experience involving a graduate project, internship, or portfolio option. You’ll explore a world of knowledge by taking your own path, and developing your own way of knowing.

The program appeals to students who want to broaden their intellectual horizons or professional advancement—especially teachers specializing in content areas like world culture, literature, history, philosophy, and science. We currently have secondary educators, primary school teachers, and community college teachers. The MLA also offers breadth to highly specialized professionals such as lawyers, medical students, nurses, and business people who are eager to satisfy their intellectual curiosity.

State-specific Information for Online Programs

*Note: We currently are not accepting applications to the online Master of Liberal Arts from students who reside in Kansas. Students should be aware of additional state-specific information for online programs.