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The Diploma in Liberal Studies is a graduate-level diploma, unique to Rice University.

Offered for the first time in 2017, the Diploma in Liberal Studies (DLS) program complements and extends the educational goals of the Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program. DLS is a graduate-level diploma that is currently unique to Rice University.

Designed primarily for those who have completed the MLS degree, DLS allows these graduates to maximize and enhance their academic investment. However, the program also welcomes non-MLS students on a case-by-case basis that considers academic background and future goals. Well-prepared applicants who are accepted into the program can deepen their interdisciplinary knowledge while honing research and writing skills, laying the foundation to improve critical publications, community service, doctoral studies or career work.

Rice University hosts the national office and is a proud member institution of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP)

Academic Objectives

The DLS program allows students to build on the multidisciplinary foundation of their graduate liberal studies degrees (or similar educational background) while also deepening their knowledge in three ways:

  1. Add to their broad, multidisciplinary perspective by building depth in two chosen “focus disciplines,” taking three courses in each discipline in the DLS program
  2. Learn more about how to synthesize materials in these two disciplines, by means of an emphasis on genuinely interdisciplinary research
  3. Combine these two accomplishments, greater knowledge in two focus disciplines and greater ability to interdisciplinary research to complete a Diploma project or Diploma thesis in the final two terms of their DLS work.

This interdisciplinary research, involving knowledge drawn from their two focus disciplines, and allowing students to arrive at new knowledge by synthesizing material from the two disciplines, would allow students to use their new knowledge and skills to produce a work of which they can be proud.