Master of

Expand your horizons and gain a deeper understanding of the world with the Master of Liberal Studies program. This program combines a world-class Rice education with the flexibility of a degree plan tailored to meet your needs.

Master of Liberal Studies



About MLS

Since its inception in 2005, the Rice MLS program has attracted a wide spectrum of students. Medical doctors, attorneys, homemakers, recent college graduates, retirees, teachers, a range of business professionals and others have been accepted into the program. Such diversity – in age and profession – adds a level of broad-mindedness not typically found in the traditional classroom.

Flexible Degree Plan: Part-time or full-time study for increased flexibility. Whether you are pursuing a degree to enrich your life or adding skills to your resume, Master of Liberal Studies courses meet once per week and allows up to seven years for completion, letting you take one or two classes per semester.

New in 2020 - Full-time study option is now available. Complete your graduate degree in as little as 4 semesters.

Curated Curriculum: A program tailored to fit your personal and professional goals. After completing three core courses in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, students can customize the remainder of their degree plan to pursue their areas of interest. Each degree plan culminates in a capstone course that helps students integrate their custom path through research or creative work.

Top Tier Rice Faculty: Rice’s world-class faculty aren’t just the best in their field; they define the field. 97 percent hold a doctorate or terminal degree in their field. Each has access to approximately $125 million in externally funded research expenditures—meaning your Master of Liberal Studies experience will be guided by the best, brightest and most respected experts in your area of study. Browse our outstanding faculty.

Community of Scholars: Expand your network as you broaden your horizons. From physicians and c-suite professionals to recent college graduates and retirees, the Master of Liberal Studies program brings together a diverse group of students with a wide spectrum of experiences. The community you create here will connect you to new perspectives, big ideas, and a better understanding of a world that reaches far beyond the hedges of Rice’s beautiful campus.

The Master of Liberal Studies at Rice University is an investment in the complex, interconnected skills needed to thrive in the modern world. More than just a set of credentials or letters behind your name, the program is a way to sharpen your critical thinking skills, develop in-depth research skills, and engage with a community of diverse yet like-minded peers.

You are a perfect fit for the Master of Liberal Studies program if you are:

  • Wanting to broaden your experience in a new field
  • Preparing for further graduate study
  • Looking to advance in your career
  • Seeking new perspectives
  • On a quest for knowledge

With Rice's MLS program you will:

  • Sharpen your critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Learn from world-class Rice University faculty
  • Enhance your understanding of interdisciplinary analysis and communication skills
  • Develop the research methods needed to foster analytical and strategic mindsets
  • Gain the opportunity to attain career advancement or prepare for further graduate study
  • Engage with peers who are equally committed and energetic about exploring and learning
  • Build your professional and personal network by joining our dedicated Alumni Community
  • Add Rice to your resume

In 2015, MLS celebrated a 15-year commitment to lifelong learning and helping students and alumni achieve their goals.

The Master of Liberal Studies program is committed to providing top-quality educational experiences to our K-12 teaching community. For educators interested in expanding their career outcomes, our Dual Credit Teacher Credentialing program offers two paths of study related to dual credit teaching, a program that allows high school students to earn college credit.

  • Dual Credit Graduate Certificate
  • Master of Liberal Studies with Dual Credit Content Specialization

With dual credit credentials, teachers have the potential to maximize their earning power while providing college access and increasing college affordability for their students. However, as the demand for dual credit classes increases, districts are finding it difficult to find and retain credentialed educators. Help fill that gap, extend your impact and transform your career with the Dual Credit Teacher Credentialing program at Rice.

Learn more



Global Reach
Fireworks behind Lovett Hall on Rice Unversity Campus

Not Elitist

Teacher walking with student on campus




Rice Campus
James Turrell Skyspace


Person reading on campus


Profession & Passion
STudents walking in campus entrance


Students at a table


Graduate holding up diploma



Browse Our 2022 MLS Electives

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My Favorite Novels and Films

Dr. Dennis Huston

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Evolution and Society

Dr. Scott Solomon

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The Politics of World War Two in Europe

Dr. G. Daniel Cohen

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Shakespeare in Film

Dr. Joseph Campana, Theodore Bale

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Human Identity & Origins

Dr. Alma Novotny

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Music and Medievalism

Dr. Peter Loewen

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Moral Leadership in Economics

James Hackett

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Environmental Literature

Dr. Deborah Barrett

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Profiles from the Past III: Famous Figures in Western History

Dr. Newell Boyd

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The Awakening of Russia

Dr. Newell Boyd

Subscribe to learn more about how you can get involved.



Assistant Director
Kim Raptis


Rebecca Sharp


Graduate Liberal Studies Program
Rice University
Anderson-Clarke Center
Third Floor
Houston, TX 77005


Graduate Liberal Studies Program
Rice University
Mail Stop 550
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251-1892