Master of Liberal Studies
Frequently Asked
Questions

Thank you for your interest in Rice University's Master of Liberal Studies program. Below, you will find a list of our frequently asked questions.

  • Must I take the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) before I apply to the Rice MLS or DLS program?

    No, the MLS program does not require its applicants to have taken the GRE or any other standardized test. You must complete the application form in its entirety.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Can I create my own area of specialization within the MLS program?

    Yes. After completing a core course in each of the three areas – social sciences, humanities and natural science – students can choose to take courses (or a majority of courses) in one of those tracks to complete their degree. 

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Can I take courses outside the MLS program at Rice?

    No. Like most graduate-level programs, the MLS program is a stand-alone program. All courses must be taken within the program.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Can I transfer credit I’ve earned from other graduate-level liberal arts programs to the MLS or DLS program?

    No. As stated above, all courses must be taken within the Rice MLS or DLS program, respectively.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Where are MLS & DLS classes held, and how often do they meet?

    Classes are held in a dual delivery format. Students may choose to attend class on the Rice campus or join class virtually via Zoom. Classes meet once a week for three hours.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Are any MLS or DLS courses held in the daytime?

    No. Classes meet during weekday evenings.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • How large are MLS & DLS classes?

    The MLS & DLS programs stress small classes and most classes will have 12 students, although some classes may be slightly smaller or larger.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • How long will it take to earn the MLS degree?

    Part-time students who take one course per semester can earn your degree in 11 semesters or in a little less than four years. Students can earn it sooner by taking two courses per semester and/or in the summer. Part-time students are required to take only one course during their first semester, but may take up to two courses per semester after that. Given that scenario, you could finish in two and a half years.

    Full-time students who take three courses (9 hours) in the fall and spring semesters and at least 2 courses (6 hours) in the summer can earn the degree in two years.

    It is the policy of the MLS program that you must finish your degree requirements within seven years from the date you first began the program.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Can I skip a semester in the MLS or DLS program?

    Yes, but you must take at least two courses per academic year and submit a leave of absence form prior to the start of the semester you will miss.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Will I be writing a Master’s thesis in the MLS program?

    No, but a lengthy paper or project will be required in the capstone (final) course. Also, research papers will be required in all courses.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • What will it cost to attain the MLS degree?

    For students entering this year and completing their degree within four years, we estimate the program will cost approximately $36,000 in tuition and fees.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Do Rice staff get a tuition discount for the MLS or DLS program?

    Benefits-eligible Rice staff who demonstrate a financial need can receive a 50% tuition discount.  The MLS and DLS programs are not eligible for the Rice tuition waiver, but eligible students may be eligible for Rice tuition reimbursement.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Do Rice alumni get a tuition discount?

    Graduates of Rice University receive a 10% tuition discount.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • When I graduate from the MLS or DLS program, will I get to participate in a Rice graduation ceremony?

    Yes. MLS and DLS program graduates will be able to attend graduation ceremonies with all other Rice graduates.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Do you offer online classes for the MLS or DLS programs?

    We currently do not offer online courses; however, students might be able to attend class remotely via Zoom.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • I am an international student. Will the MLS or DLS program sponsor an F-1 student visa for me?

    For part-time students, the answer is no. The F-1 student visa requires a full-time course of study. International applicants requiring a student visa must enroll full-time. International applicants who are legally in the United States (such as permanent residents) may enroll in the program since a student visa will not be required.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • I received my baccalaureate degree from a non-U.S. university. Do I need a foreign credential evaluation for the MLS or DLS programs?

    Students seeking admission to the MLS program who completed coursework and/or degree(s) at institutions outside the United States must present a professional course-by-course evaluation of the foreign official transcript. The professional evaluation must verify that the degree obtained is equivalent to baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. academic institution and must include an explanation of credits earned (including U.S. semester hour equivalents), grade equivalents, and course levels (lower or upper level). Two reliable services with course-by-course evaluations that include this required information are:

    All professional evaluations should be obtained from one of these two recommended credential services and submitted to the MLS or DLS program. Payment for the professional evaluation is the responsibility of the applicant.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Do you accept e-Transcripts for the MLS & DLS programs?

    Yes, we prefer e-Trancripts!  The Rice University Master of Liberal Studies and Diploma in Liberal Studies programs accepts electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions via secure electronic transcript providers. Consult with your institution to see if they are part of a secure e-delivery network. All electronic transcripts should be sent to mls@rice.edu. Please note transcripts are not accepted by fax or personal email. Official transcripts that are mailed must arrive in the original sealed envelope issued by the institution.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • Can I create my own area of specialization within the MLS program?

    Yes. After completing a core course in each of the three areas – social sciences, humanities and natural science – students can choose to take courses (or a majority of courses) in one of those tracks to complete their degree. Additionally, certified High School English and History teachers can focus all of their electives in these subjects to meet Dual Credit Teacher Credentialing requirements.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • For the MLS program, am I required to take the TOEFL or IELTS if English is not my native language?

    Yes; however, the TOEFL and the IELTS may be waived for an international student who received a degree from an institution in which English is the official language of communication. For 2021 admission, the following tests are accepted and will be used to assess English language proficiency.

    • The TOEFL IBT Home. A minimum score of 90 is required.
    • IELTS Indicator. A minimum score of 7 is required.
    • Duolingo. A minimum score of 115 is required.

    For 2021, Rice will not accept the ITP Plus test to evaluate English language proficiency, but
    scores/interviews are able to be reported to Rice as a supplemental material via Vericant.

    Applicants should visit https://graduate.rice.edu/admissions/qualifications for additional information and reporting details.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies
  • How do I join my online MLS info session?

    Joining our Online Information Session is Easy

    The online information session is delivered over the internet using voice-over-IP technology. This means that the ideal setting for participating in the information session includes a computer/tablet with a solid connection to the Internet and a headset with a microphone. We highly encourage you to test the information session link provided in your email at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the session. This allows you to work through any technical issues you may encounter without missing any information.

    Audiences: Degree Seeker
    Categories:
    Diploma in Liberal Studies, General Information, Master of Liberal Studies

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

Calendar

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Subscribe to learn more about how you can get involved.

Email: mls@rice.edu

 

Assistant Director
Kim Raptis
713-348-6118
kim.raptis@rice.edu

 

Director
Rebecca Sharp
713-348-4767
rksharp@rice.edu

PHYSICAL ADDRESS

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

MAILING ADDRESS

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

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