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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of a MALS degree?

In the MALS program, you design an individualized plan of study to explore your interests in a meaningful way. You integrate diverse academic fields to tackle the issues, questions, problems and trends most relevant to your life and career. This interdisciplinary approach broadens your perspective, deepens your understanding and sharpens your thinking. The intellectual journey is worthwhile in itself, but many of our students also derive professional advantages from their MALS education.

What could this degree do for my career?

An interdisciplinary MALS education cultivates skills valuable to employers in today’s workplace, such as the ability to think critically and analytically. The MALS program will improve your communication, research and problem-solving skills and broaden your horizons. In addition, many of our students tailor their course of study to complement their current job responsibilities or professional aspirations.

How do I apply?

Prospective students must submit an online application for admission to the Graduate School, along with the application materials listed on the Admission Information page. The general application deadline is March 15.  After submitting these materials, you will be contacted to schedule a required on-campus interview with the MALS Program Director. 

Do I need the GRE?

GRE scores are not required. Admission requirements include an undergraduate baccalaureate degree and the submission of the application materials listed on the Admission Information page.

How often do classes meet and at what time?

Class times vary widely at NC State. We take special care to schedule our MALS seminars in the evening to accommodate working students’ schedules.

Can I complete a MALS degree online?

You may take many courses online, but cannot complete the entire degree online. Some courses are available online; others are not. MALS seminars are only offered on campus, ensuring that you get the full benefit of the classroom experience. For additional flexibility, we offer a MALS Seminar each year during the 3 week Maymester term, with class meetings clustered on the weekends, to accommodate working students’ schedules.

How long will it take me to complete the MALS degree?

The MALS program requires 30 hours of coursework, or 10 three-hour courses, completed at your own pace. By taking just one course each fall and spring semester, a student could finish the program in five years. By taking additional courses during the year, during Maymester or during the summer, you can finish sooner. Some full-time students have completed the degree in as little as one- and- a- half years.  The Graduate School set a limit of six years for completion of a master’s degree at NC State.

Can I transfer credits from another university?

Certainly. At least nine credits can be transferred from another university or from Non-Degree Studies courses taken at NC State. Courses must be at least 500-level, fit into your degree requirements, and have a final grade of at least a “B.” Check with your adviser to see if your credits are applicable.

I worry about tuition costs. Just how affordable is the MALS program?

To see a full breakdown of current tuition costs, please visit the Student Services Center website.

I work at NC State. Can I use tuition waivers to pay for my classes?

Absolutely. Many of our students (and alumni) are professional staff members at NC State who are earning their master’s degrees at a fraction of the cost. 

I’m not sure about the MALS program. Can I enroll in a course before I apply?

Yes. You can take a course through the Non-Degree Studies NDS program. We recommend that you try one of our MALS seminars.

Where do I find courses to create my program?

You can take courses from various departments at NC State, participate in independent study with a NC State faculty member or take courses from other universities and have the credit counted toward the NC State MALS degree. You’ll work closely with your faculty adviser to ensure your plans are workable. Please see the degree requirements above for more detailed information about how to find courses for your program.

What will my diploma say?

Your diploma will read “Master of Arts.” On résumés and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, many MALS students provide their concentration title, to offer more information about the nature of their graduate education.