Mission and Student Learning Outcomes

A student takes notes during Gene Hyde's archives and special collections course.


MLAS Mission

The goal of the Master of Liberal Arts and Sciences Program is to complement UNC Asheville’s liberal arts mission while exploring human nature, human values, and the quality of human life. The broad-based theme integrates studies ranging from the humanities and the arts to the natural and social sciences. Its diverse scope allows students to choose from a wide range of courses, and the interdisciplinary nature of the program acts to promote a broad, enriched experience in the study of the human condition. The MLAS Program allows graduate students to develop their intellectual passion within a community of thoughtful peers and under the direction of faculty members who champion the value of liberal learning.


UNC Asheville's MLAS Program was founded in 1988. Since then, we have attracted students from a wide range of professional backgrounds and life experiences. Some are recent college graduates, others are mid-career professionals, while others have concluded their working careers but wish to advance their formal education. Many students face considerable professional, social, and family responsibilities, yet their passion for engaging in the world of ideas in the company of equally talented and dedicated peers motivates them to pursue this truly unique graduate degree. There is no “typical” MLAS student, only eager students who address common themes and problems from multiple perspectives. 

Linkage to UNC Asheville Mission

The MLAS Program extends the interdisciplinary focus of UNC Asheville’s undergraduate curriculum. As UNC Asheville’s only graduate program, the MLAS builds on the public liberal arts culture of the campus community. Like the undergraduate mission, MLAS extends students' intellectual resources, promotes openness to new ideas and tolerance for differences, stimulates students to find connections between their lifelong learning and their personal and professional lives, and encourages a lifelong commitment to learning.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) have been adopted by the MLAS Program at UNC Asheville:

  1. Students should gain a broad overview of the intellectual connections among the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities;
  2. Students should master the skills of interdisciplinary research, analysis, and writing.

Please address any questions to Lilly Augspurger, our Administrative Assistant at 828.250.2399 or laugspur@unca.edu.