The Maine Studies Interdisciplinary Master of Arts Degree
The University of Maine Graduate School offers a Maine Studies Interdisciplinary Master of Arts Degree within the Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program. This degree program offers students the opportunity to design an interdisciplinary study of Maine through classes in literature, history, folklore, Native American studies, Franco-American studies, women’s studies, geology, geography, political science, and other disciplines. Students will also participate in interdisciplinary seminars.
The Maine Studies graduate program allows students to pursue Maine-related interdisciplinary interests such as Wabanaki culture and the environment, poverty and public policy, immigrant history and culture, women’s work and the economy, the art and culture of the coast, or folklore and labor history, to name just a few examples of interdisciplinary research areas. While providing a better understanding of the state’s problems and opportunities, both past and present, this interdisciplinary liberal arts program will also sharpen students’ research and critical thinking skills and deepen their understanding of Maine. The program will help prepare students for careers in such areas as teaching, government, business, historical preservation, or social services.
With the guidance of an academic advisor, students will complete 30 graduate credit hours in order to earn the MALS degree with a Maine Studies concentration. These credit hours will be distributed in the following way:
* 6-9 hours of LIB 500, interdisciplinary seminars, including:
-LIB 500 – Exploring Interdisciplinarity
-LIB 500 – A Sense of Place: Maine and Regional Identity
* 15-21 hours of graduate level course credits credits distributed the following way:
-no more than 2 courses may be taken at the 400 level
-no more than 3 courses may be taken in a single discipline (this stipulation does not apply to courses with the LIB designator)
* 3-6 hours of LIB 699, Master Project in Liberal Studies, usually completed near the end of the student’s academic program
At least 15 of the required 30 credit hours must be Maine-related courses as identified by the Maine Studies program director.
Maine Studies students will select courses in close cooperation with the Maine Studies program coordinator.
Goals for the Maine Studies/MALS interdisciplinary masters degree:
1) Students will be able to utilize interdisciplinary research methods, including engaged scholarship and other methods appropriate for regional studies.
2) Students will analyze the role of place and constructed images of Maine in the popular imagination and link these concepts to Maine public policy.
3) Students will gain experience in analyzing the economic and environmental consequences of the interaction between people and the landscape in Maine, both past and present.
4) Students will be able to frame, conduct, and complete their own Maine-based interdisciplinary research or creative project.
Student outcomes for the Maine Studies/MALS interdisciplinary masters degree:
1) Students will demonstrate an understanding of interdisciplinary research methods through weekly discussions, weekly response papers, and a formal final research project.
2) Through weekly discussion, written assignments, and a final research project, students will demonstrate an understanding of the role of place and constructed images of Maine in the popular imagination and how these concepts relate to Maine public policy.
3) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the economic and environmental consequences of the interaction between people and the landscape in Maine through weekly discussions and response papers, and a formal research project.
4) Students will demonstrate, through their final research project or paper, competency in framing, conducting, and completing their own Maine-based research.