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Academic Policy

The MLAS curriculum focuses on the interdisciplinary exploration of the liberal arts, broadly defined. Each year, a wide range of courses are offered from disciplines within Vanderbilt’s College of Arts & Science, as well as select courses from faculty in other schools at Vanderbilt, such as the Blair School of Music and the Divinity School.

During fall and spring semesters, four or more courses will be offered, of which MLAS students chose one each semester. Each summer, two or more courses are offered. Students are guided by the associate dean and director of the program serving as their advisor in designing a program of study that helps fulfill the varied interests and educational goals of the adult learner. Prior to the registration period for the next semester, a MLAS Pre-View Session will be held so that students can hear directly from that semester’s faculty about upcoming courses.

MLAS students who have previously completed at least two courses in the program may petition the associate dean and director of the program to enroll in two courses either in the fall or spring semester—in writing, at least one month before the start of the semester in which they intend to take the two courses. (Vanderbilt employees should be aware that the VU Tuition Benefit only applies to one course per semester.)

As a graduate degree program, MLAS follows the academic policies set down in the Graduate School Bulletin of Vanderbilt University.   A complete version of these policies may also be found on the Graduate School’s web site:

Students must maintain a B average in all course work in order to remain in good standing with the program. MLAS students typically complete only one course each semester, with no more than two courses allowed to be taken during any given semester with approval of the program dean and director. All work must be completed within 6 years of the student’s initial registration. A maximum of 6 semester hours may be transferred from the liberal arts graduate programs of other accredited universities. Any transferred courses must carry a grade of B or above, have been completed within the last ten years, and must be approved by the director of the MLAS program and the Graduate School.