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    Liberal Studies

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        General Admission Contact
        The New School for Social Research
        Office of Admission
        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003
        212.229.5600 or 800.523.5411

        Admission Liaison
        Samuel Yelton

        Committee on Liberal Studies
        6 East 16th Street, room 711A
        New York, NY 10003
        Tel: 212.229.2747 x3026
        Fax: 212.229.5473 

        Mailing Address
        79 Fifth Avenue, room 711A
        New York, NY 10003

        Paul Kottman

        Senior Secretary
        Jeff Feld

        Student Advisor
        Nick Travaglini

        Liberal Studies Student Handbook


    • Through an open curriculum and transdisciplinary approach, the master's program in Liberal Studies gives students the intellectual foundation for understanding the powerful ideas and forms of expression that create the backbone of the modern world. Based in the center of New York City, world-class faculty and committed students achieve an in-depth understanding of our global community and our broader place within it.

      Through the Liberal Studies program, you will critically explore and intensively examine the core issues of our time. The MA in Liberal Studies offers practical writing tools and guided in-depth study in cross-disciplinary courses taught by renowned faculty, who emphasize rigorous critical inquiry and thoughtful expression.

      The program's core courses will ground you in the history of ideas and in the practice of sustained writing, while you develop an intellectual peer community. From there you can branch out, taking advantage of the rich offerings and distinguished faculty of The New School. Work with both a faculty advisor and a student advisor to create a robust pathway tailored to your individual needs and academic ambitions. We offer a rich selection of courses with world-class professors who can extend your command of critical theory, the history of ideas, aesthetics, philosophy, politics, anthropology, media theory — wherever your curiosity takes you. Courses are available in both the daytime and the evening, to fit into even the busiest schedule.

      At the heart of the program are two core courses. The first — The Making of the Modern World — considers the origins and fate of modern societies as understood by key thinkers who have explained and championed modern social developments, as well as those who have harbored grave anxieties about the shape of modern life. We cover significant currents in the arts, social history, cultural theory, literature, politics, and philosophy. Our second core course — the Master's Critical Writing Seminar — helps students work on nonfiction writing and criticism, so that they can better express their own views with clarity and force. Students often use this course to write the required MA thesis, exploring a topic of their choice in depth and producing a substantive and polished work of prose.

      As a graduate student, you will have access to a broad array of programs, including ones presented by the Liberal Studies Student Association (LSSA) and the Institute for Philosophy and the New Humanities (IPNH). The hub for activities and interests of Liberal Studies students, the LSSA aims to create community among students, host events and provide platforms for them to advance and share their work, and promote student interests within the department and NSSR at large. The first LSSA event, Afro and Indigenous Futures: On Living Land, took place in spring 2021; watch the video here

      The IPNH hosts intensive one-week seminars; its fall 2021 seminar, Objectivity in the Humanities, will feature Jill Lepore, Lorraine Daston, and other prominent guest speakers. 


      The Department of Liberal Studies offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree program.

      Featured Courses

      Liberal Studies combines the New School's tradition of critical and socially engaged inquiry with an interdisciplinary approach to problems in culture. We offer concentration and elective courses areas including critical media theory, criticism in literature and art, aesthetics, and gender.

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To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.