Liberal and Integrative Studies
The Master's Degree
Liberal and Integrative Studies is a graduate degree program built on more than 35 years of experience in individualized learning. The curriculum offers students the opportunity to design a degree consistent with their own educational goals, using available institutional and area resources. The department’s major purpose is to serve students whose needs and objectives are best met by combinations of courses or mixes of learning formats not available through established curricula.
The program structure emphasizes the integration of different disciplines using a variety of instructional methods to form a well-rounded and individualized academic experience. In addition to building essential skills and knowledge, the Liberal and Integrative Studies Department assists learners in deepening their understanding of the values, meanings, concerns, choices, and commitments that are fundamental for good citizenship and a flourishing life.
On entering the program, students must take LNT 501 where they design individualized degree proposals and assemble their degree committee. Each degree proposal is an individualized plan that is tailored to fit the particular goals, needs, and interests of the student. All degree proposals must be approved by the student's LNT degree committee. Self-assessment, independent study, multidisciplinary courses/studies, and credit for prior learning assessment are all course options that may be integrated within individual degree proposals. Student degree proposals must be interdisciplinary but may also focus on an area such as human resource development, global education, philosophy, women and gender studies, African-American studies, Liberty Studies, technology, or society and the law.
Admission to the graduate program is limited due to the individualized nature of the degree process. In addition to applying to UIS, students are required to complete a separate application packet to the LNT Department that includes:
- an LNT application form,
- a personal statement,
- two letters of reference, and
- a conversation with an LNT faculty member at the department's discretion
Deadlines are April 15 for fall semester, and November 15 for spring semester. Admissions are continuous until an incoming class is filled.
If a graduate applicant has a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of less than 2.50, (3.0 for the online degree), full admission to the program requires the completion of eight hours of course work at the graduate level with grades of B or better (grades of B- or lower will not be accepted). The department may stipulate whether these hours must be completed before enrolling in LNT 501. For such students, full admission to the program requires the successful completion of eight hours of work at the graduate level in addition to the completion of LNT 501. Graduate students may count a maximum of 12 semester hours in courses taken prior to starting the LNT Program.
Students entering the LNT Program are initially advised by their instructor in LNT 501 and the department chair. After completing LNT 501 the student may request another LNT faculty member affiliated with the LNT Department to serve as his/her LNT advisor. During LNT 501, students will also find two academic committee members from the graduate faculty at UIS and, optionally, outside expert advisors and peer advisors to serve on the LNT Committee. These members of the student’s LNT Committee serve as advisors, with the two academic committee members having primary responsibility for advising about academic matters, and the LNT advisor having primary responsibility for advising about process, department and university rules and procedures, and program resources. At any time, the Chair of the LNT Department may also be sought for advice.
LNT 521 is offered only on a CR/NC basis.
Graduate students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (B). University policy stipulates that graduate students with less than a 3.0 GPA will be placed on academic probation for the first semester, and academic suspension for a second consecutive semester. Readmission to the program after suspension is at the department's discretion. A maximum of eight hours of C (2.0) grades is applicable to the degree (grades of C- or lower are not accepted), provided that a minimum GPA of 3.0 is reached at the time of graduation, an approved Student Petition is on file in the Office of Records and Registration, and if the C grade is approved by the student’s entire degree committee.
Graduate students registering in 400-level courses are expected to perform at a higher level than undergraduates enrolled in the same course. Individual instructors in 400-level courses specify the criteria for awarding graduate-level credit. These criteria may be qualitative (higher standards for written work and/or contributions to group discussion) or quantitative (additional work or higher test scores).
NOTE: Students also should refer to UIS's policy on Grades Acceptable Toward Master’s Degrees section of this catalog.
Credit for Prior Learning
Students with extensive life and work experience may apply for graduate-level credit for these experiences through IPL 501. Students should review the Internships and Prior Learning website http://www.uis.edu/cas/ipl/ for information about the process.
|LNT 501||Graduate Colloquium||4|
|LNT 521||Liberal & Integrative Studies||3|
|Independent Studies or Projects||3-12|
|Individual Field Project 2|
|Independent Study: Tutorial 2|
|Graduate Closure Project - select one||4-8|
|Master's Project 2|
|At least 12 hours must be at the 500-level||12|
|Other Degree Plan Hours||3-16|
In some instances, the interdisciplinary nature of the student’s curriculum will suggest the need for educational experiences that total more than the required minimum number of credits. The final number of credit hours for the degree must be negotiated between the student and the degree committee at the time the degree proposal is approved. In no case, though, can the number of credit hours required be less than 42.
There are no classroom meetings for these courses. Students sign independent study contracts with faculty sponsors.
After initial registration in LNT 550 or LNT 560, students must maintain registration in the closure activity. Students who have not completed their master’s project or thesis after registering for the number of project or thesis hours specified in their degree proposal must register for LNT 551 or LNT 561 (zero credit hours, one billable hour) each fall and spring semester until the project or thesis is completed.
|Degree Program||Program Type||Dept Application Materials and Admission Criteria||Prerequisite Course Requirements||Department ADM Review||Dept Conditional Admits||Dept Appeal Process|
|Liberal and Integrative Studies MA||On campus and Online||*Completed LNT Department Application|
*Two letters of reference
*Conversation with an LNT faculty member at the department's discretion
*Minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 2.50
Online Only: Minimum overall undergraduate GPA of 3.00
*Full admission to the program requires the successful completion of 8 hours of work at the graduate level in addition to the completion of LNT
*Selection is made on a competitive basis, due to the individualized nature of the program and limited program capacity
*April 15 for Fall semester; November 15 for Spring semester. Admissions are continuous until an incoming class is filled.
|N/A||Committee of all LNT faculty||All admissions are conditional; full admission requires successful completion of LNT 501 Graduate Colloquium course and approval of degree proposal by degree committee. Conditional admission may also be granted to applicants with GPAs of less than 3.00.||No, but reapplication is allowed|
LNT 501. Graduate Colloquium. 4 Hours.
To be taken as the first course after acceptance as a conditional LNT student. Serves as an introduction to the individual option program and focuses on the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to become a self-directed, autonomous learner. Students design effective learning experiences, organize learning resources, and design a graduate curriculum.
LNT 521. Liberal & Integrative Studies. 3 Hours.
To be taken as the final course prior to closure project. Application of the principles of integration. Students prepare a paper relating learning experiences to common themes or issues and design a master's project or thesis. Course Information: Credit/No Credit grading only. Prerequisite: LNT 501.
LNT 550. Master's Project. 4-8 Hours.
A closure project or thesis (see LNT 560) required of all M.A. candidates to demonstrate accomplishment and mastery of a chosen area of study. The project is an application of theories and concepts and often involves an off-campus activity. The purpose of the project may be to create a useful and/or aesthetic product that can meet a need for a particular audience outside the university. Project must include a supplemental academic essay. NOTE: If the project is not completed by the time eight hours are accrued in continuing enrollment, students must register for LNT 551 for zero credit hours (one billable hour) in all subsequent semesters until the project is completed. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: LNT 521.
LNT 551. Master's Project Continuing Enrollment. 0 Hours.
Refer to NOTE in course description for LNT 550. Course Information: May be repeated.
LNT 560. Thesis. 4-8 Hours.
Closure project (see LNT 550) or thesis required of all M.A. candidates to demonstrate accomplishment and mastery of a chosen area of study. The thesis is a major quantitative or qualitative research and writing project based in one of the academic disciplines in the student's course of study. NOTE: If the thesis is not completed by the time eight hours are accrued in continuing enrollment, students must register for LNT 561 for zero credit hours (one billable hour) in all subsequent semesters until the project is completed. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours. Prerequisite: LNT 521.
LNT 561. Thesis Continuing Enrollment. 0 Hours.
Refer to NOTE in course description for LNT 560. Course Information: May be repeated.
LNT 580. Individual Field Project. 1-12 Hours.
To be taken as described in individual degree proposals. Experiential learning project must be directly applicable to the student's degree proposal. Field experience journal and formal presentation of project results may be required. Requires an independent study contract with a faculty adviser. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite: LNT 501 and committee approval of degree proposal.
LNT 599. Independent Study: Tutorial. 1-12 Hours.
To be taken as described in individual degree proposals. Readings or research on trends and current issues in the student's area of study. In consultation with faculty, students define topics integral to satisfying their self-assessed learning needs. Requires an independent study contract with a faculty adviser. Course Information: May be repeated to a maximum of 12 hours. Prerequisite: LNT 501 and committee approval of degree proposal.