Liberal Studies, MA Chicago Studies Specialization

Students enrolled in the Chicago Studies specialization will take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Chicago, choosing from courses on its history, literature, culture or social characteristics. The emphasis will be not only on Chicago’s particular traits, but on this city’s place in a national and indeed global universe of great cities.


Course Title
Core Courses (3 units)
IPLS 401-0Seminar in Liberal Studies I
IPLS 410-0/410-DLIntroduction to Graduate Studies in Literary and Cultural Analysis
IPLS 590-0Thesis Research
Specialization Courses - Chicago Studies Electives (4 units)
Various IPLS courses are offered throughout the year. Students should refer to the annual course schedule to determine which courses will apply to their specialization.
Electives (2 units)
Two graduate-level courses in liberal studies, humanities, and related social sciences. Students may take courses in the areas of American Studies, Digital Studies, History, Religious and Ethical Studies, or other areas approved by the SPS Graduate Office. *

Prior approval from the student adviser is required for registration in any courses offered by The Graduate School. No approval is necessary for enrollment in LIT or IPLS courses. Students are limited to three 300-level course registrations.

About the Thesis 

Students sign up for the final course in the program during the term in which they start their master's thesis. The capstone project for the MALS program is an essay of 45 to 60 double-spaced pages written under the supervision of an approved faculty member. The project presents an opportunity to research and explore a topic thoroughly. Students often elect to expand a seminar paper from a previous course. With the approval of the program director, students may create an interdisciplinary final project rather than a traditional thesis.