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Political Leadership and Public Service Concentration

About the Program

Our communities - local, state, regional, national, and global - face a multiplicity of vexing challenges but also offer numerous opportunities for "the common citizen" to have a positive impact on economic, political, cultural, social, and religious matters. You may be one of many individuals who help out in a community organization, or non-profit organization, or church. Or you may want to take your duties as a citizen seriously and get involved in some way. Undoubtedly, you work in either the public, non-profit, or private sector. Whatever the case, it is our hope that this MLS concentration will help you develop a knowledge base and skills that will empower you to more ably contribute to the communities and organizations that are important to you - and to us, too.

In order to achieve these goals, this MLS concentration centers on three basic aspects of our current condition: 1) political institutions and processes, 2) leadership and change-making, and 3) ethics. Each of these three basic aspects, and the learning goals associated with them, are briefly described below. After that, the courses in curriculum of the concentration are listed (course descriptions are included).

  • Political Institutions and Processes: Political leadership and civic engagement requires a solid working knowledge of government and non-governmental organizations and processes. Students will understand political dynamics and develop capacities to influence the public policymaking processes.
  • Leadership and Change-Making: Effective political leadership and civic engagement in democratic societies is intended to produce change for the common good. This process requires students to initiate and sustain grassroots change and to develop variety of analytic, communication, and network abilities.
  • Ethics and Political Leadership and Civic Engagement: Perhaps the greatest challenge facing today's leaders is establishing high ethical standards. Students will develop the moral and social responsibilities necessary for political and civic leaders as they mobilize the citizenry to confront the challenges of our society.

Program Admission Requirements

This concentration requires a GPA of 2.5 or higher on the last 60 undergraduate hours. The program has established these deadlines for priority application consideration:

Fall - March 31

Spring - October 31

Program Curriculum

MLS Core Courses: 10 credits (required)

  • IDS 801: Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies 
  • IDS 802: Ways of Knowing in Comparative Perspective 
  • IDS 803: Origins and Implications of the Knowledge Society 
  • IDS 804: Information Literacy

Concentration Core: 12 credit hours (required)

  • LDRS 640: Principles of Civic Leadership
  • LDRS 801: Theoretical Foundations of Leadership
  • LDRS 818: Ethical Leadership
  • COMM 810: Organizational Communication and Leadership

Choose one of the following: 3 credit hours

  • POLS 611: Policy Analysis
  • POLS 621: American Civil Liberties
  • POLS 651: Recent Political Theories
  • POLS 653: American Political Thought 

Choose one of the following: 3 credit hours

  • POLS 664: Political Behavior 
  • POLS 665: Interest Groups and Lobbying

Choose one Culminating Experience: 3 credit hours 

  • IDS 820: Projects in Liberal Studies (3 credit hours)
  • IDS 890: Internship in Liberal Studies (3 credit hours)

Total Hours Required: 31 credit hours

Program Contact

Contact Dr. Larry Gould to see if the Master of Liberal Studies concentration in Political Leadership and Public Service is right for you. Once you have been admitted to this concentration, please follow the MLS Checklist and carefully read the MLS Student Handbook.

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