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You have many options when it comes to pursuing a graduate degree. Other master’s programs in North Carolina and across the nation offer a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program as a way to dig deeper into the study of the humanities in a theoretical sense, including philosophy, history, literature, and art, among other subjects. Conversely, the MAPS program at UNC-Chapel Hill is designed to be responsive to statewide and regional workforce needs, appropriately equipping you to be a leader in your industry – across a wide segment including arts and humanities, research, and professional positions – and improving the welfare of North Carolinians.

Additionally, the MAPS program focuses on professional development and skill attainment tied to industry needs through specific learning tracks in the curriculum.


MAPSLiberal Studies (MALS) Interdisciplinary Studies
Two or more disciplines with a specific goal related to workforce needsTwo or more disciplines covering a broad range of topicsTwo or more disciplines
Degree designed to fulfill/improve workforce needsInterested in fulfilling a personal area of interestCourses based on specific skillset needed (for profession)
Core courses in professional developmentUsually has a set of core courses; General Studies emphasis No required core
Capstone project directly applicable to student’s professionCapstone projectThesis or Capstone project