College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program > Graduate Programs > Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program (MA/MS) > Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

We seek highly committed candidates with the academic preparation, motivation and experience to undertake a flexible and rigorous program of study. While no specific background or major is required, candidates with strong liberal arts background would be ideal candidates to the program.

Applicants to the Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Program are evaluated on their overall academic record. The committee considers each application on the basis of all materials submitted and does not eliminate applications solely on the basis of grade point averages or test scores; however a grade-point average of 3.0 or better in the junior and senior years is required for admission. Additional consideration is given to the strength of the applicant’s undergraduate program and its standards.

International students (those who were educated outside of the U.S. and/or require an F1 visa) must take additional steps to be considered for admission. Please visit the International Admission page for exact information. 

Application materials (except official transcripts) can be submitted through the online application. Official transcripts can be emailed from your institution to The Office of Graduate Admission at

Application Checklist

All students applying to Interdisciplinary Self-Designed Programs will submit:

  • Application for admission: Apply online
  • A $40 domestic application fee, $75 international application fee
  • Transcripts of all prior academic work
  • GRE, LSAT or GMAT scores are not required but may be submitted to strengthen an application
  • TOEFL scores (international students only).  We accept TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo. 

Additional requirements for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS):

  • MALS Application Essay (see requirements below)
  • Qualified applicants may be asked to submit letters of recommendation and/or to have an interview with the program director

Careful completion of this two-part admission essay is an important step in the application process for all students seeking admission to DePaul University's Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program. By taking the time to prepare thoughtful responses to these essays, you will provide the kind of detailed information that will help the MALS program give thorough consideration to your application. The essay should be typed, single spaced, and contain the name and contact information of the applicant on the document. Please submit essays tp the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Graduate Office.

MALS Admission Essay: Part I

For Part I, please write a two page essay in which you address your informal as well as your formal preparation for admission to the MALS program. Please answer these three questions as specifically as possible.

  1. What influenced your decision to return to school?
  2. What personal and professional accomplishments can you point to as indicators of your potential to succeed in a challenging graduate program?
  3. In what ways have you continued to educate yourself outside the formal context of a college or university? Are there any particular thinkers, books, art works, or other learning experiences which have made an important impact on your intellectual growth since you earned your undergraduate degree?

MALS Admission Essay: Part II

For Part II, please write a two page essay in which you explain your hopes and expectations as a student in the MALS program. Please answer these three questions as concretely as possible.

  1. How does this program fit into the present stage of your personal and intellectual development?
  2. What do you hope to accomplish by completing this program of study?
  3. What particular quality or talents would you bring to this program that would enrich the educational experience of other MALS students?

Additional requirements for the MA or MS in Interdisciplinary Studies:

  • Statement of Academic Purpose (SAP): An essay of two or more pages explaining your academic goals, and how the courses you have chosen will help you reach those goals. In addition to the narrative discussion of your goals, please state them in a concise list. At least two of your goals must be drawn from the IDS Learning Outcomes, which address general competencies in academic performance.
  • Proposed List of Courses (LOC) from DePaul's Course Catalog
  • Two letters of recommendation. In order to determine if an applicant is qualified for his or her proposed program of study, the IDS Program may request additional letters from faculty or administrators of undergraduate or graduate departments in which the applicant was previously enrolled.
  • Admission interview and course consultation

Learn more about Graduate Admission.

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If you need assistance to complete your application and/or have questions, contact the LAS Graduate Admission office at (773) 325-7315 or