Ashoka University: Leading Liberal Arts and Sciences University

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Master’s of Arts in Liberal Studies (MLS)

Ashoka University’s MA programme in Liberal Studies is a 32-credit, one-year programme offered to students who have graduated with a diploma in Liberal Studies from the Young India Fellowship, and have been accepted by an Ashoka University faculty mentor to work on a specific research project as a graduate assistant. This programme’s interdisciplinary module contains coursework from a variety of disciplines, including Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, and Natural Sciences. The University aims to train students to think critically about their disciplines of interest while deriving insights from other disciplines. The MA programme in Liberal Studies also helps students to prepare for their graduate applications.

Prospective students have the unique opportunity of designing their own curriculum, in consultation with their supervisor, and often choose to work on projects across two or more disciplines. The programme’s sole focus is on nurturing curiosity for intellectual challenges and building skills for research. Additionally, students are required to work on a research-intensive capstone project, which is expected to culminate in a traditional Master’s’ thesis or a creative project like a novel or a film.

  • Admissions

    Admissions for the Master’s in Liberal Arts programme is currently restricted to graduates of the Young India Fellowship. This is a degree programme taken by students who have graduated with a diploma in Liberal Studies from the Young India Fellowship, and have been accepted by an Ashoka University faculty to work on a specific research project as a graduate assistant.

  • Research Conducted and Post-MLS Trajectories

    Since 2015, MLS students have worked on a vast array of disciplines, covering human-computer interaction, cognitive Psychology, Literary Theory, Macroeconomics, Anthropology, Gender Studies, Politics and Sociology and Philosophy.

    Their research topics have included: The politics of Zilla Parishads in Western Uttar Pradesh, Understanding Human Memory and Aging using Email Archives, The Amplification of Group Emotions, The psychological impact of communal violence, Religious Conversions and Law in India, The development of female wrestling in Haryana, A History of the 1946 Bombay Navy mutiny, The foreign policy thoughts of prominent Hindu nationalists, an Ethnography of a Kashmiri political party, an Ethnography of the student movement in Ramjas College, a Content analysis of Parliamentary questions, among others.

    Five former MLS students are currently pursuing their PhD in Psychology (University of Austin, Washington University, Saint-Louis and University of Maryland), in Political Science (UC Santa Barbara), in Social anthropology (University of Edinburgh).

    Other graduates of the MLS have gone to the Netherlands for further Studies, are teaching law in India, or work as teaching fellows and research assistants at Ashoka University and IIIT-Delhi. Others have started their own ventures or have joined the private sector.

Student Stories

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka