The graduate program in liberal studies at Loyola operates within the framework of the University's larger educational mission which seeks intellectual excellence by educating the whole person, which is the hallmark of Jesuit education.
The program seeks to "liberate" in the classic sense of that term. Its primary aim is to deliver a rich and satisfying intellectual experience in an environment which respects a broad spectrum of cultural traditions and nurtures the development of strong analytical and communication skills. Although the learning aims of individuals courses will likely differ in their specifics each will address the overarching educational aims, namely to foster and develop:
- eloquentia perfecta, i.e., precision in oral and written communication
- critical acumen in thinking, reading, and analyzing
- appreciation for and understanding of the diversity of the human experience, and
- the promotion of justice
The program is centered around three themes
- The History of Ideas and Institutions
- The Structure and Functioning of those Ideas and Institutions
- The Creative Process and Modes of Creative Expression
Students are required to complete at least one course from each of the three modules in the course of their studies. In addition, one of the first three courses in any student's course of study as well as the final two courses must be chosen in consultation with the Director of Program Operations and approved by the Program Director.
Historical Approaches: (Courses numbered 600-639 and 700-729)
The courses in this segment are essentially historical in nature. They emphasize the origin, evolution, and development of ideas and movements crucial to the modern American experience.
Themes in the Modern Experience: (Courses numbered 640-669 and 730-759)
The courses in this segment are organized around the structure of an idea or institution. They concentrate on the central elements of the structure and ways in which these elements contribute to the uniqueness and relevance of the idea or institution.
Creative Process: (Courses numbered 670-699 and 760-789)
The courses of this segment stress the importance of students discovering their own forms of expression. Emphasis is on the communication of ideas. Traditional research is encouraged, but students are also encouraged and taught to employ film, paint, and other media.