Student Learning Outcomes

Graduate Liberal Arts Learning Outcomes

Graduate Studies Liberal Arts Learning Outcomes for Graduate Students in Liberal Arts Electives


Purpose of Graduate Studies Liberal Arts Electives

Given that graduate level study connotes specialized inquiry into a specific domain resulting in the production of new knowledge, the purpose of liberal arts electives in Graduate Studies at MICA is to inform the development of thesis work, and to prepare students for ongoing inquiry.



All MICA graduate students, upon completing their degrees, will be able to communicate, critically inquire, and work collaboratively. To that end, these Learning Outcomes (LOs) were created by the Graduate Liberal Arts Committee for use in all electives in which graduate students are earning liberal arts credit.

As a result of taking liberal arts electives for graduate credit, students will be able to:

1. Use discipline-appropriate writing strategies to communicate their position within a field.

2. Demonstrate ethical and effective oral and written communication, appropriate to chosen audience and context.

3. Demonstrate critical inquiry into written and visual information about the historical, theoretical, and/or critical issues pertaining to the student’s field.

4. Synthesize theories and practices in order to generate critical questions and/or to invent imaginative works.

5. Demonstrate the ability to engage with peers as members of a collegial professional learning community.


How to use the LOs

• The numbers assigned to LOs are simply a way to identify them; there is no hierarchy intended.

• An instructor teaching a course in which graduate students are earning liberal arts credit must align that course with at least three of the five LOs.

• LOs need not be of equal importance in a given course; the instructor can choose to give greater weight to a particular LO that is well-aligned with the course content.

• Liberal Arts undergraduate chairs or the Associate Dean of LIberal Arts, or the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Curriculum & Assessment can provide assistance to instructors regarding how to integrate the LOs meaningfully into a course.

• In an effort to be as clear as possible, some terms used in the LOs are defined below.



Field refers to the student’s area of inquiry or professional world, which likely (but not always) aligns with the focus of their graduate program.

Ethical refers to practices such as using facts or significant theories to support arguments, critically assessing and properly citing sources, and human subject research protocols. These are examples; the type of ethical practices will vary depending upon the type of inquiry undertaken.

Audience and context is intended to suggest that a student’s communication (oral or written) can be crafted for a specific audience – such as curators, teachers, other artists, their peers, or other groups and communities. This qualification is intended to suggest that the graduate student needs to consider who their ideal audience is – which may not, in all cases, include the instructor of the liberal arts course.

Graduate Liberal Arts Learning Outcomes pdf for download