Professional Studies M.A. - Individualized Plan of Study

Degree: Master of Arts

Program Director: Dr. Karen Eskow
Phone: 410-704-2128

Individualized Plan of Study

This highly flexible concentration is ideal for the working professional, as each student designs a curriculum that best fits their present career needs and future aspirations. The concentration is particularly well suited for students who wish to integrate specialized study with a broader understanding of related fields. It also permits individuals primarily interested in personal growth to design a program that corresponds with their interests.

Although the plan of study may be built around traditional academic disciplines, many students combine courses from such practical areas of study as:

  • digital media and communications
  • information technology and applied systems theory
  • management and administration
  • public policy and regional planning
  • health care
  • education
  • professional writing in specific areas
  • theater management
  • science journalism
  • global studies

Others might emphasize courses from the humanities, fine arts and social sciences.

An individualized plan of study places special responsibilities on the student. In consultation with the program director, the entering student must design and submit a plan of study. The M.A. in Professional Studies graduate program is committed to offering working professionals flexible and convenient ways to earn an advanced degree through collaborative learning and independent study.

Admission Requirements

Application deadlines and a full listing of materials required for admission can be found on the website.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
A 600-700 level writing course, selected from courses offered in the Professional Writing (PRWR) program or approved by the program director3
A 600-700 level course in the liberal arts, selected from courses offered in the following programs: Humanities (HUMA), Social Sciences (SOSC), History (HIST), Women's and Gender Studies (WMST), Geography (GEOG), or English (ENGL)3
Electives within the Individualized Program of Study
Each student's individualized program of study comprises 24 units of elective courses. These electives must include courses from at least three disciplines, and a maximum of 15 units that may be taken in any one discipline. No more than three 500-level graduate courses can be counted toward the degree. A minimum of 12 units of electives must be earned at Towson University. Up to 12 units may be taken at another University System of Maryland institution or at Morgan State University with the permission of the program director. 224
Total Units36

The introductory seminar should be taken within the first 9 units of degree work.  The culminating seminar should be taken during the student's final term in the program.  Students must earn a grade of "A" or "B" in each of these seminars.  They may be repeated once for the purpose of grade change.


To learn more about Graduate Certificates go to the Graduate and Certificate Programs page, scroll down to Certificate Programs and browse the list of P.B.C.s offered at Towson University.

  1. Explain and coherently apply ontological worldviews, epistemological strategies and methods to graduate level research design.
  2. Demonstrate ability to write with clarity and efficiency.
  3. Students will identify, interpret and draw conclusions from qualitative and/or quantitative data derived from web-based sources.
  4. Students will demonstrate mastery of the individually developed program of study.
  5. Students will successfully use MS Office System or equivalent to effectively present research.