School for New Learning > Academics > Graduate Programs > Programs > Applied Professional Studies (MA)

Applied Professional Studies (MA)

The Master of Arts program in Applied Professional Studies (MAAPS) serves adults who want to design a graduate program in a personally-relevant area that is otherwise not served by typical course-based or already-structured programs.
Guided by a graduate framework and a team of faculty members and professional advisors, you create your curriculum and manage your own learning. Your plan may include work projects, professional activities such as workshops or certificate programs, traditional graduate courses and independent studies. You also will have several culmination options to choose from when you are ready to complete the program.

Program Highlights

This program provides you the opportunity to:

  • Design your own area of study
  • Learn to think in terms of learning for both intentional outcomes and timely applications
  • Build a plan for learning that incorporates an array of learning strategies beyond the classroom
  • Select learning strategies that fit your desired outcomes and learning preferences
  • Manage the pace, place and process of implementing your plan
  • Receive assistance from a team of university advisors as well as your own particular professional community
  • Engage in a brief/intensive series of liberal learning seminars designed to rekindle and/or deepen your practice in key domains of applied effectiveness (personal, interpersonal, organizational, values and inquiry)
  • Earn an accredited graduate degree with competencies endorsed by DePaul

Program Structure

You begin the MAAPS program with a cohort of about 15 students and a faculty mentor. The faculty mentor teaches the first course in the program Learning Plan Research and Development (4 quarter credit hours) typically offered twice a year in the fall and spring quarters. New students simultaneously take Finding and Managing Information (2 quarter credit hours). These two courses set the framework for designing and implementing your graduate degree.

Program Length

To qualify for the MAAPS, you must complete 52 quarter credit hours. The program has four components.
  • Planning and Integration (8 quarter credit hours)
  • Liberal Learning Seminars (18 quarter credit hours)
  • Individualized Area of Focus (18 quarter credit hours)
  • Individualized Program Culmination (8 quarter credit hours)

Program Participants 

The program is designed for entrepreneurial learners who come with:
  • Three or more years of direct or related experience in the field
  • A personal/professional area of study they want to pursue
  • A desire to build and manage their own learning processes
  • Goals to both learn and shape their learning into contributions that make a difference

Certificate Option

The MAAPS program may also be expanded to include a graduate certificate in Liberal Learning for Professionals. Learn more.