School of Continuing and Professional Studies > Academics > Graduate Programs > Programs > Applied Professional Studies (MA)

Applied Professional Studies (MA)

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.
Apply Online

The Master of Arts Program in Applied Professional Studies (MAAPS) from the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) serves adults who wish to design and execute their graduate study in a personally-relevant area that is otherwise not served by typical course-based, already-structured programs. These “entrepreneurial learners” come with a personal/professional area of study they want to pursue, a desire to build and manage their own learning processes, and a goal to both learn and shape their learning into contributions that make a difference.

Key Features

  1. You design your own area of study (an area of professional contribution in a particular setting) guided by a graduate framework. Your idea; your design. 
  2. You learn to think in terms of learning for both intentional outcomes and timely applications. 
  3. You build a plan for learning that incorporates an array of learning strategies (not just classes!)—strategies that fit your sought outcomes and learning preferences and result in products you can use. 
  4. You manage the pace, place and process of implementing your plan. 
  5. You receive assistance from a team of advisors from the University as well as your own particular professional community. 
  6. You 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).
  7. You accomplish your goal of graduate study—focusing on an area of importance to you and earning an accredited graduate degree with competencies endorsed by the University.
Program Requirements Quarter Hours
Degree Requirements 52
Total hours required 52

Alumni qualify for the Double Demon scholarship

Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge with respect to their individualized areas of study.
  • Apply reflective acuity in executing their individualized areas of study.
  • Engage methods of inquiry to improve practice in their individualized areas of study.
  • Take initiative to add value to their professional practice.
  • Adapt and engage from an ever-broadening repertoire of responses.
  • Contribute to achieve collective results.

Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

Students are required to complete a minimum of 52 graduate credit hours with a cumulative GPA of not less than 3.0. Students are also required to develop and complete a narrative transcript.

Planning & Integration 

Students, with the assistance of an academic committee, design individualized graduate learning plans. Once plans are approved, students pursue their plans and work to ensure that all parts link together.

Course Title Quarter Hours
AP 501LEARNING PLAN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR4
AP 502LEARNING PLAN REVIEW2
AP 528ASSESSMENT AND INTEGRATION 10.5
AP 548ASSESSMENT AND INTEGRATION SEMINAR II0.5
AP 558ASSESSMENT AND INTEGRATION SEMINAR III0.5
AP 578ASSESSMENT AND INTEGRATION SEMINAR IV0.5

Liberal Learning

Students participate in graduate seminars designed to liberate practice from single points of view and action. Students are required to complete 18 credit hours of coursework in the Liberal Learning section.

Course Title Quarter Hours
LLS 450AFINDING & ASSESSING INFORMATION2
LLS 450BAPPLYING SYSTEMATIC INQUIRY (IN PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE)4
Elective Options (12 credit hours) choose from list:
LLS 410BBUILDING & ENGAGING RESILIENCE (IN ADULT LIFE)4
LLS 420BENGAGING PLAY ON PURPOSE4
LLS 410CVOICES AND IDENTITY IN WRITING4
LLS 420CCOMMUNICATING (MORE) EFFECTIVELY4
LLS 420DAPPLYING ETHICS IN THE PROFESSIONS4
LLS 420ELEADERSHIP, CHANGE AND POSITIVE ORGANIZATIONS4
LLS 440AUNDERSTANDING AND FLEXING MINDSETS4
LLS 440BLATINX CHICAGO4
LLS 440CTRAVEL, VALUES & IDENTITY4

Individualized Areas of Focus

Students design and implement learning strategies for enhancing their understanding and competence development in each of the following aspects of their individualized areas of focus.

Course Title Quarter Hours
AP 510MAIN THEORIES AND IDEAS2
AP 520METHODS OF RESEARCH2
AP 530SPECIALIZED SKILLS2
AP 540COMMUNICATION MODES2
AP 550ORGANIZATIONAL AND/OR INTERPERSONAL DYNAMICS2
AP 560CHALLENGES FROM LARGER CONTEXTS2
AP 570ETHICAL ISSUES2
AP 574REFLECTION IN/ON PRACTICE2
AP 585SUPPLEMENTAL COMPETENCE I2

Individualized Program Culmination

Students culminate their graduate study through either four supplemental competencies or an integrating project (proposal and final artifact). Upon completion of all degree requirements (and prerequisite to degree conferral), each student prepares and submits for approval a comprehensive narrative transcript of her/his program of study.

Course Title Quarter Hours
Supplementals (Electives)
AP 586SUPPLEMENTAL COMPETENCE II2
AP 587SUPPLEMENTAL COMPETENCE III2
AP 588SUPPLEMENTAL COMPETENCE IV2
AP 589SUPPLEMENTAL COMPETENCE V2
Integrating Project
AP 591INTEGRATING PROJECT PROPOSAL2
AP 592FINAL INTEGRATING PROJECT6