How the Association Can Support Your Program

Membership in the AGLSP offers many benefits for both new and established programs:

A Community of Practice

To be an AGLSP member is to be part of a community engaged in an ongoing discussion about interdisciplinary graduate education–the latest issues in curriculum development, standards of assessment, faculty recruit­ment, marketing, institutional support and other issues both pedagogical and administrative. Membership not only gives you access to all of the resources of the AGLSP (including sample GLS course syllabi, AGLSP publications, Confluenceour online journal, and web-based resources), it provides ample opportunity for networking with other GLS faculty and administrators through the AGLSP Annual Conference, website, discussion listserv, Facebook group and regional symposia. As an AGLSP member, you are connected to others familiar with the issues your program faces every day.

Annual Conference and Workshop

Each year, the AGLSP Annual Conference brings together representatives of the Association’s member programs to share ideas and discuss the latest issues in Graduate Liberal Studies. Each conference features paper presentations and panel discussions, as well as invited speakers with scholarly and real-world expertise. Recent themes have included, Tradition and Transformation: Embracing the FuturePlace MattersRevolutions: Past, Present, and Future, Urban Gateways: Immigration and the Global City, The Crisis of the Book: Worlds of Opportunity, Worlds of Change and The Transformation of the 21st Century City ; recent venues have included Oklahoma City, San Jose, Philadelphia, Chicago, Portland and Saratoga Springs.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of attending the conference is the opportunity to participate in the pre-conference workshop. This day-long workshop focuses on the practical issues of administering GLS programs, including curriculum, marketing to potential students, recruiting faculty, relations with campus administrators, alumni relations, study abroad programs and issues of accreditation. The 2016 pre-conference workshop’s theme was Surviving and Thriving. The 2017 Annual Conference will be held Raleigh, NC., October 19-21st.


Membership in AGLSP provides you with AGLSP publications, including Graduate Liberal Studies–A Guide for Directors, Faculty, and Staff, a practical, hands-on guide to developing and administering GLS programs; compilations of syllabi; and reports of member surveys providing benchmarking data to monitor student demographics, program structure, curricula and course offerings.  We also post material and presentations from the annual pre-conference workshop noted above.

These publications are available to members at no charge, through the Resources for Members space on this website. Non members may purchase AGLSP publications. Click here for the order form.

Confluence: The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies

Membership includes publishing opportunities and a subscription and  to the AGLSP journal, Confluence: The Journal of Graduate Liberal Studies, which features essays, poetry and fiction from students, faculty and alumni of GLS programs. It also publishes reviews of books of special interest to the GLS community. Publication in Confluence showcases and honors accomplished student essays – an opportunity that can offer extra motivation for your student writers. Moving forward, Confluence will publish new issues, both online and in print, twice per year. Additionally, content will be published online frequently throughout the year as submissions merit.

The AGLSP board and the editors of Confluence sponsor the annual Confluence Award for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Writing along with the Confluence Award for Excellence in Creative Writing. The first award celebrates interdisciplinary inquiry as the central intellectual practice of GLS and critical writing as a foundational tool of graduate study. The second award celebrates creative writing as a form of inquiry, art, and expression. The two winning pieces are published in the fall issue of the journal. The authors each receive a prize of $500, presented at the AGLSP Annual Conference.

Eligibility: The Confluence Awards may be given to any current or recent student of an Institutional member program of the AGLSP. Pieces are nominated in Feburary, and nominations may include anything written as part of the authors’ graduate work during the previous calendar year. Nominations may be made by program directors only.

The Website

Look around: our recently redesigned website provides news of upcoming events, information and resources for program directors, and connections to AGLSP staff and services.

One of the benefits of AGLSP membership is promotion of your program in the AGLSP member directory, where potential students can link to each member program website.

Regional Student Symposia

Each year, many AGLSP member programs come together to sponsor regional symposia at which students present their work and connect with the wider community of GLS students. Expenses are kept low at these single-day colloquia to allow maximum student participation. While not AGLSP events, it is through Association networking that the sponsoring programs collaborated to offer these symposia.

Faculty Recognition

Since 1991, the AGLSP has honored, with its Annual Faculty Award, a teacher who has an outstanding career of innovative, engaged GLS teaching and dedicated service to his or her program and students. Faculty of Institutional Member programs are eligible for this prestigious award, which honors the recipient with a plaque and $1,000. The award is presented at the Annual Conference and the recipient delivers his or her remarks  at the conference banquet; the remarks are also published in Confluence. Click here for award recipients.

Program Reviews and Advocacy

The AGLSP offers members guidelines and tools for self-study and on-site peer review, which provides a formative evaluation of your program as well as advocacy and positive support for the concept of Graduate Liberal Studies among faculty and administrators.

The Association can also connect members with experienced reviewers for formal external reviews, informal reviews for programs in need of invigoration, and for advice on starting a program.

Find out about AGLSP membership categories and how to join the Association.