Individualized Program in Marxist-Leninist Studies

The Marxism-Leninism Studies Program is a program founded on transdiciplinarity —spanning such diverse fields as philosophy, education, theology, political science, law, and ecology. The MLSP is the first program of its kind, and responds to a growing need, both in the US and abroad, for multi-year, rigorous training in the theoretical foundations of egalitarian political praxis. The MELI is unaligned with any particular political party. Rather, we act as a research base for all scientific socialists interested in the cutting edge and rigorous research of Marxist-Leninist theory, as well as its application to a political praxis founded on social and environmental justice.

2018 MLSP Prospective Course List
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Program Goals

- Train leaders to deal with today’s urgent social and political, and environmental issues.
- Create leaders who are truly interdisciplinary and innovate scholars.
- Serve individuals who are working professionals and who may not otherwise be able to leave their jobs to obtain an education in Marxist-Leninist theory.
- Teach our students the importance of integrating scholarship and practice.
- Graduate scholars who are able to participate as effective agents of change in their local, regional, national, and international communities.

Learning Outcomes for the Program


1. Write and communicate effectively in their scholarly field and understand and use different styles and voices.
2. Design research and apply appropriate methodologies to conduct research using interdisciplinary approaches.
3. Analyze data in their respective field effectively and appropriately.


1. Understand the arena of scholarship within Marxist-Leninist studies.
2. Understand the culture, language, and epistemologies of the various disciplines within Marxist-Leninist studies and apply this interdisciplinary training to understand and solve complex social, political, and environmental problems.
3. Identify and understand the scientific and social concepts and complexities within the interdisciplinary field of Marxist-Leninist studies, including communist ethics, sustainability, and social and environmental justice.
4. Demonstrate excellence in written and verbal expression.
5. Critique and evaluate ideas clearly and logically.
6. Develop original thought by synthesis of scholarship and experience.

Program Requirements

The graduate-level program in Marxist-Leninist Studies is, at minimum, a two-year, full-time program with the exception of the thesis phase, which is half-time.

What We Do

We create the space for students to individualize their curricula. Our students are adults with a wide range of professional and personal experiences, whose expectations for learning are not easily met by standardized curricula. With the individualized curriculum of our Marxist-Leninist Studies program, students seek the flexibility to tailor coursework so that it matches their own unique life circumstances, academic and professional interests, intellectual goals, and learning styles.

We encourage ongoing personal, professional, and practical learning. We view learning as a life practice—as dialectical, wholistic activity that deepens our engagement with the world around us. Rather than drawing rigid boundaries between the personal, political, economic, and socio-cultural, we recognize the integral nature of experience and legitimize inquiry into the knowledges inherent in all those domains.

We encourage creative, artistic, and analytic expression. Our program is decidedly interdisciplinary, drawing from the humanities, the arts, and the sciences. Hence, we believe that creative expression is not limited to the arts, nor that analytic expression is limited to the sciences.

We foster the development of a collaborative learning community. Pursuing individualized, distance-learning study does not mean that our students need to work in isolation. Rather, we believe that a culture of collaboration provides the necessary basis of support, stimulation, and challenge from which students are empowered to venture into their individualized endeavors. Learning communities develop during online and tele- and video-commute sessions when interdisciplinary groups of students begin to learn from their Faculty Advisors, Concentration Mentors, and each other. Collaboration continues in the online and individual learning environments, which then allow students to dialogue with each other and with their Faculty Advisor.

We promote an awareness of how our world is divided into what may seem limiting and narrowing dichotomies such as theory and practice, reflection and application, subject and object. Through a comprehensive study of dialectical theory, we challenge students to develop a more nuanced understanding of complexities to integrate multiple, diverse, and egalitarian perspectives, and to use these understandings to effect progressive social, personal, political, and ideological change.

Program Outcomes

The Marxist-Leninist Studies Program Outcomes represent the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that all graduates of the MLSP are expected to attain and demonstrate:

- A commitment to social and political responsibility within one’s discipline or field.
- Mastery of the integration of theory and practice in one’s discipline or field.
- Adoption of an interdisciplinary understanding of one’s discipline or field.
- Content area proficiency (first year) and mastery (complete program) within one’s discipline or field.

Throughout the program, in both their required, foundation courses and their individualized, elective courses, students will develop competence and hone their mastery of these program outcomes.

If you would like to learn more, send an email to If you'd like, we can send you the full Prospective MLSP Handbook. Please consider donating to the Marx Engels Lenin Institute's MLSP Project, so we can continue and enhance our educational work.