C A L I F O R N I A S T A T E U N I V E R S I T Y B A K E R S F I E L D
Office of Graduate Studies and Research
Dorothy Donahoe Hall, D100
Program Coordinator: Dr. Janice Chavez, Interim Dean
Faculty: All faculty members affiliated with any CSUB graduate program.
The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies provides an opportunity for students who wish to pursue special interests or career goals that are not met by existing graduate programs. For this student, the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies offers the opportunity to create a unique masterís degree program or one that is not otherwise available in a current graduate program offered at this university.
This individualized masterís degree program requires a minimum of 45 quarter units, although some individual programs of study may require additional units. At least 35 quarter units must be earned by taking graduate (courses number 500 or 600) level courses. The individualized program of study is expected to be academically challenging involving two or more disciplines that relate to an identified coherent theme. It should lead the student beyond cursory knowledge of disciplines to a substantive inquiry that connects and synthesizes various perspectives, theories, and/or skills. This degree program is only suitable for students who are self-motivated, able to clearly delineate the objectives of their studies, and have a background which will allow advanced study in the disciplines combined in the proposed program.
This Interdisciplinary Studies program can be uniquely structured to suit individual needs and tailored to obtain idiosyncratic objectives. While it is not possible to predict the employment opportunities for graduates of such a program, the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies provides a vehicle for meeting the needs of students with unusual, creative, and interdisciplinary academic and/or professional goals. Use of the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies for purposes of professional accreditation should be validated with the appropriate agency to ensure that the program meets the needed professional requirements.
Selection of the Program Committee Chair - Selection of a graduate program committee Chair is an important first step in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program. The Chair is critical to the development of the studentís plan of study. He/she should ordinarily represent the primary field of study in which the majority of the coursework will be taken. The Chair advises and guides students during the period of graduate study, and responds to any misgivings students may have while in the program. Students have a responsibility to schedule regular meetings with their Chair. Since this relationship is crucial in helping students get through graduate school, they need to choose a faculty member of a graduate program with whom they can have a close rapport and whose specialty is nearest to their own scholarly interests.
Committee Selection - Each MA student must have a Committee to read and guide the development of the graduate project or thesis. The studentís Committee Chair and/or the Graduate Program Coordinator can provide assistance in forming the MA committee.
Academic Advising - It is essential that the graduate student stay in contact with the Graduate Coordinator and especially his/her Program Committee Chair, to help the student move expeditiously through the program and to ensure a carefully planned program of study.
Application and Admission
Students seeking a masterís degree in Interdisciplinary Studies must apply to the University Office of Admissions and Records for admission as a post-baccalaureate graduate student. Since admission to the University does not constitute admission to the Masterís program in Interdisciplinary Studies, interested students should also contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Research for additional information and application materials.
To be considered for admission to the program, the student must meet the following criteria and fulfill the requirements stated:
1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited four year college or university. Previous course work or self-study must be deemed satisfactory and acceptable by the Faculty Advisory Committee for the planned program of study.
2. A minimum GPA of 3.00 (A=4.00) in the last 90 quarter units (60 semester units).
3. The establishment of a three-member Graduate Advisory Committee comprised of faculty representing programs included in the proposed interdisciplinary program. The Chair, who will serve as the primary advisor, must be from a department within the University that offers a graduate program.
4. A Plan of Study for the degree must be developed and approved by the graduate coordinator(s) of each participating graduate program, the chair(s) of each participating undergraduate department, the dean(s) of the school(s) in which the programs are located, and the dean of Graduate Studies and Research.
5. All individuals must satisfy the Graduate Writing Assessment Requirement as soon as possible after being accepted as a graduate student by the University. This requirement may have been satisfied as an undergraduate at this or another campus of the California State University or it may be met by passing the regularly scheduled examination or by successfully completing an approved course offered by the English Department.
In addition to meeting the requirements for admission given above, international students must take TOEFL and have a score of 550 or higher (or 213 on the new conversation scale for the computer-based TOEFL exam).
1. Post-Baccalaureate/Unclassified Standing: Students accepted by the University for Post-baccalaureate Study may take any graduate courses with approval from the instructor. These courses may be taken solely for personal pleasure or as a means of establishing a graduate student record that will lead to classified standing. Students are encouraged to apply for admission to the Masterís in Interdisciplinary Studies no later than after completion of 10 quarter units.
2. Individuals meeting most, but not all of the admission requirements may be admitted as conditionally classified graduate students. Students who are conditionally classified are limited to 15 units that will count toward their Plan of Study. Upon completion of the admission requirements, the student must petition for advancement to classified standing.
3. Individuals who fully meet the admission requirements listed above will be considered as classified graduate students.
4. Students will be advanced to candidacy when they have met the following criteria:
a. Are currently considered as a classified graduate student;
b. completion of 35 quarters of graduate work applied toward the Masterís in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a GPA of 3.0 or better; and, the
c. completion of the writing competency requirement.
The selection of courses as outlined in the approved Program of Study will be guided by the nature of the interdisciplinary program in consultation with the three-member faculty committee. Students will be expected to meet all prerequisites for courses in their approved program of study, prior to registering for the courses. No more than fifteen (15) quarter units of post-baccalaureate course work, taken prior to the approval of the Program of Study, can be applied towards the requirements for MA in Interdisciplinary Studies program.
1. Completion of the Plan of Study, which must include a minimum of 45 quarter units of course work, of which 35 quarter units must be graduate (500 or 600 course level) courses. Courses numbered 400 may apply to the degree with approval of the Faculty Advisory Committee and justified in the studentís Program of Study. The granting of graduate credit for such 400-level coursework requires the submission of a ďPetition for Graduate CreditĒ for each such course.
2. Maintenance of a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in coursework applied to the Masterís in Interdisciplinary Studies. In general courses with a grade less than a B will not be applied towards the degree requirements.
3. Completion of a thesis (INST 697) or a project (INST 698) that appropriately reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the course of study. Students will elect either the thesis or the project track on the basis of appropriateness to the interdisciplinary program and upon approval of the Faculty Advisory Committee.
Students who fail to complete their degree program within the seven-year limit may petition the Faculty Advisory Committee to permit the revalidating of outdated courses.
INST 697 Masterís Thesis in Interdisciplinary Studies (5)
Research in an approved area of study appropriate to the interdisciplinary nature of the degree conducted under the supervision of the studentís Faculty Advisory Committee. An oral explanation and defense of the thesis is required. Offered on a credit, non-credit basis only.
INST 698 Masterís Project in Interdisciplinary Studies (5)
The project will be the application of both theory and methods appropriate to the interdisciplinary nature of the degree conducted under the supervision of the studentís Faculty Advisory Committee. An oral explanation will be required. Offered on a credit, non-credit basis only.
INST 699 Individual Study (1-5)
Independent investigation of a study selected by the student in consultation with a professor in an area of major interest and approved by the studentís Faculty Advisory Committee. Offered on a credit, no-credit basis only. May be repeated with different topics but only a total of 5 units may be applied to the degree requirements.