Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs
Dr. Edwin H. Sasaki
Education Building, 242
All faculty members affiliated with any CSUB graduate
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 that is not otherwise available among the
current graduate programs at CSUB.
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 (courses numbered
500 or 600). The individualized graduate Plan of Study is
expected to be academically challenging involving two or
more disciplines that relate to an identified coherent
theme. The Plan of Study should lead the student beyond
cursory knowledge of disciplines to a substantive inquiry
that connects and synthesizes various perspectives,
theories, and/or skills. This interdisciplinary degree
program is suitable only for students who are self-motivated
and independent, who are able to clearly delineate the
objective(s) of their studies, and who have a professional
and/or academic background which will allow advanced study
in the disciplines combined in the proposed program.
interdisciplinary studies degree program can be structured
to suit specific professional/career needs and be tailored
to meet idiosyncratic academic 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 MA in
Interdisciplinary Studies for purposes of professional
accreditation/licensure should be validated with the
appropriate agency to ensure that the program meets the
needed professional requirements.
the Program Committee Chair
- Selection of a 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 assisting students complete the graduate program,
they need to choose a faculty member with whom they can have
a close rapport and whose specialty is nearest to their own
- Each MA student must have a Committee to read and guide
the development of the graduate project or thesis. The
studentís Program Committee Chair and/or the Associate Vice
President for Academic Programs can provide assistance in
forming the MA committee.
- It is essential that the graduate student stay in contact
with the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs and
especially his/her Program Committee Chair, to help the
student move expeditiously through the program and to ensure
satisfactory completion of the Plan of Study.
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the Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies must
apply to the University Office of Admissions and Records for
admission as a post-baccalaureate unclassified student.
Since admission to the University does not constitute
admission to the graduate program in Interdisciplinary
Studies, interested students should contact the Office of
the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs for
additional information and application materials.
To be considered
for admission to the graduate program in Interdisciplinary
Studies, the student must meet the following criteria and
fulfill the requirements stated:
baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or
university. Previous course work or self-study must be
deemed satisfactory and acceptable by the Program Committee.
2. A minimum
GPA of 3.00 (A=4.00) in the last 90 quarter units (60
establishment of a three-member Program Committee comprised
of faculty representing programs included in the proposed
interdisciplinary program. The Program Committee Chair, who
serves 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 Associate Vice President for
5. All students
must satisfy the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR)
as soon as possible after being accepted as a graduate
student by the University. This requirement may have been
satisfied as an undergraduate at CSUB or another CSU campus
or it may be met by passing the regularly scheduled
examination or by successfully completing an approved course
offered by the University.
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).
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Classified Graduate States - Students who fully meet the
admission requirements listed above will be considered as
Classified Graduate Students.
Conditionally Classified Graduate Status - Students
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
13.5 quarter units that will count toward their Plan of
Study. Upon completion of the admission requirements, the
student will be administratively advanced to Classified
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.
Advancement to Candidacy - Students will be advanced to
candidacy when they have met the following criteria:
achieved a Classified Graduate Student Status;
Completed 35 quarters of graduate work applied toward the
Plan of Study with a GPA of 3.0 or better;
Completed the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR);
ready to begin work on the thesis or project.
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The selection of
courses as outlined in the approved Plan of Study will be
guided by the nature of the interdisciplinary program in
consultation with the three-member Program Committee.
Students will be expected to meet all prerequisites for
courses in their approved Plan of Study, prior to
registering for the courses. No more than 13.5 quarter
units of post-baccalaureate course work, taken prior to the
approval of the Plan of Study, can be applied towards the
requirements for the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies.
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 courses (courses numbered 500 or 600). Courses
numbered 400 may apply to the Plan of Study (10 quarter
units maximum) with approval of the Program Committee. The
granting of graduate credit for such 400-level coursework
requires the submission of a ďPetition for Graduate CreditĒ
for each course.
of a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in coursework applied
to the Plan of Study. In general, courses with a grade less
than a B (3.0) will not be accepted.
of a thesis (INST 697) or a project (INST 698) that
appropriately reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the
Plan of Study. Students will elect either the thesis or the
project track on the basis of appropriateness to the
objectives for the interdisciplinary program and upon
approval of the Program Committee.
Students who fail
to complete their degree program within the seven-year limit
may petition the Program Committee, with approval from the
Program Chair and Associate Vice President for Academic
Programs, to permit the revalidation of outdated courses.
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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 Program Committee. An oral explanation and
defense of the thesis is required. Offered on a credit,
non-credit basis only.
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 Program Committee. An oral
explanation will be required. Offered on a credit,
non-credit basis only.
Individual Study (1-5)
investigation by the student in consultation with a
professor in an area of major interest and approved by the
studentís Program Committee. Offered on a credit, no-credit
basis only. May be repeated with different topics.