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MA Interdisciplinary Studies

Program Description

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 master’s degree program that is not otherwise available among the current graduate programs at CSUB.

This individualized master’s degree program requires a minimum of 30 semester units, although some individual programs of study may require additional units. At least 20 semester units must be earned by taking graduate courses (courses numbered 5000 or 6000). 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.

This 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.

Selection of 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 student’s 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 scholarly interests.

Committee Selection

Each MA student must have a Committee to read and guide the development of the graduate project or thesis. The student’s Program Committee Chair and/or the AVP Academic Affairs/Dean of Academic Programs can provide assistance in forming the MA committee.

Academic Advising

It is essential that the graduate student stay in contact with the AVP Academic Affairs/Dean of 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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