Program of Study

The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies is tailored to meet the needs of the individual student. The Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies has common learning objectives for all students. These learning objectives must be fulfilled by the program of study. Students accepted into the MAIS program will also need to choose how they plan to complete their program of study with a thesis or portfolio option. During the last semester of study, the student is required to successfully complete an oral examination (see below). The program requires a minimum of 32 credit hours with 50 percent of the program of study at the 700 level or above. The program of study is comprised of two or three disciplines. Each discipline is nine-12 credit hours. In addition to the required disciplines, the program of study must include a three credit research methods/statistics course and at least one credit of applied learning (no more than six credits can be used toward the program of study).

 Discipline I
9-12 credit hours
Discipline II
9-12 credit hours
Discipline III (optional)
9-12 credit hours
Research methods/statistics course
3 credit hours
Applied learning course
  • MAIS 710 - Ethical Leadership (3 cr.)
  • MAIS 791 - Independent Study
  • MAIS 794 - Internship
  • MAIS 798 - Thesis
1-6 credit hours


Oral Examination

The purpose of the oral examination at the completion of the program of study is to provide the student and the university an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the program of study in attaining the program and student’s learning objectives. The oral examination is conducted in a manner that has the student demonstrate proficiency in his/her intended knowledge, skill and abilities. Moreover, the oral examination will assess the student’s communication skills, critical thinking ability, and proficiency in the subject matter studied.

Learning Objectives

  1. Articulate and defend the significance and implications of one’s own specialized work in terms of challenges, trends, and/or developments in a social and global context.
  2. Elucidate the major theories, research methods in two out of the three subject areas; articulate one’s sources; and illustrate both ones’ application and one’s relationship to allied fields.
  3. Disaggregate, adapt, reformulate, and employ principal ideas techniques or methods at the forefront of one’s field of study in the context of an essay or project.
  4. Contribute to, expand, assess, and/or refine either a broadly recognized information resource or an information base within field of study. The student will provide adequate evidence through papers, projects, notebooks, computer files or catalogs.
  5. Address a core issue in one’s field of study from the perspective of either a different point in time, a different culture, language, political order, or technological context, and explain how the alternative perspective contributes to results that depart from current norms, dominant cultural assumptions, or technologies–all demonstrated through a project, paper, or performance.
  6. Create sustained, coherent arguments or explanations and reflections on one’s work or that of collaborators (if applicable) in two or more media or languages, to both general and specialized audiences.
  7. Assess and develop a position on a public policy question with significance in the student’s own field, taking into account both scholarship and published positions and narratives.
  8. Employ and apply mathematical, formal logic and/or statistical tools to problems appropriate to one’s field in a project, paper, or evaluation performance.
  9. Create a discrete project, paper, exhibit, performance or other appropriate demonstration reflecting the integration of knowledge acquired in practicum, work, community, internship, and/or research activities with knowledge or skills gleaned from at least two academic disciplines in different segments of the curriculum (e.g., computer science and anthropology); fully document the sources of knowledge and/or skills reflected in the integration; articulate in writing how these elements influenced the resulting product; and assess the significance of the work in light of major debates or developments in the student’s primary field(s).