2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Aug 10, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Interdisciplinary Studies (M.S.)


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Program Contact/Coordinator

Nicole Lounsbery, Director
Graduate School
Morrill Hall 130, Box 2201
605-688-4181

Program Information

The M.S. in Interdisciplinary Sciences program is an innovative, flexible, and highly individualized graduate program designed to meet students’ academic and professional goals. Students will work with their advisor to finalize their plan of study in at least two or three disciplines, using classes that are relevant to supporting the student in achieving their educational goals. Students will complete a plan of study with a research/design paper or coursework only option.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the various disciplines incorporated into their plan of study;
  • identify and apply relevant theoretical frameworks;
  • have fundamental knowledge of their disciplines and specific knowledge of their particular area of study; and
  • demonstrate mastery of subject matter on their plan of study.

Students who undertake a project will be able to:

  • develop a plan for the project or develop a plan for a scholarly or creative work;
  • locate, retrieve and utilize appropriate information;
  • read, understand, and critically review the primary literature or previous creative works;
  • utilize appropriate methodologies to conduct an applied study, implement a project, or utilize appropriate skills to produce a creative work;
  • analyze results using qualitative or quantitative techniques when appropriate;
  • compare their results to previous studies when appropriate;
  • explain the contribution of their work to the broader field of existing knowledge or to previously created works; and
  • communicate the originality of, as well as the independent thinking and rationale for their work, in oral or written format.

Students who undertake the course completion option will be able to:

  • undertake scholarly or creative work as demonstrated in specific class assignments;
  • locate, retrieve and utilize appropriate information;
  • read, understand, and critically review the primary literature or previous creative works;
  • analyze results using qualitative or quantitative techniques when appropriate;
  • compare their results to previous studies when appropriate;
  • explain the contribution of their work to the broader field of existing knowledge or to previously created works; and
  • communicate the originality of, as well as the independent thinking and rationale for their work, in written or oral format.

Course Delivery Format

Courses are delivered through online and face-to-face instruction.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees


Master of Science Option B - Research/Design Paper 32 Credit Hours
  Option C - Coursework Only 35 Credit Hours

Core Requirements


Coursework must be selected from two (2) or three (3) distinct academic areas, excluding pedagogy. If two academic areas are selected, the student must complete no fewer than twelve (12) credit hours in each area and must include a capstone experience.  If three academic areas are selected, the student must complete no fewer than nine (9) credit hours and must include a capstone experience.  An academic area is defined by courses taught under the same prefix (e.g. BIOL, ENGL, MCOM, MICR, NRM, OM, PE, SOC, SPCM, etc.).

Select one of the following options


Option B - Research/Design Paper


  • Academic Area “1” Credits: 12
  • Academic Area “2” Credits: 12
  • Capstone Experience
  • Electives Credits: 8

OR

  • Academic Area “1” Credits: 9
  • Academic Area “2” Credits: 9
  • Academic Area “3” Credits: 9
  • Capstone Experience
  • Electives Credits: 5

Option C - Coursework Only


  • Academic Area “1” Credits: 12
  • Academic Area “2” Credits: 12
  • Capstone Experience
  • Electives Credits: 11

OR

  • Academic Area “1” Credits: 9
  • Academic Area “2” Credits: 9
  • Academic Area “3” Credits: 9
  • Capstone Experience
  • Electives Credits: 8

Total Required Credits: 32 (Option B), 35 (Option C)


Additional Admission Requirements


GRE: Not required
TOEFL: Department requirement of 525 paper-based, 71 Internet-based
IELTS: 6.0
Duolingo: 100

Applicants must submit a personal statement identifying 2 or 3 specific academic areas to be included on their plan of study.

General Requirements


Graduate students should consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Master’s Degree Requirements .

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