Interdisciplinary Studies

Associate Graduate Dean Janet Pérez, Coordinator.

The Master of Arts or Master of Science degree program in Interdisciplinary Studies is intended for mature students who wish to continue education at the graduate level but do not seek specialized training concentrated in a major area. This program is not a substitute for the traditional master's degree; rather, it is designed for students with broader interests in several fields or for those whose career goals do not match fully with a single identifiable academic unit or department. Emphasis is placed on continued intellectual and cultural development in a constantly changing society where new career interests may extend over several traditional specializations.

Each program exclusive of those tracks with required courses is developed individually according to the student's interests and background. Among the few restrictions are the requirements that work be taken in at least three different subject areas and that no more than 12 hours be presented in any one area. Also, no more than 18 hours may be taken within a single college, except Arts and Sciences. Most students pursue the 36-hour, nonthesis plan, but the thesis may be appropriate in occasional circumstances where the student's previous work seems to qualify him or her for research.

The standard admission policy for applicants to other degree programs will apply to those seeking admission to the interdisciplinary master's program. Applicants must submit satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores and undergraduate records. Students who previously have been rejected, either formally or informally, from a program may not take courses in that program until their credentials would qualify them for the course work. Students must have a 3.0 GPA on previous graduate work. For further information, contact the coordinator of the program in the Graduate School office.

Students normally select areas of study that meet their own educational and career requirements, as described above. However, a number of study themes are identified in the following paragraphs that provide somewhat more specialized focus, while maintaining the interdisciplinary nature of the program as originally approved.

Arid-Land Studies and International Development. Students may devise a plan of study focusing on aspects of international development in various parts of the world. This theme will be oriented to applied knowledge and international issues in general. Another theme addresses specifically the problems of arid and semi-arid lands. Students may take courses in several departments to satisfy the requirements in either of these areas. For further details, contact Dr. Idris R. Traylor, Director of the International Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Land Studies, or Dr. Gary S. Elbow, Director, Center for Applied International Development Studies.

Environmental Evaluation. Students may gain a holistic view of environmental evaluation by taking courses that focus upon problems and techniques relating to natural resources and their utilization. Work in geography, geology, land and water management, atmospheric sciences, and other disciplines is tailored to each student's interests. Persons interested in this plan should contact Dr. Jeff Lee, Department of Geography.

Fine Arts Management. Courses relating to management in the fine arts may be taken in a plan leading to the degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Courses in public administration and business administration as well as in the arts develop management leadership for fine arts institutions and governmental agencies. The Fine Arts Doctoral Committee provides counsel and supervision for this plan within the Interdisciplinary Studies program. For further information, contact Dr. Marijane Davis, Assistant Dean of the Graduate School.

Linguistics. Courses relating to theoretical, descriptive, historical, and applied study of language structure and use may be selected in a plan leading to the degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Studies in anthropology, bilingual education, psychology, and speech communication as well as in the various languages (English, Spanish, French, German) will provide a comprehensive understanding of the discipline. Students also may select courses leading to a specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Limited support is available for teaching assistantships in TESOL. Interested students may contact Dr. Rosslyn M. Smith, Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures. See also "Linguistics" in this section of the catalog for information on another area of interest.

Occupational Safety and Health. This interdisciplinary course of study prepares students to identify and evaluate hazardous workplace conditions, to develop programs for accident prevention and control, and to gain ergonomic expertise related to occupational safety and health. Courses in human physiology, safety, air pollution control technology, ergonomics, analytical instrumentation, and other areas highlight the link between people and machines. Engineering background is helpful but not essential; the selection is sufficiently flexible for a diversity of interests. For further details contact Dr. M.M. Ayoub, Department of Industrial Engineering.

Women's Studies. The interdisciplinary concentration of graduate work focuses on the changing position of women in society. Selected courses are offered in history, sociology, anthropology, and psychology with related work available in business administration, the humanities, and other areas of the social sciences. An emphasis on women's studies may be pertinent to careers in education, management, and personnel relations, and in the administration and delivery of social services to families, women, and children. Interested students should contact Dr. Gwen Sorell, Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Courses in Interdisciplinary Studies. (IS)

5000. Graduate Directed Studies (V1-12). Prerequisite: Consent of Coordinator. Advanced studies in developing cultural understand

ing. Projects to be assessed by faculty committee.

5001. Graduate Studies Abroad (V1-12). Prerequisite: Consent of Office of International Affairs. Advanced individual studies in interdisciplinary, international, and /or multicultural experiences.

6000. Master's Thesis (V1-6).

7000. Research (V1-12).

Courses in Women's Studies. (WS)

5300. Directed Studies (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Consent of instructor and the Coordinator of Women's Studies. Content will vary to meet the needs of students. May be repeated three times for credit, as topic varies.

Other Options. Studies of an interdisciplinary nature offer almost limitless combinations. Students may select from almost the entire Graduate Catalog and from the graduate offerings of the School of Law and Health Sciences Center. Those interested in a customized program should contact Associate Dean Janet Pérez in the Graduate School.

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LAST UPDATE: 12-8-97