Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary StudiesMajor: IS
Degree Awarded: MA
Program Webpage: http://graduate.louisville.edu
The Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies provides a mechanism for accommodating the interests of students and faculty in areas in which the faculty expertise is not confined to a department or individual academic unit. It permits students to establish individualized programs and groups of faculty to establish interdisciplinary tracks.
Application and Admission
Applicants for individualized interdisciplinary master's programs must present complete admission credentials in order to be formally admitted by one of their constituent departments. Such formal admission must be recommended by at least one department or program offering degrees through the Graduate School before the student may register for course work. The required credentials are:
- The application for admission, specifying which departments the student expects to comprise the program;
- Transcripts showing all undergraduate and graduate course work and all degrees earned;
- Scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test;
- Three letters of recommendation;
- TOEFL score if the applicant's native language is not English and he/she has not earned a degree from a university or college in the U.S.;
- A written statement of career objectives and rationale for the interdisciplinary research objective.
Only upon receipt of a letter of admission from the Office of Graduate Admissions may the applicant enroll for course work. There is no guarantee, however, that the desired degree program will be approved. Admission will be conditional until the program proposal has been submitted and approved by the Graduate School. During the initial semester, the curricular requirements of the program must be worked out with a supervisory committee of at least three faculty members. The chair, as well as the majority of the committee, must be members of the Graduate Faculty.
All departments or programs in which the student proposes to take more than 3 hours of graduate course work must offer degrees through the Graduate School; and, before submitting a program proposal, the student must have the permission of the department or program to take those courses.
- An overall minimum of 30 semester hours at 500 or 600 level.
- A thesis (maximum of 6 hours for thesis in a 30-hour program) or six (6) additional hours of 600- level courses for non-thesis. Interdisciplinary students must enroll in GS 699 for thesis credit.
- At least one-half of the non-thesis, non-practicum, non-internship credit hours must be at the 600 level.
- A minimum of 6 hours of 600-level course work must be taken in each of at least two departments or programs offering degrees through the Graduate School.
- No single department or program may offer more than half the total number of credit hours required by the program.
- Exclusive of thesis credit, no more than 6 hours may be taken in courses of the independent-study or practicum type; such course work may not be counted toward criteria specified in 3 or 4.
- Courses designated as fulfilling degree requirements must be offered with sufficient frequency to permit the student to complete degree requirements within a reasonable time (two years for a 30-hour program).
- The proposed curriculum must be submitted on the appropriate form, with approval signatures of at least three graduate faculty members.
- Requests for approval of substitutions or alternate courses must be submitted in writing to the Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Graduate School.
An individual interested in exploring advanced studies in a field that transcends established academic/institutional boundaries may design a program of study in consultation with faculty and the Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies. A program for this degree must involve at least two academic departments/units and it must cross traditional disciplinary organizational structures and programmatic lines of study. An individual interested in this program will need to develop a general proposal that can be reviewed by faculty who, in turn, must agree that they will participate in the program if approved. Before agreeing to participate in the supervision of an interdisciplinary M.A. student, faculty must obtain the consent of their departmental chair or dean.
During the initial semester, the specific curricular requirements of the program must be worked out with a supervisory committee consisting of a chair and at least two additional faculty members representing at least two different departments or programs. Before the end of the first semester, the proposed program of study should be submitted to the Graduate School for review. Students will be admitted to the Graduate School on a conditional basis, allowing them to take courses as a non-degree student, until the proposed program of study receives full approval. Students will be fully admitted to the Graduate School after the interdisciplinary program proposal is approved.
Faculty may propose interdisciplinary tracks of study that will form the basis for suitable areas of concentration to train students. The track must meet the criteria outlined above in terms of minimum credit hours and the distribution of coursework across disciplinary lines. Proposed areas of concentration and interdisciplinary tracks of study will be subject to approval by the following academic bodies: 1) Unit Curriculum and Budget Committees; 2) Graduate Council; 3) Faculty Senate; 4) Provost. The development of an interdisciplinary track is the responsibility of the faculty, but the Assistant Dean for Interdisciplinary Studies will provide assistance and guidance. Participating faculty must have the consent of their departmental chair or dean to participate in an Interdisciplinary Track.
Curriculum will be determined during the development of each individual student's program proposal for the individually-designed programs. For an Interdisciplinary Track program, a core of faculty may propose a curriculum that will form the basis for an area of concentration.
Faculty will be determined during the development of each individual student's program proposal.