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MA in Interdisciplinary Studies
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the online MA in Interdisciplinary Studies a fully accredited program?
Is the online MA in Interdisciplinary Studies a fully accredited program? Yes, the online MAIS degree is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in Chicago, Illinois.
Do I have to take the GRE to enter the program? The GRE is not required for admission to WNMU’s Graduate Division. However, an individual concentration, e.g. Education, may require the GRE for students who enter their program with a GPA lower than 3.0. For more information, please check with an advisor in the individual concentration you wish to pursue.
What is the purpose of the letter of intent? The letter of intent is used to determine who your academic advisors will be and to justify your choice of fields of study. It is not used as a writing sample.
Can I transfer graduate credit from another school into the program? WNMU’s policy is to allow a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours to be transferred into the program. These credits must be approved by the applicable faculty advisors and/or academic Deans/department chairs.
Can I take a course or two and then decide if I want to enter the program, and if I do continue, can I apply those initial credits toward my degree? The University allows you to take up to 6 credits without being admitted to the Graduate Division. Whether or not those credits apply toward your degree is based on approval by the faculty advisors in your chosen fields of study.
Does the in-state tuition fee for 6 hours or less apply during the first semester only, or throughout the program? It applies throughout the program, and during summer sessions WNMU charges in-state tuition to all students, regardless of their legal residency.
Can I take just the courses I want to take? To meet the needs of our individual students, the program is designed to be reasonably flexible. At the present time we have seven areas of concentration from which to choose. Current guidelines require that a student select at least two areas and complete 18 credit hours in each, or three areas and complete 18, 9, and 9 credit hours in each. However, based on a student’s personal and professional goals, exceptions will be considered on an individual basis.
If I have submitted an application, but not my transcripts, can I begin taking classes? Yes. When you submit an application you will be admitted as a “conditional” graduate student for one semester and you can begin taking courses. Transcripts must be submitted and evaluated before the end of that initial semester for you to continue in the online MAIS program.
I am interested in pursuing a concentration within the School of Education. Do they have additional admissions requirements? Yes. The School of Education requires a writing sample, references, and disclosure of criminal record. Please contact the School of Education advisor for the application packet.
Why are there several courses listed with a 580 number? Our faculty continue to develop new online courses for this program. The University uses the 580 listing for courses being taught for the first time. During the school year, the new course syllabi are submitted to the University’s Graduate Council, reviewed by all academic departments, modified as required, and eventually approved. Each new course is then assigned a unique number and included in future University catalogs. Although 580s are listed as “workshops,” the course content and workload is equivalent to any other graduate-level course.
Why does the same course sometimes have more than one prefix, e.g. Frontier Law Enforcement is both HIST 517 and CJUS 517? The University faculty has determined that such a course has content appropriate for more than one discipline. By cross-listing the course, students have more courses to choose from in their field(s) of study, and can select the field in which they want the credit to apply. The class can be taken only once.
How do I establish a degree plan? During the second semester of coursework, a student should begin consulting with her/his advisors regarding a degree plan. This is a working document that outlines the student’s academic goals, including courses to be taken in each field of study. Degree plans can be developed via e-mail or phone with a student’s academic advisor(s).
What are the exit requirements for the online MAIS degree? Each discipline determines its own exit requirement. It could be a thesis, comprehensive question(s), or a final project. This is something you should discuss early on with the advisor in each of your chosen fields of study.
How do I access my online course(s)? Use the My Online Courses (Canvas) link from the Quick Links list on the left side of the WNMU home page. Next, enter your Mustang Express username and password. Then use the Courses tab to select the course you wish to enter.
Can I use WNMU’s library services? Yes, all online students are eligible to use the University library. The library provides many electronic resources and services. This includes full-text electronic books and journal articles, electronic faculty reserves, as well as reference services. To contact the library, use the Ask a Librarian link or phone 575-538-6359.
Can I get help with my writing assignments? All WNMU students have access to Smarthinking, an electronic tutoring service. Smarthinking tutors will provide online help with your writing assignments. Access Smarthinking from the Quick Links list on the WNMU home page.
Can I obtain financial aid for this program? Graduate students are eligible for loans. To qualify for a loan a student must have received “final” admit status in the Graduate Division and be enrolled in 6 credit hours during the semester. To receive “final” admit status you must have submitted all applicable official transcripts to the Admissions office for review.
How do I obtain textbooks? Textbooks can be purchased online from the WNMU Bookstore, or purchased from other online vendors.