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MA in Interdisciplinary Studies
These new MA in Interdisciplinary Studies requirements were passed at Graduate Council in the Spring of 2012. They go into effect for the 2012-2013 catalog. Requirements are effective for the Fall 2012 term, including all students beginning in the Fall term, regardless of their date of application.
Catalog term is determined by the first semester in which you enroll and complete courses as a degree bound student, not based on when you apply.
Thank you for your interest in the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies. In order to be fully admitted into our program, you must complete a program Intake. Once you have completed 15-18 hours in the program, a logical half-way point, you will also be asked to complete a mid-point review. This mid-point review is necessary in order to be considered as “making progress” toward the degree. Finally, as part of the graduation requirements, you will complete an exit in each of your concentrations as well as an interdisciplinary exit with our program. Full details about each of these Interdisciplinary Studies requirements are included in this letter. If you have any questions or need for clarification, you are welcome to contact us at any time.
Please note, these new requirements apply to all students who are newly admitted for the Fall of 2012. For those students who completed a “letter of intent” prior to the date on this notice, you do not have to write the one described below.
I look forward to working with you as a graduate student in our program. May you experience great learning, growth and success during your time at WNMU and beyond.
Sincerely, Jennifer Coleman, Ph.D., Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies
I. The Letter of Intent, an Admission Requirements for the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies
A Letter of Intent is required of all students seeking admission into the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program. This Letter of Intent should be submitted at the time of application (and no later than the end of the student’s “conditional admit” term) and should be sent electronically to email@example.com. This letter of intent should address the following issues in a 5-page, double-spaced, typed (minimum) essay (Microsoft word or pdf format required):
1. Student Contact Information, including name, mailing address(es), phone number(s) and email address(es)
2. Summary of previous educational (all post-secondary training) and professional experiences. Do you have previous graduate training, and if so, describe it clearly. In what professional or personal capacities have you worked that relate to your intended concentration areas or your pursuit of graduate studies in general? For this item, you are focusing on the experiences you have already accumulated, whereas in items 3 and 4 you will focus on goals for the future.
Please note, the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies can provide you with information and assistance if you are intending to transfer graduate credits to the MAIS degree.
3. Describe your interest in this interdisciplinary degree program and how it suits your educational goals. In this section, please clearly state what concentration areas (2-3) you will be pursuing. Be clear in describing how BOTH this program and these concentrations will help further your personal and professional goals.
It is a great idea to take a degree plan and complete it based on available course rotations within your concentration areas. These rotation are available on the program webpage and can also be requested from faculty advisors. Please include this document as an appendix to your letter of intent.
4. Articulate some clear learning objectives for the degree and your concentration areas. In other words, what do you really want to get out of this program, and concentration areas, in terms of your knowledge and expertise?
5. What special abilities, personal qualities and life experiences do you bring to the program that you would like to mention here? This is your chance to tell us anything about yourself that might explain or illustrate your desire for graduate work in our MA in Interdisciplinary Studies.
Once received, this letter of intent will be shared with faculty/advisors in your identified concentration areas. The letter of intent will be reviewed and assessed for completeness by both representatives of Interdisciplinary Studies and those concentration areas. You will receive feedback and your admission status will be updated accordingly.
II. The Mid-Point Self-Reflection Essay, required as part of progress toward graduation for all MAIS students
This Mid-Point Self-Reflection Essay should be submitted once you have completed approximately 15 hours and should be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. If not completed when you have 21 completed graduate hours, a hold may be placed on your account. This essay should address the following issues in a 5-page, double-spaced, typed (minimum) document (Microsoft word or pdf format required):
1. Student Contact Information, including name, mailing address(es), phone number(s) and email address(es)
2. Summary of courses taken in the MAIS program to date, organized by concentration area (this may include courses taken that you have elected to no longer include as part of your degree program – please indicate this). All courses should be listed by course prefix, number, and title, for example IPS 580: Course Redesign. You should also include a 1-2 sentence comment about the focus of each course from your perspective.
3. Reflection on how your concentration areas are connecting for you personally, in an interdisciplinary manner, with illustration of such connections using several of the courses you have taken up to this point. For this item, you should focus on your concentration areas and not on the nature of the degree itself. For example, if you are studying Psychology and Writing, how do these concentrations come together for you? Are you interested in working as a freelance newspaper article focusing on psychology and mental health? Are you interested in writing novels and thought psychology might give you some great content from which to draw ideas?
4. A list of courses you intend to take in order to complete your MAIS degree, again organized by the concentration area. This list does not represent a commitment to courses, but rather a rough sketch of your future in the program. Some students may find it very useful to complete a blank degree plan as part of this exercise. Those degree plans are provided to students as part of the intake process. Please note that no signatures would be required at this time, but as the student, you are encouraged to sign the document.
5. Please describe your interest in this interdisciplinary degree program and how it suits your educational, professional, and personal goals. Focus on the degree itself, rather than your concentration areas here. Please note that this is something you articulated as part of your entrance requirement. You might want to revisit what you wrote at that time and address how your goals have remained the same or changed since that time.
This mid-point, self-reflection essay will be assessed on a completed, meets request as outlined/not completed basis by the Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, in consultation with programmatic faculty.
III. The Interdisciplinary Exit Essay, a Graduation Requirement for the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies
As part of this program, you are required to complete an exit exam, project, or thesis in each of your concentration areas. Typically, these are free-standing exit exams that serve only the concentration area about which you are tested. In addition to these requirements for each concentration area, the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies requires that you complete an Interdisciplinary Exit Essay, addressing the connections between your 2 or 3 concentrations. This Interdisciplinary Exit Essay requires an 8-10 page, double-spaced, typed paper including a summary and reflection on the items listed below. This exit must be completed in the semester in which you intend to graduate, or within one year of completing all of the requirements for the degree, and should be emailed to email@example.com. This project will be assessed on a completed, meets request as outlined/not completed basis by the Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies, in consultation with programmatic faculty.
Please address each of the following:
1. Student Contact Information, including name, mailing address(es), phone number(s) and email address(es). If you anticipate relocating in the near future, considering providing us with a mailing address that might be consistent and accessible to you over time.
2. Summary of courses taken to complete the MAIS program, organized by concentration area (each course listed should appear on your graduation degree plan – and you may want to include a completed degree plan as an appendix to this document). All courses should be listed by course prefix, number, and title, for example IPS 580: Course Redesign. You should also include a 1-2 sentence comment about the focus of each course from your perspective.
3. Reflection on how your concentration areas are connecting for you personally, in an interdisciplinary manner, with illustration of such connections using several of the courses you have taken. Here, you are asked to include several artifacts from the work you completed as part of this program. You can include papers or projects that you completed as part of your degree that were informed from your multiple disciplines. You could write a short piece about how your course selection in one discipline was affected by your learning and growth in the other discipline(s). While your exit requirements in your fields of study may have tended to focus exclusively on those disciplines, please use this opportunity to make connections between those disciplines. Consider how your learning in one area has really impacted your learning in the other area(s)?
4. Please reflect on how this interdisciplinary degree program met your educational, professional, and personal goals. Focus on the degree itself, rather than your concentration areas here. Please note that this is something you articulated as part of your entrance requirement and mid-point requirement. You might want to revisit what you wrote at those times and address how your goals have remained the same or changed since then.
5. Please describe your short and long term goals for the future, as they relate to your completion of this MAIS degree. What are your personal, professional and educational intentions for the future? How did this degree serve you in working toward those goals?
Our staff welcomes you to the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies and we look forward to working with you through your time at WNMU. Our contact information is included here for you easy reference. Please reach out to us whenever you need some support, assistance, or encouragement!
Jessica Enriquez, M.A., Student/Program Support, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mackenzie Tarkington, B.A., Graduate Assistant
Interdisciplinary Studies, Western New Mexico University
Toll-free number: 800.872.9668 ext 6650
Physical Address: PE Complex, Room 143, WNMU, 1000 W. College Ave, PO Box 680, Silver City NM 88062