School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Programs

M.A. in Cross-Disciplinary Studies

Program Description
The M.A. in Cross-disciplinary Studies is multidisciplinary, experiential, and allows students to self-design their graduate studies. The program is designed to meet the needs of students who are seeking a broader learning forum and who appreciate the unique self-design of cross-disciplinary studies. The M.A. program provides intellectual advancement and the opportunity to expand and enrich educational horizons in keeping with the liberal studies traditions. The M.A. program utilizes a multidisciplinary approach and variety of perspectives for observing, analyzing, and addressing contemporary social issues. Students focus on systemic approaches and methodologies when studying human challenges. The M.A. utilizes experiential learning to provide students with hands-on training where theory and practice are integrated.

The M.A. consists of an 11-course (33 credits) sequence that includes core classes, practicums, and a 12-credit concentration track.

Program Formats

The M.A. aims at convenience and accommodation by utilizing online course delivery format and self-designed programs. The students enrolled in the M.A. programs are afforded the greatest flexibility in self-selecting and self-directing their concentrated areas of interest, while at the same time retaining and reinforcing an emphasis on general professional skills. Students can complete the program completely online, but have a large selection of on-campus courses from which to choose.

Students may enroll full or part time, taking six to nine credit hours per term. Students who attend full-time can expect to complete the program in 19 months. Part-time students may complete the program in 2 ½ years. Summer attendance is mandatory.

Practicum

Students complete two practicums during their course of study. Practicum placements have been established in an array of settings depending on student's areas of study. Students are also encouraged to explore and initiate a practicum setting specific to their own individual interests.

Concentration Tracks
Culture and Society
Explore conflict resolution in diverse world cultures, business, and public service. Gain professional skills for communication, client support, counseling, crisis management, mediation and conflict resolution.
Health and Society
Manage data and research to meet the challenges of today’s health care administration system. Develop skills to mediate between the medical establishment, the patient community, and the insurance community. In partnership with the College of Allied Health and Nursing.
Information Systems and Society
Appreciate technology-based solutions to leadership challenges, bridge the gap between corporate technology specialists and management staff, and mediate between technophiles and technophobes. In partnership with the Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences.
Coastal Environment and Society
Discover environmental data and research as a source of political conflict, while addressing the need to work comfortably within a diversity of local, national, and international cultures and boundaries. In partnership with the Oceanographic Center.
Education and Society
Investigate pedagogy and leadership in the diverse systems of education. Establish skills to manage conflict in learning environments. In partnership with the Fischler School of Education and Human Services.
Institutional Assessment
Research student-learning outcomes and prepare to lead academic organizations in assessment. Practice techniques to evaluate academic programs and curricula, respond to academic accreditation bodies, and create a “culture of evidence” at academic organizations.
Master's Thesis

Option Students who wish to complete a 6-credit Master’s Thesis may do so by completing in 3 additional credits. Students must request permission from the Director before enrolling for the Master’s Thesis.

Degree Plans

Below is a sample of a degree plan for a full-time student who begins their studies in the Fall term. Degree plans will be modified based on a student’s enrollment date and pace of study.

Table 1: Degree Plan: 33-36 credits hours
Year 1
Fall (September) MACS 5310 -
Introduction to Systems Theories
SHSS 6620 -
Research Design
Concentration Elective
Winter (January) MACS 5200 -
Academic Writing
MACS 5020 -
Theories &
Philosophies of Conflict
and Peace
Concentration Elective
Summer (April) MACS 6130 -
Practicum I
Concentration Elective Concentration Elective
YEAR 2 
Fall (September) MACS 6160 -
Practicum II
Concentration Elective
Open Elective or Master’s Thesis
Winter (January) Master’s Thesis (if
applicable)
Comprehensive
Examination (non-
Thesis students)
 
Summer (April) Comprehensive
Examination (Thesis
students)
Graduation and Celebration  

For full course descriptions select current Catalog

Final Portfolio Project

MACS students will complete a final portfolio project in lieu of a comprehensive examination. The portfolio project is designed to demonstrate the cross-disciplinary perspective students acquired and honed in the program. Students will use the portfolio to present what they learned through their own personalized curriculum.

The completed portfolio will respond to the following questions:

The completed portfolio will contain narrative sections responding to the above questions as well as exhibit and comment on selections of the student’s work completed during his/her time in the program. Work selections must be drawn from a minimum of four different courses the student took while in the program. The portfolio must clearly identify these courses. One of these courses must be a MACS core course. Selections of the student’s work exhibited in the portfolio may include but are not limited to the following:

The completed portfolio will also include both the resume the student used as he/she applied for admission to the program as well as the student’s updated resume reflecting the academic expertise he/she gained as a graduate student in Cross-disciplinary Studies.